My students need to read Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero.
Our middle school students, particularly those currently in 8th grade, work so hard. This year they will be working diligently to understand what skills they currently possess and what skills need improvement. Last year, one student told us, "I'm going to get to a level 5, and I need you to push me!" Another student said, "Don't sugar coat! Tell me the truth" when asking for feedback. Still another said to a classmate, "Here you have written a really good topic sentence, but I don't see any evidence for what you're saying here. You should go get some." These are the type of students we teach, the type that want to improve themselves and each other.
They are in middle school so there are the usual middle school dramas but in general they support each other.
When one student struggles to give a speech, the rest of them shout out things like, "You can do this!" First, it might just be one or two, but then it's the whole class. This is a group of people who care about each other, who support one another.
They are caring and supportive and do not let their circumstances limit or define them.
Our school serves primarily students of color, and while we do read books about people of color written by people of color, we read relatively few that are written by people of color about living in America in our current day and age. Additionally, the curriculum we use includes no texts written about or by Latinx Americans, and we hope to remedy that gap by reading "Gabi, A Girl in Pieces" by Isabel Quintero.
With its strong narrative, use of powerful imagery, real world topics, and universal themes about adjusting to a life lived in two worlds, Quintero's novel would be an asset, both in terms of teaching important standards as well as in maintaining student interest.
Beyond that, this book will open a window for our students to think about real people of today who are often pidgeon-holed into stereotypes by mainstream media, just as it will encourage empathy for the sorts of experiences some of our classmates have lived. For our students of color, seeing themselves in text, reading books by authors of color, and seeing their stories acknowledged and celebrated is important. Quintero's novel will give students recognition, pride and a connection to literature, all at the same time it will push forward our academic goals and objectives.
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|Gabi, a Girl in Pieces • Amazon Business||$9.03||60||$541.80|
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