My students live in rural, small town Texas. I hope to give them books that reflect their experiences but also encourage them to dream beyond their current circumstances. The majority of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch, but some may carry name-brand bags, wear designer sneakers, and carry the latest cell phone or technology. Very few of my students carry books. Our library gives online access to e-books, but many of my students do not have devices to read them on, let alone Internet at home. I have students who devour books in a matter of hours, but I have many who struggle to select a title from the shelf because they are intimidated or completely disinterested in reading.
Books give us a place to go when we have to stay where we are. This selection of nonfiction and fiction titles will contribute to the text-rich environment I strive to create in my classroom. Students can read about places, cultures, and perspectives that they may never encounter in rural, small town Texas. They can make connections to their history and science classes through the nonfiction titles, and discover common threads with characters in the novels. I hope to encourage a love of reading and the written word in my plugged in middle schoolers. I hope that with a diverse and engaging classroom, I can encourage them to put down the phone, pick up a book, and escape to worlds they haven’t dreamed of. Yet.
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