Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How It's Done in the classroom

It's always cool when I hear about a reader connecting with one of our books, but it's even better when a reader loves a book so much that they need to share it. I'm particularly interested in and often surprised by what aspects of a book people feel compelled to share. Jillian Miller's case is no exception. She teaches family and consumer sciences at Billings West High School in Billings, MT. She's about to receive twenty-five copies of How It's Done by Christine Kole MacLean for her classroom. I asked her a few questions about how she intends to use Christine's book in her class.

Andrew: How did you come across How It’s Done? What was your initial reaction after reading it?
Jillian: I came across How It’s Done at my public library, where I spend a great deal of time. My husband knows that when I die I want me memorial money to go to the library. If I ever get a second teaching endorsement it will be in reading. Anyway, about the book . . . . I loved it! I breezed through it in about 6 or 8 hours. It was just engrossing and I couldn’t do anything else. I read it for a class on contemporary fiction, so my family had to leave me alone, because I was doing “homework”. We could choose any young adult fiction that we wanted.

A: What made you want to share it with your students?
J: This book covers almost every topic we may discuss in my family life class, from parenting styles to friendship to dating and beyond…

A: What kind of discussion do you think it will lead to? Do you think they’ll like it and/or want to talk about it?
J: I think we’ll have great discussions. The author has a list of everything that we plan to discuss. I think they will really enjoy talking about their own lives in the shadow of Grace’s life.

A: Is there one part in particular that you really want to talk about?
J: I especially want the students to discuss charming boys! They are not always what they seem and can often lead to BAD relationships. I have mostly girls in my classes and many of them have low self-esteem and need the self-assurance of a character like Grace who made a bad choice. I think some of them can learn through example.

A: Are there any parts of the book you’re not looking forward to discussing?
J: I’m not sure if the book will get approved due to the abortion and reference to the religious father. So I may not be able to discuss any if that happens. However, I have many former students who would love to read and blog about this book. I hope it does get approved!

A: Have you done this before with other books?
J: No, this is my first attempt at using a complete novel in the classroom. I guess I did read A Child Called It to my students before the book approval process became so strict.

1 comment:

Sam Hranac said...

Do I detect a hind-end / fingers theme in cover images between this and Sara Hantz's Second Virginity of Suzy Green? How do I get in on this?