Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Common Core Cluster - COMING OF AGE


There is no more relevant topic for students today than growing up. Coming-of-age stories have been cornerstones of education for years. Often these stories, like To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye, become students' favorites. Common Core standards encourage the use of non-fiction alongside these classic literary staples, and HarperCollins has a rich backlist of non-fiction relating to the difficult time between childhood and adulthood. 

Guyland, Ophelia Speaks, The Beauty Myth, Coming of Age on Zoloft and The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager each offer a unique perspective on the difficult issues that arise in that time between childhood and adulthood. These thought-provoking books will make great additions to classroom discussions of literary classics like The Alchemist, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Bell Jar, Round House, A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Graveyard Book

Sample Discussion Questions

How do the male/female dynamics in each of the fiction titles reflect the ideals and issues represented in Ophelia Speaks and Guyland?

Many of the non-fiction titles discuss the role of society on shaping adolescents' sense of self, how can this be related to Bod's experience among ghosts in The Graveyard Book?

The Bell Jar was published in the early 60s, how do Esther's major conflicts relate to the more contemporary stories from Ophelia Speaks? What has changed in the past 40 years? What hasn't changed? 

Discuss how the role of the "teenager" has evolved over the course of history using The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager and any of the novels discussed. 

Discuss the role of parents as they are portrayed in the novels and in the non-fiction titles. 

Write a fictionalized scenario where one of the novel characters (Jem, Scout, Esther, Joe, Bod, Santiago, Owen or John) is faced with the present day issues discussed in the non-fiction titles.

To see more information on these titles and more visit our Common Core website!

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