Feature and Follow

bloglovin-300x180  Feature and Follow is hosted by the bloggers at Parajunkee and Allison Can Read!  The purpose of this meme is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community.  (Click on the Bloglovin link on my sidebar or the image to your left to follow me!)

This week’s question: Back to School time! Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you’ll be teaching this semester.

Speak The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 

1. I would be pretty damn surprised if this doesn’t show up on half the lists for this week’s prompt.  If you’re a YA fan, you’ve probably read Speak and understand why it’s an incredibly important book.  If not, READ IT.  This is one of the most authentic YA novels ever.

2. A perspective that doesn’t get a lot of attention – seriously, I can’t think of any other YA books I’ve read with a Native American protagonist (no, chick from House of Night, you don’t count, go home.)  Besides that, it’s hilarious and exactly the right book to get “reluctant readers” hooked.

3. Tell your students this is “like Mean Girls but real.”  Ask them to relate certain chapters or scenes to their own experiences and write about it.  Someone might cry.  Oh my god, I’d be a terrible teacher.  I do think that Some Girls Are would get students thinking, though.

4. Aristole and Dante is an absolutely perfect novel.  Ari is an incredibly relatable narrator and it’s not hard at all to put yourself in his shoes, whatever your own race or sexual orientation is.  You might not get every homophobic student in the classroom to reconsider their ideas, but if it changes even one person’s view, it’s still worth it, in my opinion.

5.  Yes, it’s manga.  Yes, it’s still absolutely worth teaching.  I was torn between this and Ai Yazawa’s Nana, both of which I consider absolute masterpieces of the medium, but there’s a lot of stuff in that series that would be considered objectionable for high schoolers (even more than the other books on this list, haha.)  The comedy and action in this would make it a hell of a lot of fun for students, but the story goes some very dark and serious places.


16 thoughts on “Feature and Follow

    • FMA is SO GOOD and SO WORTH READING. And I think the entire series is out in English now, so it’s a good time to start! *eyebrow waggle*

      I’ve only read the first ten or so volumes of Nana but it’s amazing. Paradise Kiss from the same author is really good, as well, and it’s only like… five volumes, iirc.

  1. Hahaha, I love that you told “Zoey Redbird” to go home. She deserves that and is THE WORST. Honestly, portrayals of ethnic characters that are that over the top are almost worse than just not having ethnic characters at all.

    Hell yes, Fullmetal. Manga is the best, and that one is epic and wonderful and I love it.

    • Zoey is THE WORST. Like, I guess I kind of appreciate the attempt at diversity, but ALL of the “look how DIVERSE AND PROGRESSIVE WE ARE” stuff in those books was soooo gross. Also the ~mystical Native American~ stereotype stuff needs to go. If the Casts had done ANY research you’d think they would have known that…

      (How cool would it be if you made FMA a year long reading project for a class and had volume 15 (the Ishval war flashback) coincide with one of the (imo, boring) many war books that usually end up being HS required reading? Would have made some of those a lot less dull for me…)

  2. A Very interesting List of books, I’ve read Speak and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,but the rest of your selections also look very interesting. Love seeing manga taught in classes as well.

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