Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Common Core Question

Here's a good one. Our district is looking to purchase some class sets of books to support the seventh grade language arts curriculum.

The two books that are commonly used are Lowry's The Giver and Hinton's The Outsiders. We are looking for nonfiction to support those, and aside from Discovering Wes Moore and Myer's Bad Boy (for The Outsiders), I'm having trouble thinking of more interesting, literary nonfiction to support these titles.

Getting a list of other themes; I wish we could pick any nonfiction and use something like The Secret of the Yellow Death: A True Story of Medical Sleuthing.

All thoughts welcome!


  1. That's a pickle. I'm not too familiar with nonfiction, but those are both great books. Good luck:)

  2. What about We Beat the Streets, Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, Life in Prison by Stanley Tookie Williams for The Outsiders and maybe something about the Shakers, Jonestown or euthanasia for The Giver?

  3. Oh, maybe Life and Death: Medical Ethics of the Schiavo Case, Right to Die: Terri Schiavo, or a Kevorkian article or book? for The Giver.

  4. Ann Bausum's Unraveling Freedom?

  5. Our students do book clubs with a selection of fiction titles on the same topic (Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, Japanese Internment, growing up in other countries) at a variety of reading levels. I've created what I call electronic bins containing articles, cartoons, links to short videos, sideshows, photos, and info graphics that support the book club topic and have posted them on my school website. The electronic bins provide a variety of non-fiction in a variety iof formats and are accessible to students across a broad range of reading levels. They can be easily updated so they stay current and a accessible from any Internet connected device. Chris Gustafson, Whitman Middle School, Seattle

  6. Karen, I"m working on something similar at my school. It would help to know how the teacher is using The Giver/The Outsiders. What subjects are they delving into? Utopia/Dystopia? Euthanasia? Societal Norms? Do they care?

    Also, how are you defining narrative nonfiction? That's been an issue for us....