Sunday, September 06, 2009

One Book I'll Never Forget

Captain William Bligh
This semester I'm teaching two sections of Advanced Writing, a course required for Elementary Education and Middle School Education majors. Because most of the forty students taking the class will before long be teaching reading and writing to young people, I had each of them write a paragraph beginning, "One book I will never forget is ____."

Here's my own paragraph:
One book I'll never forget is MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. This novel, based on true events, tells the story of an actual mutiny against Captain Bligh, on a British ship. It was one of the first long books I read on my own when I was young, the first book that captivated me so much that I didn't want to put it down. Nor did I want it to end. I was elated to discover that the authors, Nordhoff and Hall, had written two additional books that continued the story, so I immediately checked those out of the library and read them with equal enthusiasm.
Their choices, not surprisingly, range from children's books to adolescent novels to popular novels, mostly recent ones. The only work of nonfiction on the list is The Water is Wide. We'll be reading that memoir as a text this semester; the student who chose it sat right down and read it after purchasing it and "couldn't put it down." That bodes well for our use of the book as a text. Most of the students in these classes are women; perhaps that's evident from this sampling of their selections:

The Island of the Blue Dolphin, Scott O'Dell
The Land, Mildred Taylor
The Twilight Series, Stephanie Meyer
The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn
The Great Santini, Pat Conroy
Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Patterson
Searching for David's Heart, Cherie Bennett
Deception Point
, Dan Brown
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Ntozake Shange
Flyy Girl, Omar Tyree
The Water is Wide, Pat Conroy
Act Like a Lady; Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey
The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
Gone with the Wind, Margart Mitchell
Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
Someone Like You, Sarah Dessen
My Sister's Keep
er, Jodi Picoult
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
The Wedding, Nicholas Sparks
Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult
Forged by Fire, Sharon Draper
If I Was Your Girl, Toi McKnight
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
Pleasure, Eric Jerome Dickey
Blood and Chocolate, Annette Curtis Klause

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