Great Reads for Junior/Intermediate Students
Eric Walters had just come to our school to share with us his experiences as well as his novels. Each of his novels takes students to different places throughout the world to discover different things about the characters as well as forces them to think about themselves and if they can see themselves as characters in the novels!
Between Heaven and Earth
DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything – sports, school, looking after his fatherless family – so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck with the first ever female porter. Forced to go polepole (slowly), DJ finds out the hard way that youth, fitness level and drive have nothing to do with success on the mountain – or in life.
Great Novels for students to read for virtues, social juctice, language, history and geography!
We All Fall Down
Today is September 10, 2001, and Will, a grade nine student, is spending the day at his father’s workplace tomorrow. As part of a school assignment, all the students in his class will be going to their parents tomorrow, but Will isn’t excited about it–he’d rather sleep in and do nothing with his friends. His father doesn’t even have an exciting job like his best friend James’s father who is a fireman. Will’s dad works for an international trading company and has to wake up early every morning to commute to his office on the eighty-fifth floor in the south building of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Will doesn’t see his father very often because of the hours he puts in at the office. He doubts that his dad will bother making time for him tomorrow even when they are supposed to be spending the day together.
Between Heaven and Earth
One boys quest for determination and peace. Book takes place in Tanzania.
We all Fall Down
Courage and strength like no other. Book takes place in New York City.
Standing up for what you believe in and defending others who are considered nothing within their society. Discussion on social justice and treatment of people in underdeveloped countries.
The principal announces that the school is implementing uniforms, and Ian finds himself caught in a conflict. His friend Julia wants him to devise a plan to fight the decision, and the principal is determined to convince Ian the uniforms are a good idea. Ian wants nothing to do with the issue. While doing research for a social-justice class, he learns that the manufacturer of the uniforms is on the top-ten list for human-rights violations. When he tells the principal this, all he gets is a reminder that the penalty for refusing to wear the uniforms is suspension, and Ian finds himself caught in a whole new conflict -- one with himself.
Great books to help students to understand cultural norms/perspectives and realize the courage they need to make a difference!
Between Heaven And Earth
We All Fall Down Book Trailer
Author Eric Walters uses BRANDED to raise awareness of a terrible social issue. Sweatshops are the subject of news broadcasts and articles, but until the products of these companies touch us directly, we tend to turn a blind eye. Teens will be interested in watching Ian as he struggles to make sense of opposing views on the subject and how adults often preach one thing and then practice another.