Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 29, 2008

Seminar- the texts

Filed under: Seminar Topics — allison @ 8:10 am

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to follow up about my seminar. I have some titles that will the the central ones for my seminar. The focus of my seminar will be post-911, our invasion of Afghanistan, Afghanistan in general, and our reactions at home (including bias towards muslim americans). The goal: to raise student understanding of an important current issue. We are still at war with Afghanistan. 9/11 was almost 7 years ago now, and high school students were very young when the events happen. I think there is a need to look at this issue, and we will use critical literacy to get there.

I wanted to share the central books for the seminar. I also have several books for additional reading, but these are the ones that are most central. Last night Professor Stearns asked me if they are all YA. I found them all on lists of recommended titles for young adults, such as the YALSA.

A nonfiction look at 9/11 and the aftermath:

To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue. by Ted Rall. A cartoonist provides a graphic account of the invasion of Afghanistan and the politics surrounding the invasion. This will of course would lead to discussion of political opinion in the classroom. Disagreement, agreement, discussion, and expression would all be encouraged. This book will be paired with The New York Time’s A Nation Challenged: A visual history of 9/11 and its aftermath. This book provides excellent opportunities for discussion of the power of pictures and the modes/effects of press coverage.

Fictional perspectives of Muslim Americans

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos. This novel shows how the life of a Muslim American girl was changed in the wake of 9/11. It will encourage students to examine different perspectives other than their own and explore the issue of prejudice. This will be paired with the short story, Alone and All Together byJoseph Geha. This story looks at 9/11 as it happens through the eyes of a Muslim American girl. Everyone has a “where I was when 9/11 happened” story, so I think this short story could lead to some interesting discussion of historical events, our memories of them, and how events are recorded in history.

A look at Afghanistan

Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom.  By William Morrow, 2002. I have started reading this book, and it’s completely eye-opening. It is the biography of an Afghan woman, and shows the conditions under which women must life. It also provides historical information about the country. It’s a gripping read. I will pair this book with Faziabad Harvest, 1980 by Suzanne Fisher Staples. It is a short story about a girl whose life is torn apart by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

I have a few extension books, but am still building my list of those. I have some fun ideas for introductory and extension activities to get students involved in the issue. My seminar will take place soon after spring break, so if this topic interests you, get excited! I am! Feel free to share any comments or thoughts. It’s never too early to get the discussion started.


1 Comment »

  1. Allison, as you know I think this is an important topic and I am so glad you will be addressing it in your fine seminar. You introduce it intelligently here on the blog and I can’t imagine anyone’s not being very interested in it. Read as much as you can for seminar!! KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 2, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

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