I’ve been hearing good things about the new book by Diane and Michael Ravitch, The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know. Teacher and ex-blogger Ron Isaac writes:
This book … is a scrupulous selection of inspired thought and passion as codified in the immortal conveyance of the English language. It is not limited to literature, strictly speaking. It embraces the great legacy of written speech and does not propagandize or promote literary or political trends of thought for their own sake. Michael and Diane Ravitch, who is the greatest personality in contemporary American education and the chief moral force behind reverence for the genius of tradition, have included some of the huge talents of English literature who are in danger of being forgotten because of the new and morbidly relaxed priorities of schools: Carlyle,George Herbert, Carlyle, Spenser, etc. Unlike the books that insinuate themselves into typical classroom “libraries,” picked for political correctness but usually lacking literary merit,the specimens chosen by Michael and Diane Ravitch do true honor to the dignity of the great issues of the day, such as feminism. For example, instead of having quotes from Oprah Winfrey or Barbara Streisand represent the feminist current of thought, they have Virginia Woolf and E. Pankhurst, the brilliant British sufragette activist and orator. As an English teacher who is distressed to witness the slipping away of expressive power and with it the authority of history and the human heart, I plead with all the folks reading this review to secure this precious book for yourselves and to work hard to prevail upon school boards and other educational decision makers to use it to provide critical learning nutrition to a starved generation.
The book has its own blog.
Of course, your holiday happiness won’t be complete without a copy of my charter school book, Our School. Click the link to order from Amazon or e-mail me at joanne at joannejacobs dot com for an autographed copy, which costs $22, including shipping.