Monday, February 7, 2011


I read Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson over the weekend.  The first thing I noticed was the difference in the characters she focused on in this story.  Normally, Anderson's main characters are your average, everyday, middle-class teenagers.  In this story, she focuses on a high school in South Philly. 

Here, teenagers have all the usual teenage troubles.  Friendship, love, parent problems.  But it's all overlaid with a different dynamic.  Here, there is a struggle for survival.  How do you move beyond working for Chuck E Cheese?  How do you get out??

In this story, the characters are lucky.  They attend a high school that has "woken-up."  Adults there realize that success is not a given for their students.  They have a mantra: "the tassel is worth the hassle."  Amazing what simply acknowledging the struggles of your students can do to help them move through them.

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