I teach three periods of honors English to tenth-grade students in my school’s SAS program. Many of my students enjoy reading and writing but are very picky about what they like to read. I do my best to find books that challenge their intellect while keeping them interested at the same time. Unfortunately, so few of the books available at my library meet this criterion. While many of the books on my assigned reading list fall under the category of “classics,” I would like to teach more contemporary titles that speak to what it means to live in a more globalized society today.
Teaching history through fiction and literature can be a chore sometimes, especially if students are not engaged with the texts that teachers have chosen. Let's face it. Many historical novels are bland and appeal largely to college-educated readers. That is why I am interested in teaching Octavia Butler's Kindred, which excavates the dark history of slavery in the US by applying the narrative framework of a fantasy or SF novel. Unfortunately, my school textbook room only carries 22 copies. I would like to purchase enough copies so that I can teach Butler's book which remains relevant in our current discussion of "race issues," including the recent debate about reparations for the descendants of Antebellum slaves. I would like to purchase at least 77 copies of Butler's masterpiece so that my school can have a complete set for not just me, but all the ELA teachers.
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