Why Do We Read?

Google Doc:  How To Read A Book

Blogger John Michael Morgan has a very utilitarian view of reading. He reads a lot. He reads with a purpose. I wonder how students would respond to his advice and his sense of purpose when he reads?
I suspect he might speak to / for a number of our students, but I’d also hope some students would be able to present an alternative point of view.

Getting to Know Your Students

ESPN 6 Things You Should Know About…

Here’s a text form that might engage your students and provide them with a platform to introduce themselves to you.  ESPN Magazine runs an occasional feature that presents the essential “things” you need to know in order to understand a person.  The link is a collection of articles featuring:

  • Carlos “Pablo” Cosby, Bodyguard for Terrell Owens
  • Norm Chryst, 24-year tennis tournament umpire
  • Jill Craybas, currently 63rd on the WTA Tour
  • Tom “Tsquared” Taylor, a professional video game player

Reading and Writing

A great blog posting about what an aspiring writer has learned from her reading…


“I write every day and I read every day, because Stephen King said to do so in his book On Writing. I used to not allow myself read fiction, I used to read books about writing. I thought reading a lot of fiction was a waste of time. I was wrong, very very wrong. So I’ve abandoned reading books about writing (King’s On Writing being the exception), and started reading novels exclusively. And, you know what? I’m learning more about writing by reading actual fiction! The more different books by different authors I read, the more I start seeing patterns everywhere – in story, dialogue, beginnings, endings, character development, descriptions, plot, you name it.”

Become a better writer by reading…

Great new text for grades 9/10

The Fault in our Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
— amazon.ca

John Green on interpreting novels:

Q. Is there a reason you choose to say “books belong to their readers,” rather than tie up loose ends outside of the book? J.K. Rowling recently came out with a statement about the futures of all of her characters; do you expand on your characters in that sense?
A. I don’t think it’s the author’s place to tell readers what happens to characters outside the text of a novel, because I don’t think the characters (in an extra-textual way, at least) belong to the writer. An author can talk about his/her own reading of the story, or her intentions, but his/her “opinion” on extra-textual matters is irrelevant.
(So I would argue that J. K. Rowling saying that Dumbledore was gay does not make Dumbledore any more or less gay than he already was. It’s easy to read the novels thinking Dumbledore is gay; I suppose it’s also possible to read the novels thinking he isn’t. But all that matters is the text. The only authoritative source for the Harry Potter novels is the text of the Harry Potter novels, and if J. K. Rowling announced tomorrow that Hermione was actually a Jedi Knight who time-traveled to Hogwarts from the Star Wars universe, it would not in any way change the novels or Hermione.)
I realize that many of you disagree with me about this, and that’s fine. Together, we decide what books are, how to read them, and whose voice counts. But I’ve thought pretty hard about this stuff for a fairly long time, and you’re very unlikely to convince me to “reveal” something, particularly something that I literally do not think can be revealed.