My school is a Title I school and many of my students live in one-parent households, or with grandparents. Many currently worry about whether or not their families are safe due to the changes that have occurred in our current political atmosphere. Approximately 70% of our students qualify for free and reduced price lunch. We also have a high English Language Learner population. Many of our students come from immigrant families and speak a second language at home.
My sixth graders are dealing with not only the transition of moving away from elementary school into a new and more stressful school atmosphere, but also with the emotional and physical changes that come with their age.
My students need to be reassured that they are strong enough to make their own choices and that they need to be able to express their opinions and feelings through the written word.
When students read books that they can actually relate to, they end up being inspired to read and discuss more with their peers. The novels that I have chosen are all based on the characters being the same age as my students and going through similar experiences.
Students will be able to relate to stories that demonstrate individuals who are far from perfect, but that doesn't affect their strength and spirit.
Each novel, Oddballs by William Sleator, Shug by Jenny Han, and Slob by Ellen Potter all deal with issues that many of my students will be able to relate to and will realize that difficulties can be overcome and/or conquered.
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