Saturday, December 22, 2012

Romeo & Juliet

Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare)Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another year, another reading of Romeo & Juliet – this year, I was struck by how wise Benvolio is, how misguided Romeo and Juliet are in thinking they must have love or die, and how unromantic this story actually is. I loved teaching this play to a new batch of freshmen and hearing their incredulity over things that happen throughout the story. If you’ve never read it, it’s a must read – so much of our understanding of love and loss comes from Shakespeare’s portrayal of them both.

ps. I did not use the No Fear version this year with my classes and liked it infinitely better.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Night  Night by Elie Wiesel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elie Wiesel lives his philosophy that it is our duty not to remain silent while injustice still exists. Teaching Night is my way of speaking out – of showing a new set of teenagers the potential mankind has for great kindness and exceptional hatred – and that ultimately it’s up to them to decide whether they will speak out on behalf others and whether they will remember the lessons that history has already taught us. I love this book and Elie’s voice. It’s haunting and authentic. If you haven’t read this book, I have three copies – come borrow one today....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

To Tide You Over

I compulsively check two blogs every day. It seems nine out of the ten times I check there is not a new update, which just means that these two women are busy being fabulous. It occurred to me that I am equally guilty, not of being fabulous, but of not updating, and so to tide my couple regular readers, here's a picture of my favorite boy in the whole world. He's on his way to New York and has no idea that he's so well travelled at only eight months. I miss him and his little laugh and can't wait to squeeze his chubby cheeks next time I see him. Hope your December has been merry and bright so far. Happy Christmas!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western FrontAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It would be unfair if I said every word of every page of Remarque’s classic book, but I did finally wade through this tragic tale of boys sent to write at the front during World War I. My students responded better to the plot and characters than I expected, and I was deeply moved by Remarque’s message. I still don’t think it’s the best choice for sophomores in high school in 2012, but I learned a lot and more than anything, I now want to teach a semester or year based on war literature.