Great Books for High School Kids: A Teachers' Guide to Books That Can Change Teens' Lives

Overview

Teachers Rick Ayers and Amy Crawford always wanted to find a guide to the vast world of great books for teenagers-one that didn't talk down or moralize. When they couldn't find one, they set out to create it.

An early prototype offered at Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, California, was an instant success. Great Books for High School Kids is the culmination of their efforts.

Collecting recommendations and essays from colleagues and advisers around...

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Overview

Teachers Rick Ayers and Amy Crawford always wanted to find a guide to the vast world of great books for teenagers-one that didn't talk down or moralize. When they couldn't find one, they set out to create it.

An early prototype offered at Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, California, was an instant success. Great Books for High School Kids is the culmination of their efforts.

Collecting recommendations and essays from colleagues and advisers around the country, this is a rollicking, thoughtful, against-the-grain guide that challenges stodgy notions of what great books are and what kids are ready for.

The book starts with seven essays by high school teachers about exciting, exemplary experiences they have had reading books with students in the classroom-from Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to Aeschylus's Oresteia trilogy.

Augmented by an index of more than seventy subjects, the book also has an annotated list of hundreds of Recommended Great Books. The recommendations are playful and irreverent, ambitious and entertaining, and they go way beyond traditional reading lists. From classics to the unexpected, from literary novels to nonfiction, some drama, and even a little poetry, these are all books that teenagers have read with pleasure and can read on their own.

Great Books for High School Kids is an invitation and a sourcebook for inspiring passionate, lifelong readers-a book that could seriously change the lives of teachers, of families, and of kids.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
The editors have selected nearly 400 fiction, nonfiction, and poetry titles, all of which have "something that made them extraordinary to readers who love books-." The list follows seven essays contributed by English teachers on their experiences with Bless Me, Ultima, The Things They Carried, Oresteia, Reservation Blues, Song of Solomon, Bastard Out of Carolina and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These anecdotal stories offer lighthearted, "in the trenches" accounts of the teachers' attempts to create meaningful connections between their students and the material. The alphabetical list of books offers brief annotations for classic and modern titles including To Kill a Mockingbird, Dune, Life of Pi, Cut, and Poisonwood Bible. Subject categories range from the usual ("African-American Experience") to the unusual ("Big Fat Books to Take on a Road Trip"). A refreshing bibliography with good instincts about what's "great."-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807032558
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 5/15/2004
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 965,035
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Ayers and Amy Crawford both teach English at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Overcoming childhood 1
Dorothy Allison's Bastard out of Carolina
Amy Crawford : great books about childhood stories
Amy Crawford : great books about abuse and recovery
Can you find your future in your past? 22
Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon
Dean Blase : great books about legacies : the identities we inherit from the past
Dean Blase : great books about the political struggle for freedom
How dangerous can a book be? 38
Mark Twain's The adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Emily Donaldson : great books about talking back : making moral choices in an immoral world
Emily Donaldson : great books about journey to adulthood
Suffering unto truth : do you think your future is fated? 61
Aeschylus's Oresteia
Rick Ayers : great books about Hubris and Nemesis
Rick Ayers : great books about is your future fated?
Rick Ayers : great books about the cycle of violence
Spiritual journeys : what is the path to enlightenment? 78
Rudolfo Anaya's Bless me, Ultima
Bonnie Katzive : great books about spiritual journeys
Bonnie Katzive : great books about fathers and sons
Culture and survival 91
Sherman Alexie's Reservation blues
Sarah Talbot : great books about history reimagined
Sarah Talbot : great books about gotta laugh to keep from crying
Sarah Talbot : great books about cultural survival
True war stories : how do you know what happened if all you did was see it? 104
Tim O'Brien's The things they carried
Lauren Jackson and Alan James : great books about true war stories
Lauren Jackson and Alan James : great books about parallel universes of human experience
Lauren Jackson and Alan James : great books about the Rashomon effect : fiction and nonfiction told from shifting perspectives
Recommended great books for high school kids 119
Author list 183
Title list 187
Index of subject list 192
Subject list 194
Contributors 238
Acknowledgments 240
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