You Can’t Stop Them! Strong Females in Literature – Grades 5 (mature) – 8 – Winter 2022 – 10 Weeks
Thursday, January 13 2022 @ 9:00AM - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 10:30AM EST| $250.00
Leadership! Courage! Empathy! Passion!
Esperanza, Marcy, Charlotte, Davey, and Joan had it all.
Together, in this class, we will read, discuss, debate and analyze about the leading ladies in five award winning yet very different novels. Students are expected to read the novel independently and come prepared to discuss.
Due to the content of these books, I ask that all students are respectful to one another. In addition to reading the novel, students will be responsible for completing either a project or a paper (of their choice from a list) for each novel.
Parents, please read the descriptions of the novels below, so you are aware of the content we will be reading. This class is for VERY mature 5th grade through 8th grade because of the content discussed in the books. Students are strongly encouraged to PRE-READ the books!
In addition, please note that students have tremendous freedom and choice in the project or paper they wish to accomplish. They projects are creative, artistic, technological, or written. The project is expected to take about 4 – 5 hours over the course of two weeks (one project due every other week). This is why I encourage the PRE-READING of these novels.
This class is a discussion-based class where all students are expected to respect one another’s viewpoint. NOTE: Students do not have to agree with others; however, you need to allow others to have their own views.
Note: These reviews/analyses were taken from https://www.commonsensemedia.org.
Esperanza from Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Parents need to know that Esperanza Rising is an award-winning work of historical fiction that chronicles the life a Mexican migrant farmworker in the 1930s. In the book’s beginning, Esperanza’s wealthy father is killed by bandits in Mexico; then, a scheming uncle sets fire to her house and family ranch in order to pressure her widowed mother to marry him. Fleeing to California, Esperanza tries to adjust to the cramped, exhausting life of a farmworker. Thanks to a supportive family and network of friends, she keeps hope alive and begins to work for a new future. Readers will learn a number of Spanish words and about the lives of migrant farm workers during the 1930s as characters deal with strikes, discrimination, harsh living conditions, and more.
Marcy from The Cat that Ate my Gymsuit by Paula Danziger
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit is a 1974 children’s fiction novel by American author Paula Danziger. It follows Marcy Lewis, a girl in the ninth grade who has self-esteem issues which she tries to alleviate by opting out of school and social activities. As the book progresses, Marcy’s story reveals that her confidence problems have very real roots in her experiences with an abusive father and a nervous mother who minimizes and protects his actions. The book is a bildungsroman, showing how Marcy develops as an individual by learning to recover from her family-induced trauma, resisting their psychological abuse, and integrating into her society. The book’s title refers to one of the explanations tried by Marcy to exempt herself from gym class.
Charlotte Doyle from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Parents need to know that there is some violence here, some a bit graphic: men are whipped, and killed by knife and gun, and the young heroine is condemned to hang, though she doesn’t. The story takes place in a time of racism, sexism, and rigid class distinctions.
Davey from Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
Tiger Eyes is a powerful and emotional novel about grief and recovery. Davey describes the heavy issues affecting her, and regular growing-up struggles, in an articulate but believable way. In general, Blume shows just the right amount of restraint in writing this book for young adults: There’s enough detail about the violent events to make a huge impact without giving young readers more than they can handle. The author also treats other issues that are important to her characters — sexuality, alcohol and drug use, safety vs. independence — with great sensitivity and realism. Of all of Blume’s novels about growing up, Tiger Eyes may be the most tender and the truest to life.
Joan from The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Parents need to know that The Hired Girl is Newbery medalist Laura Amy Schlitz’s moving, deftly conceived, engrossing fictional diary of a 14-year-old farm girl from Philadelphia who runs away and takes a job cleaning house for a Jewish family in 1911 Baltimore. Protagonist Joan Skraggs is a complex, rash, and headstrong character who is by turns noble, impetuous, and even sometimes dishonest, but her aspirations, concerns, and obsessions are relatable. There are moments of verbal abuse (and near physical abuse) from her father, a recurring theme of grief over the loss of her mother, some flirtations and sexual situations (groping, kissing), and frank religious discussions of Jewish persecution. But it’s primarily an uplifting tale about a girl’s desire to educate herself, earn her own way, and move up in the world with common sense and compassion.
Registration deadline is December 15, 2021.
There must be a minimum of 5 students to run this class.