Friday, September 4, 2009

Choose Your Literary Adventure

The most interesting thing about writing for and teaching teens is that I’m so much more aware of how different high school is in the States versus Holland, where I grew up. In Holland, middle and high school is split by academic level, for instance. And for English, German, and Dutch classes, I was allowed to pick what books I read—something I assumed was the same here in the U.S..

I was wrong, apparently. This article in The New York Times talks about how some schools are changing required class-wide reading of classics, and allowing kids to pick what they read. Fascinating stuff—and how exciting that students get to be active participants in their reading. Nothing against To Kill a Mockingbird, but there are lots of contemporary works that are just as exciting (Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains, anyone?). Plenty of new classics waiting to be discovered. Plus teens should be able to make their own book choices, I think. But read the article and draw your own conclusions.

I don’t have much other linkage for the Friday this time around. So if you’re looking for distraction, go to YouTube and check out some kittens. That should tide you over for the day. And who doesn't love a kitten?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I lived in Amsterdam for a year. (1997) Loved it.
    I wonder if they will work from a list or can choose any book at all. I'll go read the article. I am always amazed at the books my son-in-law chooses for his students. Much more far-reaching than in my past.