Lexus Beedy's Reviews > Also Known as Harper

Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal
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bookshelves: children-s-realistic-fiction

Personal reaction:
I didn’t fall in love with this book as much as I have heard others have. Putting aside my own personal reaction to this story, I do see how it could be a great resource for children who are either going through a tough situation or opening children’s eyes to what is going on in the world around them. This book discusses topics of divorce, death, alcoholism, poverty, and homelessness that we don’t always think of as issues involved in a 5th-6th grade book but are realistic issues that children are going through everyday. This book may be an insight for many children on how to handle issues such as these and help them understand that they are not alone. This book has a strong sense of family support to get through the tough times.

Purpose:
I would use this book as an independent reading for student reading at a 5th-6th grade reading level. While it is important to talk about controversial topics that this book brings up, be careful if you have young students reading at a much higher reading level. It is also very important to know your students in your class, if you have a student going through something similar to the main character Harper maybe recommend this book as a resource to help sort through personal struggles. While many students today will find some way to relate to this book, if you have students that have no connection, this is also a good resource for them to understand others lives. It is important for children to understand that their home life affects their school life and their personality and reaction to things. I think that if you assigned your students to read this book, you should hold a class discussion afterwards to debrief about these heavy topics and ways to deal with these real world issues. This book could be incorporated into a lesson on genres because students tend to choose books that are fantasy or have a light and fun feel to them. Not knowing what this book is about you would not guess for it to be about topics of divorce, poverty, and alcoholism. If you assigned this book to read as a class or recommended it to students, I believe it is necessary to discuss the impact that books such as this one have. This book could also be incorporated into a implicit curriculum lesson on diversity and context outside of the classroom. At any age students need to be aware that everyone comes from a different home life and deals with different issues. Many of these issues, such as the ones Harper is going through effect her school work and I must understand this as a future teacher.
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Reading Progress

March 18, 2015 – Shelved
March 18, 2015 – Shelved as: children-s-realistic-fiction
Started Reading
March 21, 2015 – Finished Reading

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