Teachers Rick Ayers and Amy Crawford always wanted to find a guide to the vast world of great books for teenagers-one that didn’t talk down or moralize. When they couldn’t find one, they set out to create it.
An early prototype offered at Cody’s Bookstore in Berkeley, California, was an instant success. Great Books for High School Kids is the culmination of their efforts.
Collecting recommendations and essays from colleagues and advisers around the country, this is a rollicking, thoughtful, against-the-grain guide that challenges stodgy notions of what great books are and what kids are ready for.
The book starts with seven essays by high school teachers about exciting, exemplary experiences they have had reading books with students in the classroom-from Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina to Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon to Aeschylus’s Oresteia trilogy.
Augmented by an index of more than seventy subjects, the book also has an annotated list of hundreds of Recommended Great Books. The recommendations are playful and irreverent, ambitious and entertaining, and they go way beyond traditional reading lists. From classics to the unexpected, from literary novels to nonfiction, some drama, and even a little poetry, these are all books that teenagers have read with pleasure and can read on their own.
Great Books for High School Kids is an invitation and a sourcebook for inspiring passionate, lifelong readers-a book that could seriously change the lives of teachers, of families, and of kids.