Help this teacher expose her kids to some great young-adult science fiction

Image for article titled Help this teacher expose her kids to some great young-adult science fiction

Here's your worthy cause for the day. A junior high school teacher has put up a request for some funding to get her classroom new copies of Scott Westerfeld's classic young-adult dystopian novel Uglies — and all you have to do is go over to and vote for this project to be funded by the charities that support the site. (Which you can do once a day. Registration required.)


Mrs. Amador-Pirnie explains:

Imagine a class of 30 adolescents being expected to share a 5 year old set of 12 ratty paperbacks!

My 8th grade students are current and former English Language Learners, in a very large inner city school. They have very little experience reading Fantasy or Science Fiction, which is part of the reason why I like to expose them to great Young Adult literature like Scott Westerfeld's Uglies during a Utopia/Dystopia unit of study. After our discussions and analysis activities, and as the plot moves along, the majority of my students come to enjoy the book, and many go on to read the rest of the series. Once I get a sense of which aspects of this book most appealed to them, I am able to recommend other books to keep them reading.

Last year, my working around the lack of complete copies of Uglies took time and attention away from the reading, analysis, and discussion of it. I felt the time and resources I spent making copies or scanning pages for projecting on a screen were wasted. Having a fresh new copy of the book for each of us would eliminate the "mad dash" of students who bickered to get their own copy or had to move their seat closer to the screen in order to see. All of my students could independently practice close-reading strategies, as well as individually finding details in the text to support their ideas.

Your support in this project will allow me to focus more on my students' thinking and learning through this text, rather than focusing on the logistics of how they will all see it.

[via EC Myers on Twitter]



In high school, I generally hated English class. A bunch of boring books we had to read, and ridiculous bullshit writing assignments. The only times I did like English class were when we were reading sci-fi. 1984 was my favorite book I read for high school English, Brave New World was ok, and some of the short stories we read and their related assignments were kind of neat.

Then for my senior year, I had the chance to sign up for a Sci-Fi Literature class. Any other lit or English class I'd have passed on, but a sci-fi lit class had a chance to be really interesting for me. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to lack of interest (just like AP Stat the same year).

I really wish I could have taken that class, it might have been my favorite class in high school. I am so behind this teacher.