Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

The past made present | Class #3, 2016

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Next Tuesday (February 9), Lauren’s class will be discussing several books. The theme for the day is “The past made present” so they will look at both historical fiction and nonfiction — including one book that’s a hybrid of the two. Everyone will be reading One Crazy Summer; they will choose to read either No […]

Two historical fiction books | Class #3, 2016

One Crazy Summer

     One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia Supplemental readings: Rita Williams-Garcia’s profile in July/August 2007 Horn Book Magazine No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Historical fiction is a balancing act of storytelling and character development with […]

Three nonfiction books | Class #3, 2016

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        Bomb: the Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steven Shenkin Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge Good nonfiction shares many of the qualities of good fiction; the best writers pay as much attention to narrative, style, and characterization as to careful research of the facts. […]

Windows and mirrors | Class #2, 2016

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Please join the adolescent lit class at HGSE as we discuss three recent YA books for our second class on February 2. The students are required to comment on one of the readings, but we hope any of you who have read one of these will want to join our discussion on these individual posts: […]

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Class #2, 2016

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie tells Junior’s story with lots of humor but pulls no punches in depicting the brutal truths of alcoholism, poverty, and bigotry both on and off the reservation. In his article “Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood,” Alexie talks about the importance […]

Eleanor and Park | Class #2, 2016

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Rainbow Rowell’s nontraditional romance novel Eleanor and Park portrays a young love that is genuine in its intimacy and awkwardness, as well as the painful realities of life that are well beyond the control of the young protagonists. What are the universal themes of this book distinctly set in the 1980s, and what elements are […]

Brown Girl Dreaming | Class #2, 2016

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Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a coming-of-age memoir in eloquent free verse. Consider how form and voice reflect the young girl’s discovery of self and the world around her.

Psychology and mindfulness

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Barron, T. A. The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life Gr. 4–6, middle school     74 pp.     Philomel This book of advice, adapted from the author’s 2013 Oxford University address, is presented as a conversational visit with the famous wizard Merlin. Summarizing life’s experiences and mysteries in a few simple words, […]

Investigating crime

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Eldridge, Stephen Trace Evidence: Dead People Do Tell Tales Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Enslow Faulk, Michelle Gun Crimes: Dead People Do Tell Tales Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Enslow Latta, Sara L. Bones: Dead People Do Tell Tales Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Enslow Latta, Sara L. Cybercrime: Data Trails […]

Inspirational athletes

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Brown, Daniel James The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American 
Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics Middle school, high school     226 pp.     Viking Adapted by Gregory Mone. Overcoming a difficult childhood, Joe Rantz made the freshman crew team at the University of Washington. There, he met equally […]