I will be entering my first year of teaching in Hayward, CA, and along with a few English language development classes, I will be also teaching a few English classes. The book room has many of the old favorites and classics to choose from, but I want to do something different. A former student of the school I am currently teaching went on to write an amazing book that delves into Filipino culture, with stories full of vibrant detail.
As someone who believes that representation matters, having this book in my arsenal will give many students who are often left out of the spotlight a moment in the sun to see themselves in something cool.
With the project being funded, the students of this small Hayward community will be reading a work of literature written by someone who literally sat in the same seats they sat in and walked the same halls they did. With the representation and knowledge of this piece being written by one of their own, the students will feel some very close ties to the reading, which will hopefully help them discover a little bit about themselves. Eventually, it will help teach them how to create their own stories.
The author of this book was a former student at the high school I am currently teaching at.
The school itself may have its issues, but the kids are strong, and they have heart. They also need a push in the right direction, as all teens do. God's Will of Monsters will show them that it is possible to be from the "ghetto" and still succeed in the world of literature, possibly paving the way for other writers to inspire the future.
Having a book so recently written by someone so close to home will also help my students connect to literature a way that something like Romeo and Juliet may never do.
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