I've been reading With Rigor for All: Meeting Common Core Standards for Reading Literature. I feel like I could've written the book (if I'd ever had my act together) as Jago says things that I either do in my classroom or believe. In one of these instances she talks about the importance of reading literature true, but she also talks about the joys of re-reading.
One of my favorite quotes:
"Books ask readers to look inward, to examine our beliefs in light of new information, to consider the world through different eyes, to take time for reverie and reflection."
After reading that don't you want to just reread every book you've ever read as just the act of reading has made you look at the themes, characters and life in generally differently.
I'm looking at this series in two ways 1] as a piece of nostalgia and 2] as a how-to manual of sorts. I'll be talking about each book in this manner.
Class of '88 Sophomore
I know that the first book in this series can be seen as the exposition and really reading again I felt like a lot of 'action' didn't necessarily happen. The second book in the series adds some of that rising action. Denying his feelings for Meg, Nick dates a lot of shallow girls. Whitney Hahn shows her true colors and not soon enough. Celia finally finds a guy who isn't all looks and he's actually more than she can handle. Allie has LP and art and a new life, but she's still mourning the loss of her best friend. Meg has buried herself in school, only to find Nick show up at the most awkward of times. And, Sean realizes that part of growing up may mean that you have to leave behind those people who don't want to see you for who you are.
As A Piece of Nostalgia
This is my favorite of the four books as I remember my sophomore year being as confusing as this. Again, I remember not liking Ceci, especially after how she treats her boyfriend. I also remember part of me understanding the part of her that wanted to do anything to be popular. In 6th grade, I remember, very vividly, not being nice to people only having to apologize for my behavior later. The fact the Celia wants to be so popular seems ridiculous now, however, and she's even more annoying than she was the first time around. Her boyfriend is definitely too good for her. Allie is pretty annoying, as well. Her neediness and need to define herself through others, however, also rings a little true. I like how these three girls are written in such a way that it's easy to see myself in each of them.
As A How to Manual
I teach sophomores so it was fun to read this book with them in mind. I simultaneously thought of my students 20 years younger than me and of the first time I read this book. These five characters will always seem older than me, even though I have surpassed them. I wonder where they are now. I wonder where my students will be in 20 years and if they'll remember their sophomore year at all.