Christina Dobbs

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Review of The Revolution of Birdie Randolph

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert High School    Little, Brown    327 pp.    g 8/19    978-0-316-44856-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-44857-4    $9.99 African American sixteen-year-old Dove Randolph, Birdie to her family, is on the “right” track, with good grades and a clear plan for her life after high school. The...

Review of Frankly in Love

Frankly in Love by David Yoon High School    Putnam    414 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-9848-1220-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1221-6    $10.99 High school senior Frank Li is the son of two first-generation Korean immigrant parents, and he knows that they have made sacrifices all their lives in order to give him opportunities....

Review of With the Fire on High

With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth AcevedoHigh School    HarperTeen    392 pp.5/19    978-0-06-266283-5    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-266285-9    $9.99High school senior Emoni Santiago, whose “Puerto Rican side is as Black as [her] Black American side,” is many things — an aspiring chef, a proud North Philly native, a reserved student who keeps to...

Review of On the Come Up

On the Come Upby Angie ThomasHigh School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp.    g2/19    978-0-06-249856-4    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-249857-1    $12.99If reading The Hate U Give (rev. 3/17) was like listening to 2Pac, intent on capturing the emotional impact of injustice, On the Come Up is more like Biggie, focusing on the experience...

Review of Pride

Prideby Ibi ZoboiHigh School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    291 pp.    g9/18    978-0-06-256404-7    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-256407-8    $9.99Zuri Benitez is a proud Haitian-Dominican teen who loves her four sisters and her parents, and despite others’ negative perceptions, she especially loves her Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. When the wealthy African American Darcy brothers, Darius...

Review of The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar

The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soarby Margarita Engle; 

illus. by Sara PalaciosPrimary    Atheneum    40 pp.3/18    978-1-4814-4502-3    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4503-0    $10.99In this slightly fictionalized account (with brief invented dialogue) Engle and Palacios introduce readers to Aída de Acosta (1884–1962), who defied the sexist attitudes of her era...

Using picture books to teach adolescents about genre

I teach a course every spring about methods in teaching writing, and one topic we learn about is teaching genre. Adolescents need a fairly broad understanding of a variety of genres, both reading and writing them, though often English classrooms focus heavily on reading novels and writing analytical essays.So every...

Writing for adults and adolescents

Last January, I was at the annual meeting of the School Reform Initiative, a wonderful organization that works to help schools find ways to communicate and collaborate more effectively.  I was thrilled to find out that the keynote speaker was Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American novelist I’ve loved for a long...

What do ordinary people do during war?

This is one of the questions from a student that gave me pause a long time ago.  It was a sort of typical survey humanities course, and I vividly remember her interesting and important question. My own history education was often centered on primary sources or key events summarized neatly...

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