My students are a vibrant, energetic, thoughtful young people living and learning in Chicago's south side. As high school freshmen, they are always motivated to share insights and ideas, and they truly love to learn, even though, like typical 14-15 year olds, they will also pretend like they want to do anything but.
They are always questioning the world around them - why is this the way things are?
Does it have to be that way? I have no doubt that my students have the potential to question their way into finding innovative solutions to some of the problems that face their community. The reality of my students' situation, however, is that there are barriers both in and out of school that make them less likely to succeed than their peers in more affluent neighborhoods. They also don't have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in some of the curriculum in my school, a problem I want to solve as we move into their second semester of Freshman year.
This class set of The Hate U Give has the potential to build a sense of readership among my high school students for years to come. This story has incredible connection to the real problems that my students and their communities deal with every day, and my students have been excited all year to have the opportunity to dive into this book - something that cannot be said of other classics on our reading list. I know that this story has the potential to bring out the reader in some of my least motivated learners.
My kids deserve to read books about people that look like them and go through some of the things that they have, and they deserve to read from real books.
This is a big story, and one that I want my students to experience from books instead of photocopied packets. My kids matter, as does their reading, and I want them to have class materials that show to them their own importance, and real books are a part of that.
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