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One of the most commonly taught novels in English classrooms across the US is To Kill a Mockingbird. It's often part of a Social Justice or Civil Rights Unit in 9th or 10th grade. While I do believe the novel is well-written (of course it is - it won a Pulitzer Prize) and was groundbreaking in its time (the late 60's), the themes and characters are not as relevant to today's social issues as they could be, and there is a rising tide of criticism about the "white savior" character in Atticus Finch. I would like to give my students the chance to read something more current that is also written from the perspective of an African American girl growing up in the modern 21st century social and political climate. I'm requesting twenty-five copies of The Hate U Give. I believe this novel will give them the opportunity to develop more compassion, and it will spark more relevant debates about today's social climate than To Kill a Mockingbird, which is often criticized for its lack of well-developed African American characters. I also think that The Hate U Give is simply a more engaging novel, especially for 9th and 10th graders, who like it when "things happen." I very strongly believe in providing young adults with novels that are contemporary, and written for them. I want them to enjoy reading, and I think that the right book makes all the difference.

About my class

One of the most commonly taught novels in English classrooms across the US is To Kill a Mockingbird. It's often part of a Social Justice or Civil Rights Unit in 9th or 10th grade. While I do believe the novel is well-written (of course it is - it won a Pulitzer Prize) and was groundbreaking in its time (the late 60's), the themes and characters are not as relevant to today's social issues as they could be, and there is a rising tide of criticism about the "white savior" character in Atticus Finch. I would like to give my students the chance to read something more current that is also written from the perspective of an African American girl growing up in the modern 21st century social and political climate. I'm requesting twenty-five copies of The Hate U Give. I believe this novel will give them the opportunity to develop more compassion, and it will spark more relevant debates about today's social climate than To Kill a Mockingbird, which is often criticized for its lack of well-developed African American characters. I also think that The Hate U Give is simply a more engaging novel, especially for 9th and 10th graders, who like it when "things happen." I very strongly believe in providing young adults with novels that are contemporary, and written for them. I want them to enjoy reading, and I think that the right book makes all the difference.

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