Celebrating authors as mentors and changes of heart
I have a student who has declared in writing on several occasions that he hates reading. Like books make him want to cry, that's how much he hates it. On Friday in English we were talking about fragments and run-ons and how they're always vilified in grammar textbooks and made out to be this Bad Thing yet professional writers use them all the time. So we examined the first two chapters of Linda Urban's A Crooked Kind of Perfect and had a wonderful discussion about how Urban uses both fragments and run-ons effectively. Students really got what Urban was trying to do, creating rhythmic and musical language, whilst the main character, Zoe Elias, talked about her love of the piano. At the end of the discussion, the aforementioned student who hates books said in front of the whole class, "Do you have this book in your library?"
*Cue heavenly angel choir*
It's amazing what can happen to students' opinions of reading and writing when we give them authentic texts to read, emulate, and discuss.