I purchased "Twisted" after I met Laurie Halse Anderson at a conference. She said this was a book that she wrFrom the mind of a middle school teacher,
I purchased "Twisted" after I met Laurie Halse Anderson at a conference. She said this was a book that she wrote for the guys… And it is indeed that! Great coming of age story told from the perceptive of geek turned kool guy. Every student that read it liked it a lot. They even recommended to their classmates....more
My principal trusted me and now I’m afraid! This book is a great read. I laughed out several times. I picke::From the mind of a middle school teacher::
My principal trusted me and now I’m afraid! This book is a great read. I laughed out several times. I picked it for my all male 8th grade class. Out of 30 students 29 loved it! The voice of the book is authentic and its themes are relevant. Most teachers would likely shy away from the novel because of the profanity, sexual references, and drug use. However (if you are clever), everything can be justified by the books end by Vizzini's "implied" moral lesson. ...more
I read this book with my 7th and 8th grade ELA classes. As far as the students go, either they loved it or thFrom the mind of a middle school teacher,
I read this book with my 7th and 8th grade ELA classes. As far as the students go, either they loved it or they hated it. About 80% percent loved it. I enjoyed reading it as well. Great book for teenagers and the classroom! The themes can lead to endless and great discussions....more
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: My selection was motivated by two of my fellow grad students. I mentioneFrom the mind of a middle school teacher...
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: My selection was motivated by two of my fellow grad students. I mentioned to them that I was in search of books that would appeal to young male readers. They enthusiastically recommended the novel. Before reading the book, I have never heard of the title or the author. From the title, I thought it would be a memoir of sorts. During Reading: Hands down, I love it. This is one of the most entertaining books that I’ve read in a long time. So far I’ve laughed out loud several times. The plot, characters, and writing style feel really authentic. It really feels like I’m reading the musings of a smart, witty teenage kid. The strength of a compelling story has pulled me completely into this book. I want to know how Junior overcomes his reality. After Reading: Amazing! The themes of depression, death, alcoholism, racism, freedom, and fitting-in echo loudly, this novel is all strength and no weakness! A five hundred pound gorilla in room filled with lemurs. This book is perfect for the young reluctant male reader, pulling them in with humor while exploring major real-life themes that many teenagers face. I’ve placed my order for a classroom set for next school year!
Excellent! A must read! The perfect guy book! VOYA - 5Q & 5P...more
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: I’m new to the YA scene so I’ve never heard of this novel before seeing itFrom the mind of a middle school teacher…
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: I’m new to the YA scene so I’ve never heard of this novel before seeing it on the book list. But after asking around at my school, it seems to be fairly popular. At first when I read the title, I immediately thought of break dancing. I think that popped into my head because of the movie “Beat Street.” After seeing the cover and title together, my thoughts changed and I assumed the book was about how three guys made it of the proverbial ‘hood. I choose this novel because I’m building a selection of books that, I think, will appeal to male middle school students and, based on the talk and subject matter, this novel seemed to fit.
During Reading: The simplistic writing style makes this book a pretty easy read. The characters are compelling and interesting. As I’m reading this my thoughts are with my students, thinking that this text would be great for them because the language is non-intimidating and the characters will be easy for them to relate to. At the mid-point, the novel is being told from three different perspectives, so I’m curious to see how the doctors meet and form their pact.
After Reading: Great book with great stories. I’m adding this one to my list for next year as well. The overall strength of this novel is its accessibility and it inspirational story. If I had to pick a weakness, strangely enough, I would say the simplistic language takes away somewhat away from the novel. The dialogue feels really edited which leaves me with a feeling of a less than authentic story. However, the value of the text far out ways it’s PG-ness. Outside of BET, the NBA, and the NFL, my students rarely see strong positive male role-models. For most of them being a doctor is a long shot or not a shot at all. I believe this is because they have failed to see or have not been shown men like themselves who have achieved such a goal.
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: Upon hearing the title of this novel, I had a vague memory of it. I’m thFrom the mind of a middle school teacher...
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: Upon hearing the title of this novel, I had a vague memory of it. I’m thinking I heard the title before. But other than that I had no knowledge of what lay behind the cover. From the cover, I wasn’t at all interested. The edition I have has the mockingbird and its nest in a tree with the light purple background. I thought instant snooze fest. Other than that I didn’t know what to think about the novel other that the fact that I most likely won’t like it. My selection of this novel was motivated primarily by Clayton County Public Schools and Dr. Crovitz, both assigned the novel.
During Reading: My immediate response to the writing style was thinking that most my students wouldn’t have a hard time reading this book. I thought the plot brought up many great themes like: social status, racism, inequality, and the loss of innocence. Curiosity and thinking of ways to relate this novel to my students keep the pages moving. The novel reminded me of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, which I hated by the way.
After Reading: The value of the text lies within the themes that it explores. But herein is both the strength and weakness of the novel. Some would probably believe that African-American/minority students would eat this novel up. Sadly it is the opposite that is true. Without a bridge to connect the students to the text, they shy away from the content, thinking of it as the distant past with no bearing on their lives. This isn’t helped by the narrator of the text. Although, we are told that she is a child. It is through that telling that I understood that she was a child. The narrator feels like an adult retelling a story, pretending to be a child. Perhaps if Lee paid more attention to this element, students would find it a little easier to relate to.
Ideas for Future Teaching: In order to build a bridge between the text and the reality of the students’ lives, I would first pair the novel with resent civil rights cases such as the Jena 6, moving from the resent past further into history. I believe only then would students understand and appreciate the historical and thematic significance of the novel.
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: I was introduced to The Giver because it was one of my pre-assigned bookFrom the mind of a middle school teacher...
Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts: I was introduced to The Giver because it was one of my pre-assigned books for my 7th grade language art class. Before seeing it in the curriculum, I had never heard of the novel. Honestly, my first thought on looking at the cover was “Ah man, another old white guy.” Ironically, I heard the some of same responses from a few of my students. However, I thought it had an interesting title so my interest was peaked. My selection of this novel was motivated primarily by Clayton County Public Schools and Dr. Crovitz, both assigned the novel.
During Reading: My immediate response to the plot was “mmmm…, it’s 1984 meets Sesame Street.” On the writing, I thought it was really impressive. Because I read the novel with my students, I always pointed out the elements of sensory and descriptive writing that the author employed. Also, seeing the world from Jonas’s perspective was an awesome touch. I believe this makes it easier for kids to understand, or not, the elements of the novel. Because I’m a huge Orwell fan, I was pulled into the world of the gray community. Mainly, it was the curiosity of how would the fate of the community be decided which motivated me to continue reading. “The Giver” reminds me mostly of “1984” and “A Brave New World.”
After Reading: The strengths of the novel are the tons of moral questions/issues it brings up, including: freedom of choice, color, scientific manipulation, and euthanasia. These questions alone offer a wealth of in-depth classroom discussion. One main weakness of the novel was its slow start. From a writer’s perspective, I totally understand the necessity of setting the stage for your audience; however, most of my students didn’t enjoying reading the book until we were more than half way through it. I know if it were up to them, they would have quit the book within the first five chapters.
Ideas for Future Teaching: Because I taught this novel as we read it in class, I’ll share some of my experiences. On reading the novel, most of the major issues that were addressed in the book flew over my kid’s heads. Many of them had a difficult time seeing what the author was laying out. Only after the issues were pointed out did the students see them. As a teacher, I had to make most if not all of the beyond text connections. Typically, my students hated the first half, loved the second half, and were bewildered at the end. After speaking with another teacher, I paired the novel with the movie “The Island.” This worked especially well because the students loved the high action film and were able to drawn there own connections between the novel, the movie, and the possible future.