I'm linking up with Jess at Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday, and this week's topic is Favorite Reading Group Book.
For me, the books that work best for my book clubs or literature circles are ones that are high-interest. They have to capture the attention of all students in the group, so they are invested in both the reading and discussion. I've had a lot more success in my classroom with book clubs versus literature circles, the biggest difference being that my book club groups have 100% control over which books they read.
This year, I think the favorite book for my students has been The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake, who happens to be one of my favorite authors. Her books are so relatable for middle schoolers who are in that stage where peers mean everything and insecurity is rampant. Maleeka, the main character, describes herself as, "the darkest, worse-dressed thing in school. I'm also the tallest, skinniest thing you ever seen."
It's a great book about bullying, peer pressure, body-image... it has it all!
And while I was browsing the Internet for an excerpt to share with you, I found this curriculum guide full of great discussion and writing prompts and other resources for using this book in the classroom.
And just so you can get a good sense of Maleeka's voice:
Up till now, I just took it. The name calling. The pushing and shoving and cheating off me. Then last week something happened. I was walking down the hall in one of Char's dresses, strutting my stuff, looking good. Then Char walked up to me and told me to take off her clothes. There was maybe eight or nine kids around when she said it, too, including Caleb. I thought she was kidding. She wasn't. So I went to the girls' room and put my own stuff back on. That's when I made up my mind. Enough is enough. I deserve better than for people to treat me any old way they want. But saying that is one thing, making it happen is something else.
If this book isn't in your classroom library, I highly recommend you add it. I have four copies myself!