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Strong Males: Two Newbery Honor Novels - Fall 2019


In “Newbery Honor Books”, we are going to focus on two novels – both involving choices and decisions that teenagers made. In this class students will be involved in pre-reading, reading, comprehension, discussion, analysis and writing activities. Students should expect 2 - 3 hours of homework weekly involving both reading and writing.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D Schmidt

In the period of the Vietnam War, Holling Hoodhood starts his seventh-grade year at odds with his teacher, Mrs. Baker. Wednesday afternoons are their private time together, and the pastimes are many—from clapping erasers to dissecting various Shakespeare plays. Through Holling, his family, and his school compatriots, Schmidt takes clichés such as perfect families, battle-ax teachers, and incorrigible students and makes them original. Joel Johnstone’s narration gains potency from his even voice and pacing. Moments poignant with lost chances for understanding, such as those between Holling’s father and sister, are as vivid as those of humor. Listen, laugh, cry, and marvel at the goodness of humankind.

Parents need to know that Newbery Honor Book The Wednesday Wars is a poignant coming-of-age story involving the funny misadventures of Long Island, New York seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood and his unlikely discovery of Shakespeare in the turbulent academic year of 1967-68. There are two references to middle school students smoking, and a scene of two rats run over by a bus.

Nothing but the Truth by Avi

Patriotism or practical joke?

Ninth-grade student Philip Malloy was suspended from school for singing along to The Star-Spangled Banner in his homeroom, causing what his teacher, Margaret Narwin, called "a disturbance." But was he standing up for his patriotic ideals, only to be squelched by the school system? Was Ms. Narwin simply trying to be a good teacher? Or could it all be just a misunderstanding gone bad—very bad? What is the truth here? Can it ever be known?
Heroism, hoax, or mistake, what happened at Harrison High changes everything for everyone in ways no one—least of all Philip—could have ever predicted.

Parents need to know that this book depicts high school life with devastating accuracy, and uses an unusual, intriguing format. Teenagers easily understand the situation, recognize the characters, and enjoy the book -- even when it's required.

NOTE: Registration deadline is August 26, 2019.

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