My students face many economic and social challenges, yet most of them attend school consistently and apply themselves. They occasionally get discouraged, as anyone does, but they are also resilient.
My classes are highly diverse in both cultural backgrounds and academic abilities, so appropriately engaging materials can make a vital difference in student learning.
Many students in this school drop out and fail, but just as many respond warmly and with gratitude when they see teachers making genuine attempts to reach out and help them.
This class set of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon's novel will give my students an opportunity to read vibrant, relevant contemporary literature in a school where class sets of such books are limited.
The behavioral issues of the narrator in this book - comparable to those of individuals on the autism spectrum - will enable students to relate and/or empathize with a recognizable outsider character.
That connection can motivate them, as well, to engage more authentically with the text so they might learn the values and rewards of critical reading, thinking, writing, and analysis. This book also carries added relevance at this time, as another school in our district is currently staging a theatrical adaptation of the novel.
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