I am going to be teaching an ARCHES class starting, let's see....TOMORROW. We're beginning a reading club ofr the sixth, seventh and eighth grade members of the group and the first book we're going to tackle is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The study guides are all prepared and every ARCHES middle schooler who wants to participate in the class has been instructed to obtain a copy of the novel and bring it along.
I chose this book as our first because it is so appealing. I read the first two chapters yesterday and hooted my way through them. Tom's character is so vivid from about the second page of the book that you feel like he's standing right next to you, offering you a paint brush. In all the classic novels that school kids are supposed to read, this is one of the best, in my opinion.
If I were to judge by the narrow-eyed wariness displayed by my own two middle-schoolers (one of whom is whining her merry way through The Yearling), I'd say that poor Tom may not have a chance. I hope these grumpy little boogerheads will appreciate his worth, but just like Aunt Polly, I'm feeling somewhat dubious.
Maybe I ought to threaten them with Chekov or Tolstoy for the second piece of fiction [writer emits Vincent Price-style chuckle] That'll learn 'em.
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6 months ago