Saturday, September 27, 2008

Two Great Questions

Thanks McCara for the insight into your reading. I will do my best to answer your two questions for you.

1) why THIS book?
This book was chosen by a committee of 9-12 Language Arts Teachers (of which I am a member.) We spent a long time creating and perfecting our new Language Art's Standards. Some of the goals of the new standards are to get students to actually read, look at real world issues, and to create interdisciplinary opportunities for this year (but even more for next year!) A Long Way Gone was chosen because it met this criteria and our Language Art's Standards for ninth grade. The book was tested on a group of high school readers and some of them said it was the first book they ever read in their high school career from cover to cover. The biggest selling points for me though were the fact that this book is relevant to our students and it was on the NYTimes Best Seller List within the last two years. Now believe me, I wouldn't suggest English teachers should just read books on the NYTimes best seller list, however it is great to actually have our students read something that is being read in mainstream culture and not just in English classrooms and universities.

Will there be books in the near future that looks at world issues from a FEMALE point of view?
Our second book for this year is Finding Laura Buggs. It is a dramatic change of pace from A Long Way Gone and is written from the perspective of a female high school student. It does not focus heavily on "world issues," but is more of a mystery. It was chosen because of the female perspective and for its considerably lighter tone.

In Honors Literature and Writing, we will be read a series of short stories. 

Looking at the scope and sequence of 9-12 Language Arts, I think your students will have some great opportunities to read a variety of texts from the female point of view. The new curriculum does a nice job of balancing the old with the new and still picking texts that are engaging to students. 

I hope this answered your questions!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Travis Rother

1 comment:

MsCara said...

Thanks, Travis. I finished the book over the weekend - maybe I should send you my thoughts off list for those who haven't finished. :o) Just curious, was "The Kite Runner" one of the books considered? To me, that was a MUCH more powerful and moving book...