Stay Gold (texts to accompany The Outsiders)

Thank you, Mary Stassen, for inspiring this text list!  As requested, you will find books, videos, and a Newsela text set to serve as additional resources when you read The Outsiders with your class.  When you can, buy your books at an independent bookstore.  Anderson’s Bookshop is one of my favorites!

 

Newsela.Com text Set “Stay Gold!

BOOKS WITH SIMILAR THEMES AND/OR DISCUSSION POINTS

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander      

Josh Bell is a baller and a twin brother.  He needs to sort out what he has in common with his brother and how he is different.  He also needs to face the medical issue going on with his dad.

 

Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess  

This novel-in-verse tells the story of Blade and his broken rock-n-roll family.  Blade grieves the loss of his mom and the shame of  his drug-addicted father by writing his own songs.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson 

Melinda is miserable at school.  Kids laugh at her and make it obvious that they are doing so.  They are still mad at her about something that happened over the summer.  As she struggles through each day, she is trying to heal.  She was the one who was hurt, but nobody will know until she finds her voice.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous 

This book is the diary of a high-school girl who Runs away from home, and gets mixed up with drugs.  At some points she seems like she has the world ahead of her.  Other times, she seems so lost . . .

 

Tyrell by Coe Booth  

Tyrell can’t get a break.  His mom is useless.  His dad is in jail.  He’s got a kid brother that needs too much from him, and a girlfriend that wants too much from him. All he wants is a place to live, and a new start.

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes   

Wesley doesn’t write the required essay for Mr. Ward’s class, but he writes a poem. This leads to an open mic poetry event every week in Mr. Ward’s class.  Girls and boys from different races, cultures, and circumstances open up to each other through their shared words.


Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes (Available February 2018)
In this companion/sequel to Bronx Masquerade, Darrin is a  budding news reporter.  He and Mr. Ward bring back open mic poetry and a new group of students learn about each other through shared vulnerability.

 

Joseph: A Novel by Sheila P. Moses  

Joseph is about to start at a new school.  The problem is, it’s hard to get to know anyone when you can’t talk about your life.  Joseph and his mom live in a homeless shelter, because she can’t keep a steady job with her drug and alcohol addictions.  Joseph is trying to figure out how to help her while he also tries to deal with his own life.

Bottled Up by Jaye Murray  

Pip is desperate to escape his life – he skips school, drinks, and gets high trying to escape.  When Pip gets in trouble at school,  the principal gives him an ultimatum:  See a counselor, or his dad will be called.  Pip will do ANYTHING to avoid his father, so he sees the counselor, who wants him to see what he’s doing to himself and to his little brother.

Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers   

Jimmy and Kevin could really use a guide to life.

Their activities almost land them in juvenile detention until Duke employs them in his Harlem barbershop. Duke has rules for everything. But is he offering good advice or just more aggravation?

Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers    

Lately everybody’s messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal’s brother Randy’s in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack.

All the gang jive–Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it’s the only way to “get money” for Randy’s appeal…

The story of twelve-year-old Jamal, whose life changes drastically when he acquires a gun.

 

I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets:
Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure
by Larry Smith

Based on Earnest Hemingway’s six-word-story, teens wrote their own six-word-memoirs—powerful, vulnerable, truth-telling memoirs.

 

Boot Camp by Todd Strasser   

After getting caught with drugs, fifteen year-old Garrett is sent to Lake Harmony, a disciplinary boot camp for troubled teens.  At the boot camp, Garrett is abused and controlled until he “obeys all orders immediately and without hesitation.”  Part of him wants to escape, and part of him is terrified to break any more rules.  Can he escape while he still has his own personality?

Teen Angst? Naaah… by Ted Vizzini  

Ned’s angsty teen memoirs can be read in order, or not.  Each chapter is complete and can  stand alone.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS 

Thug Notes: The Outsiders (Warning: Explicit Language)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJl3cEOpFH4

Gone With the Wind in 60 Seconds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIpNvvVN13Y

Bunnies: Gone With the Wind
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsOIn0IBAdA

Interview with S.E. Hinton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJnfleLeOZg

Robert Frost recites “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDPUdK2tcdA

Stop-Action Animation “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (Good For CCSS RL7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLYj1A5Z_t8

 

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NaPoWriMo – Day 3

Usually I try a variety of poetry styles during National Poetry Writing Month, so I feel kind of bad that I have two blackout poems in a row.  I couldn’t help it.  They are such fun.  Moreover, I have made everyone near and dear to me read Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  Letting such a beautiful book evoke a poem was inevitable.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 8.56.30 PM

National Poetry Writing Month

This was written on April 1, 2016

Ode to Kwame Alexander (aka Lemme ShakeYour Hand, Sir)

Oh, Kwame—

With your wonder words—

Laying lines of rhyme,

Preying on prepositions in their prime:

Outside the cage,

‘Round with rage

With, or without, wage,

Down

the

page.

 

Within the winsome,

Surrounding the sweetness,

Hanging with the hope.

 

Throw me a challenge.

Amuse me with your musing.

Confuse me until I see.

Wind me up with wondering.

 

Word to your words.

 

Beautiful Anticipation

There is a wonderful reason that I must wait three more days to read All American Boys: A Novel by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.  You see, back in July, I met Jason Reynolds at ILA.  He gave me an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of All American Boys, and I had it at the very top of my Read-Soon-Pile.  Shortly after my return from ILA, a former student visited.  This particular former student had been a non-reader merely a year ago.  Within the last year he discovered his favorite genre (YA-realistic fiction) and read every book that I put into his hands during the school year.  Over the summer, he continued to read, and would visit periodically to borrow more books.  Summer was coming to an end, and he had just dropped by to return a book that he had longer than he usually kept a book.  “Mrs. Hoffman, sorry I had this so long.  My dad read it too.” he said to me.  My mouth dropped open, touched that this former non-reader had become such the reader that he was bonding with his dad over a book.  In my moment of sappy thoughts of changing the world through family literacy, I became weak and placed my signed ARC of All America Boys into his open hand.  “Fred*,” I said to him “I am letting you read this before I read it.  This is a very important book.  Read it, and get it back to me so that I can read it.”

Weeks passed, and the school year started.  Fred is now in a different hallway at school, so I don’t see him too often, but when I do see him, I ask “Where’s my book?  Are you bringing it back?”  I get a nod, a mumble, a response that really isn’t a response, but I don’t get the book.  I start to worry.  It is a very important book that I need to read.
Two days ago, I was visited by three other boys (all three are friends with Fred, all three are struggling readers).  We talked for a few minutes.  I listened to their stories about summer break, and how the school year was going so far.  When they finally started to head out, one of them mentioned that they were headed to Fred’s house.  Right away I jumped in with “Hey, when you see him, would you tell him that I asked about getting my book back.  I really want to read it before it comes out.  It’s available in bookstores on September 29th, but I want to read it beforehand.  Can you ask him?”  All three boys exchanged glances, shuffled their feet, and shrugged their shoulders.  My heart sank, and I pleaded “C’mon, guys.  You know about the book?  Did something bad happen to it?  Am I not getting it back?  Tell me.”

“You can tell her,” one of the boys nodded to another.  “Go ahead.”

“You can’t have the book back yet, Mrs. Hoffman.  Fred is reading it to us.  He is taking it very seriously.  He said it is an important book, and we are only about halfway through.”

I am relieved, I am a little choked up, and I am willing to wait until I can get my hands on another copy.  I have a feeling I will be buying several copies.  It is an important book.
all-american-boys-9781481463331_hr

*The student’s name has been changed.

Book Reviews – in verse

http://amzn.to/1iPcXea

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds (Double Tetractys)

Matt,

Grieving—

Missing mom,

Worried ’bout dad—

Finds employment and wisdom while working

For Mister Ray at his funeral home.

Mourning, truth, and

Friendship bring

Healing

Hope.