On Thursday, I visited KIPP Pride High and Gaston College Prep in Gaston, North Carolina. What an amazing day. The students had wonderful questions about Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged. We had good discussions every class period.
The most amazing thing was our last period discussion. Every single person in the room had read the book. We talked about everything from the sexual content of the book to how to be a friend to somebody who has good qualities even while being a little scary. We talked about symbols in the book, like the squirrel, and characterization, and how a central idea is not to judge other people until we've walked in their shoes, like Atticus says in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Another especially neat thing was that Lainey in Jake Riley makes reference to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer and to To Kill a Mockingbird, and those are two books the students were reading at that time! It was almost an uncanny coincidence.
What a wonderful day. There are pictures on my website, if you follow the link at the bottom to "photos" and then "here" to the flickr page.