The End of the World as We Know It - Dystopian Fiction
My students need 15 books that will hold their interest in a world of distracting, fast-paced, ever-changing technology.
Junior high students are bombarded with distractions every minute of every day. Between checking Facebook every two minutes, texting selfies to everyone they know, playing video games and watching TV, kids today just don't seem that interested in reading.
My students are intelligent, hilarious, and wonderful kids who don't always see the value in reading - it's not exciting, it takes too long, and they'd rather watch a movie.
Our school has a poverty level of over 60%, and television and movies are the main source of entertainment for most of my students. They love connecting person to person and telling stories. I spend a lot of time giving them one-on-one attention during reading conferences that they don't always necessarily get at home - most of the time because mom and/or dad are working two or more jobs or work second shift to make ends meet. It can be a struggle to get them to read unless something truly grabs their attention and takes them away from the world they live in.
Dystopian fiction is a genre that features stories set in the future in a world of ruin - usually after some world war, alien invasion or nuclear holocaust. The stories portray the lives of people who are essentially at their lowest point in life, but they are actually stories of hope - of people who have courage and can see a better future for themselves and the people they love. I want nothing more than for my students to connect with strong, self-sufficient characters that do remarkable things to change their unfortunate circumstances. I would love to sit down with a student during a one-on-one or small group conference and be able to hear about how these books are helping them realize that no situation is completely hopeless, and that through dedication, hard work, and ingenuity, changing your life for the better is possible.
Providing books that inspire kids to live better, richer, more fulfilling lives is one of the greatest favors I can do for my students.
I want all of the resources I use in my classroom to help kids glean new insights about their lives, and I truly think these books can do that for them.
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