Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Using Required Reading to Advantage

One of the primary hazards of secondary education is the dreaded Required Reading assignment. (I capitalized to emphasize its importance in the category of dreads.) Why? Because books in that category are usually dreadful, at least to the typical adolescent.  I know this remark will possibly might cause someone an occasion to mount her plus-size equine; but I'm taking the point of view of the typical teen. (I was one not long ago.)

Consider these worthies: The Catcher in the Rye, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Don Quijote, Billy Budd, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Only one of those is likely to be enjoyed, unless oversold like some teachers try to do. Anyway, the dreaded word aside, some teens decided to turn this to an advantage.

Most of them liked to read books that were not classified as YA! So Bernice, Heather, Cynthia, Marie, and Laura talked about how to get away with it and yet read what they wanted in the comfort of their bedrooms without parental control or intervention.

Bernice started off with a low-risk racy book: The Decameron. Well, it had some racy parts, kind of like The Canterbury Tales, but innocuous parts as well. As she plowed through it, Bernice took the precaution of preparing a few notes to go with what she might have been reading, leaving the good stuff off the page! She told her friends about this improvement, and they too incorporation a few dummy pages of notes to make their light reading look like they were doing serious homework. Since Bocaccio is not currently on the NY Times' Best Seller list, she got away with it!

Marie always wanted to read The Trouble With Honor (by Julia London). And the title of this torrid regency romance did pass for a serious, school assignment-worthy book particularly with the accompanied notes. Heather, who took French, improved her French by reading Bonjour Tristesse. Laura read Peyton Place, explaining the assignment as one involving tracing the history of American literature.

Poor Cynthia got caught by her Mama. She chose Fifty Shades of Gray to read for enjoyment, and that was going too far, even with the dummy pages of notes to make it seem legit! She failed to take into account that her mother also had the book in her bedside drawer and was familiar with the explicit content! 



10 comments:

Linda Kay said...

50 shades...so funny. When it first came out, I had a friend who took it with her on a plane trip and covered it with something the entire way. I read the series, and as a writer was so amazed that someone could write it and get it published. I'm not racy enough!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

The Trouble with Honor was really good, and I agree, most required reading sucks. I still have nightmares about Moby Dick.

Cloudia said...

Thanks Angel!

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

The Trouble with Honor was a 4-star great read! Not for my daughter tho.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Oh, this brings back memories of trying to get through those required reading lists! I was a pro at speed reading those while I was really reading Madame Bovary and Moll Flanders, although I did enjoy Catcher in the Rye!

John Hill said...

Required reading! Ugh!
Even worse for the guys...

Big Sky Heidi said...

I liked TKAM, so there! But most required reading is like a suppository.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

We used to call the book Great Expectorations. It was a snorefest.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I made my own book covers from brown paper bags. Ah - the good old days before going green!

Sinner Bob said...

Amusing.