My students represent a broad range of families and backgrounds in the city of Banks and its surrounding communities in the rural, western portion of Oregon's Washington County. Some of our students travel from as far away as twenty miles to attend our small high school. While some students live in a neighboring housing development or the older homes of the immediate town, others live on farms or in isolated hamlets in the forest and nearby coastal mountains.
While some students come from generations of college graduates, others will be the first in the family to graduate from high school.
Some of our students' parents work in the high tech sector of neighboring Hillsboro, while others work alongside their families on farms, in timber operations, or in a variety of other skilled trades and service jobs. Yet, they all come together is a little school of 400 students, a place where every face and name is recognized and greeted friendly.
My students face more pressures and experience more stress and anxiety than previous generations. In my interactions with my students, I have found they have the need to recognize a voice in American literature that deals with themes of anxiety, isolation, loneliness, loss, and depression. Reading and discussing Salinger's seminal work addresses these needs.
The Catcher in the Rye is not only one of the greatest American novels ever written, but one of the strongest voices ever found on a page and the most important one in our literary tradition to speak for and on behalf of teenagers.
Thank you for helping to fund the purchase of a book that students can continue to find a voice to connect with.
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