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24 February 2012

TGIF! ~Required Reading~

TGIF @ GReads is a weekly posting hosted by Ginger as kind of a thinker question (click on the picture above to go straight to Ginger's blog...blogger is being weird and won't let me add a link, so if that doesn't work, its www.greadsbooks.com  Srsly, blogger, get it together) .

This week's TGIF question is: 
Required Reading: Which book from your school days 
do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?
I HATED required reading in High School!  Mainly because it I thought was old, dead guys who wrote about stuff that I didn't care about, in this prose that I couldn't understand.  I should also tell you that I don't get symbolism.  The eye in the billboard in The Great Gatsby were EYES to me.  Nothing more.  I'm sorry Mrs. Sacra (my 10th grade English teacher), but thats the truth.  Also, I never finished, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings or Silas Marner.  Sorry, Mrs. S.
The only book that I remember LOVING was Home is Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts.  And that wasn't even a required book, my teacher that year let us read whatever we wanted for pleasure and respond, but we also did the required 12th grade readings of Shakespeare (she never made us take that home, or do any responses to that)  I remember sitting in class CRYING because Americus had been kidnapped.  I also remember running into class one day to tell my teacher that Home is Where the Heart Is was going to be made into a movie staring Natalie Portman and how I was going to go see it!  Yeah, it came out my senior year in high school....
Now, those that I wish were required reading...ooooooooooh where to start......
Honestly, as a teacher, I don't really believe in the "whole class novel" approach, especially in elementary school (and even middle and high when kids are in regular classes together---honors classes are different).  There are so many different levels of readers in any class, that its hard to find one that all can read AND be interested in.  I'd much rather do a class "theme", where there are a bunch of books to choose from that center around this topic.  
So, with that in mind, if I were doing a "survival" unit in middle school, I'd probably include:
Hatchet (Hatchet, #1)  Behind the Gates (Tomorrow Girls, #1)  Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)  The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)    Maniac Magee  Island of the Blue Dolphins  Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)   The Knife of Never Letting Go...
I've got some "oldies but goodies", some new books, some easier than others, but they all focus on survival and trusting in yourself. 
What about you? 

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