We’re Teaching Books That Don’t Stack Up, writes Nancy Schnog, a private school English teacher, in the Washington Post. High school reading lists ignore teens’ tastes and maturity levels, she writes. Students decide that literature is a bore.
It’s hard to forget my son’s summer-reading assignment the year before he entered ninth grade: Julia Alvarez’s “How the GarcÃa Girls Lost Their Accents.” Try as he did, he never got beyond the first of 15 vignettes about four culturally displaced sisters who search for identity through therapists and mental illness, men and sex, drugs and alcohol. I could hardly blame him. We ask 14-year-old boys to read novels about the travails of anguished women and want them to develop a love of reading?
Her male students beg for less emotions, more plot.