When Highland Park ISD banned (suspended, officially–then reinstated w/parent permission required) some books during Banned Books Week, my students and I paid attention. Of course, I pulled the books in question from my shelves — and book talked them right then and there.
The True Story of a Part-time Indian is one of the hottest titles in my classroom library year after year. I know it gets raw in places. I know that it’s the grit that makes kids want to read it. I get that this book is not for everyone.
Few books are.
And that is why choice is so important.
I had the chance to share my thoughts on this in an interview for KERA, NPR nor the Texas. You can read/hear the news article here.
In a few days I will return to my classroom, fresh from NCTE and ALAN with boxes of new books for my students to read.
We talk a lot in my class about books being windows and mirrors. Windows help us see outside ourselves into the lives of others. We grow in empathy. Mirrors help us see ourselves so we know we aren’t alone. We read literature to learn what it means to be human afterall.
It would be hard to learn the truth if we never read the raw and the grit that makes humanity humanity.
Tagged: AP English