Wasted

5 Nov

A few days ago one of my students stood up in the middle of silent reading time and blurted out, “Mrs. G, can I get Wasted?” She was referring to a book titled Wasted from the shelf, but that didn’t matter. I had a room full of fifteen year olds; it was all out laughter. She wanted to read the book after discussing it with her classmate who had been reading it.

My students have been reading books in groups and today the presented with their groups to the rest of the class about their book. They’ve been reading some really interesting stuff, many of the books are memoirs. We are also writing memoirs. One group read a memoir called Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet, an autistic savant. Other groups read Playing With Fire, Theo Fluery’s memoir; Night by Elie Wiesel; A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah; and, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher.

It is interesting to see my students’ passion for these books that allow them a glimpse into a life of another. It’s a glimpse into a life so vastly different from their own that it allows them to learn from the author’s mistakes, poor decisions and misfortune. This is the first time I’ve encouraged my students to read non-fiction of any substantial length, and I’m really glad I did. I think it has piqued the interest of students who might not necessarily enjoy fiction so much. It is awesome to see teenagers get excited about books.

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One Response to “Wasted”

  1. Leanne November 5, 2010 at 10:18 PM #

    It is awesome to see kids getting excited about books. I look forward to the day when my son does! Oh, he gets excited about me reading Harry Potter with him. But asking him to read for 20 minutes every day on his own is like pulling teeth. So hard for someone like me to relate to that! I became a teacher because I want to be part of getting kids excited about reading. Good for you, trying something new to facilitate that.

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