Weekend Pick for October 7, 2022
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Welcome to the first October Weekend Pick! I, Leilya, will be entertaining your reading buds this month. We will visit some books and young adult novels that my students and I have enjoyed together or individually. I will begin with my choices this week.
In the Teaching of Literature course, I include methods of teaching prose—fiction and nonfiction, poetry, and drama providing teacher candidates with additional strategies and activities for a specific genre of literature. Last and this week we devoted to nonfiction informational texts. I chose Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case (2003) by Chris Crowe.
This book is authored by our NCTE and ELATE colleague, educator, and writer Chris Crowe. I love telling my students about writers I met personally. The first time I met Chris was at the NCTE convention in 2012. By that time, I had heard a lot about him from Dr. Steven Bickmore. Later Chris came to the first YA Literature Summit at Louisiana State University, where he was one of the featured speakers.
Before I “grew up” to teach in college, Chris Crowe graciously agreed to talk to my ninth graders with special needs. For those who doesn't know him, Chris Crowe is a professor of English and English education at Brigham Young University specializing in young adult literature. In addition to his academic work, Crowe writes books for the young-adult audience.
It seems there were many American tragedies in the history of this country; however, the kidnapping and brutal murder of Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old Black boy from Chicago, IL, visiting relatives in Money, MS, during summer of 1955 holds a crucial place. It is one of the focal points leading to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. In detailed, document-based narration, Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case (2003), Chris Crowe examines Emmett Till's tragic case, following the trial, which regardless of getting into the national spotlight, acquitted both of his white murderers.
During class, I also introduced Crowe’s young adult novel Mississippi Trial, 1955 (2002), which is a fictional account of Emmett Till’s story from an adolescent protagonist's point of view. Both provide unique perspectives on this historic case and can be used in tandem during the conceptual teaching unit focused around the Civil Rights Movement, racial discrimination, or issues of social and criminal justice.
Till next weekend,