Teaching All American Boys: Resources for Addressing Sensitive Topics and Engaging Students

I love a lot of things about books, obviously. But one thing I especially love is the way a novel can provide an accessible, relatively safe entry point into a difficult topic. This year, I added Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s acclaimed novel All American Boys to the eighth grade English curriculum at my school. … Continue reading Teaching All American Boys: Resources for Addressing Sensitive Topics and Engaging Students

The Realism Spectrum

The seventh grade English curriculum at my school includes a lot of historical novels, and when I teach seventh grade English, I talk about how historical fiction falls somewhere along a spectrum that ranges from almost fully rooted in historical fact to almost fully fictional. One book that falls on the mostly-rooted-in-fact end is Melanie … Continue reading The Realism Spectrum

Relating to a book vs. liking it: A(nother) case against “girl books” and “boy books”

At the end of lunch a couple of weeks ago, a group of seventh grade students called me over to their table to tell me that they’d been talking about our read-aloud novel, Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead, which will come out this August, and they had a suggestion. On double period days, we should … Continue reading Relating to a book vs. liking it: A(nother) case against “girl books” and “boy books”