[DWJ] book rec

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Sat Mar 25 00:14:40 EST 2006

Calling on the collective book awesomeness of the list!

A middle school teacher friend of mine (teaching mostly 12 year
olds, of mostly Dominican, Columbian, Salvadoran, and Boston
Italian extraction), has been getting her limited english
proficiency inner city kids to love reading.  One book several of
the boys have loved is _The Autobiography of Malcom X_.  I think
it's a really interesting, empowering, and powerful book -- but
it's also got some rather overarching anti-semitism that I find
very troubling.  Many of the kids live in neighborhoods without
any Jews, and there are some real (and very sad) tensions between
the Jewish and African American communities right now.  (Though
not many of these kids are African American; several are black

In any case, I'd love to suggest a book which could model some
positive images of Jews which would be accessible and interesting
to these kids.  The only one I can think of is Karen Hesse's

As an aside, I'm also helping her build a shopping list for
the 7th and 8th grade Drop Everything And Read shelves.  Any
general suggestions would be welcome!  The kids' favorite books
right now are

- House of the Scorpion
- Hoot
- Anything by Walter Dean Myers
- Anything by S. E. Hinton

And they also like

- John Bellairs
- Garth Nix
- The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
- A Great and Terrible Beauty
- Esperanza Rising & Becoming Naomi Leon
- Anything Civil Rights (Eg Watsons Go to Birmingham)
- Biographies
- Civil rights biography
- And they're finally getting into Uglies.


"The doctors guaranteed the treatment would fry the fairy clean
out of him. But all it did was make him bonkers every time he
heard electric guitar."         -- Velvet Goldmine

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