My students need copies of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
My students come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds within a fairly upscale community; in fact, my school is known as one of the more "poor" middle schools in a very large district. My kids range from homeless to residents of giant homes, and what's great about my school is that it's very, very hard to tell who falls into what part of the financial spectrum.
My students have gone from apathetic to caring this year, and I believe that the key to moving them toward becoming even more engaged in the world around them is high-quality books, stories that will show them where we have come from as Americans and how that pertains to where we are going.
They have had enough of adults talking at them. They need to read, read, and read some more about their world so that they can learn what it needs from them now and in the future.
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" tells the story of Christopher, a fifteen year-old boy in England, and his extremely flawed family. The book, which has been highly celebrated and awarded, grips the reader from the first page, engaging all types of readers (something I know from using the few copies we have in our school this year).
But this is more than a just a great book - it's a great book about an autistic boy who overcomes unspeakable obstacles to do what he knows is right.
My eighth grade classes each year include many different types of learners, as all students learn differently; specifically, autistic students are important members of my language arts classroom. Autism is greatly misunderstood, and while many adults can deliver a spot on lecture about this topic to students, literature, especially about students slightly older than themselves, can do a far more effective job in reaching my students' hearts.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, this book tells a story of justified rebellion and incredible resilience. Christopher pursues the truth about a terrible crime in his neighborhood at great physical and emotional cost, against the wishes of nearly everyone he knows and loves. In the process, he learns more than he can handle- and yet he survives and even thrives. This character provides an exceptional example of someone who overcomes challenges bigger than most of my students will ever know. It also makes the important point that the truth can hurt mightily, that adults can let us down terribly, and that young people can nonetheless find their way through the forest of these crushing blows into a brighter, more enlightened life.
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|The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time • Amazon Business||$8.77||40||$350.80|
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