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This sounds like a wonderful approach (good titles, too!). You might also add _What
Girls Learn_ by Karin Cook, _Caucasia_ by Danzy Senna, _She's Come Undone_ by Wally
Lamb, and _The God of Small Things_ by Arundhati Roy to your list. All wonderful
reads that would be appealing to older adolescent readers, I think.
Lynn Aprill wrote:
> Cindy O'Donnell-Allen wrote:
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> > Do you ever ask students to read contemporary literature?
> > Just curious,
> > Cindy
> When I started Creative Writing, I inherited a "list" of biographies and
> autobiographies from another teacher which were supposed to be "good writing".
> I had never read any of them, so how could I possibly encourage my students to
> read them? I think being a reader yourself is the greatest encouragement you
> can give to students. I dumped the original list and came up with a list of
> contemporary literature which I have read the last five years as part of a book
> club, and which I knew were great books. Some of them are difficult reads (A
> Prayer for Owen Meany), and many today contain "adult situations", but we
> discuss this beforehand. I use this with a junior/senior class, so most of them
> have been exposed to this stuff long before they select from this list. Some of
> the other titles include Deep End of the Ocean, Map of the World, Black and
> Blue, The Bean Trees, Snow Falling on Cedars, Flowers for Algernon, Watership
> Down, Montana 1948 (by a great Wisconsin writer, Larry Watson). It is so fun
> watching my students devour these books, and it is so much easier for me to
> encourage them to read, because I know what they're about. We have a continuing
> dialogue during the quarter that they read them, and then they do an analysis
> paper on them in the second quarter.
> Lynn Aprill
> Bonduel High School
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