Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Reading sentence

Came across the following article this morning:  A judge 'sentencing' a bunch of kids with a 'reading list' rather than a normal custodial sentence.
The sentence I gave was harsher than what they would normally have received. Normally it would just be probation which would mean checking in with a probation officer once a month and maybe a few hours of community service and writing a letter to say sorry. Here they had to write 12 assignments and a 3,500-word essay on racial hatred and symbols in the context of what they'd done… It was a lot of work. (Alejandra Rueda, the judge, who drew up the list of 35 books). 
Children learn fast.  And depending on what they are taught, they become that!  Teach them to share and care, to value life and respect everyone, they become exactly that.  And teaching does not mean a classroom mode of lecture.  It is about helping them learn and form convictions for life.

And here's a list of the 12 (of the 35) books the teenagers were told to read and write about, one per month:

  1. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
  2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
  3. The Tortilla Curtain - T C Boyle
  4. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. 12 Years a Slave - Solomon Northup
  7. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
  8. Cry the Beloved Country - Alan Paton
  9. My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok
  10. Exodus - Leon Uris
  11. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  12. Night - Elie Wiesel

Feel a bit guilty and ashamed to state that I've read only 2 of these!  

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