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Narrative Nonfiction with Social Justice Themes Part II

Previously, I shared a list of nonfiction that tackles issues related to social justice. But there’s not shortage of narrative nonfiction with social justice themes, so today I’m back with even more resources for teens These titles include biographies and historical nonfiction, and cover issues ranging from the denial of basic human rights in foreign countries or rape on college campuses. These books aim to share this information,  but also include  storiesthat can inspire action.  

narrativenonfictionpartii

Every Falling Star:The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee (2016)

When is father loses his government job and abandons him, Lee struggles to survive with a gang of boys. This moving memoir showcases the hardships of life in North Korea In addition to fighting for basics like food and shelter, Lee and his family also live in fear of what would happen if they tried to escape the country. This book can serve as a jumping off point for discussions on basic human rights. 

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin (2015)

Steve Sheinkin writes narrative nonfiction for every reader and his award finalist is no different. This book chronicles the lives of  segregated sailors working the docks in Port Chicago when they were charged with mutiny for refusing to return to work after an explosion. Sheinkin addresses the prejudice in the military, where men and women served their country but were also fighting for basic rights. Continue reading Narrative Nonfiction with Social Justice Themes Part II

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Podcasts: Resources for Listening and Recording

It started with an addiction tothe Serial podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig created by those of This American Life. It was a true-crime story of the murder of a high school girl in 1999 in Baltimore. The presumed killer is her ex-boyfriend. Over the course of each episode, Koenig’s voice pulls listeners into the story, only to have to wait for the next installment. But it’s better than waiting a year or more for your favorite series book to come out. That’s the best part of podcasting, there can be a quicker turnaround than the process of publishing a book. And with the right tools, any teen can create a podcast and any youth services librarian can help with it. 

The addiction to Serial then led to the second season about Bowe Bergdahl and wanting to hear more. Sometimes there isn’t time to watch and listen, you just want to listen: while running, while doing a mundane task, while riding public transportation. So I wanted a place that was able to pull these podcasts together on my device, so I downloaded Stitcher, an app that provides “radio on demand”, allowing you to add podcastsmicrophone to your playlist, listening now or later, with my new favorite being The Moth Radio Hour, which has helped scientists map out the brain in this article by the LA Times. Others include Radiolab or iTunes or directly on sites where you can listen from your PC or  that provide the RSS like NPR.  

The suggestion like getting your feet wet with Twitter is that you lurk for a while. So queue up podcasts that interest you, whether it’s fitness tips from personal trainers to new TED talk topics, see what’s out there. Really listen to them. What do you like about the broadcast? Does it have some great theme music or does the person have a fantastic voice that is slow enough to understand? Does the podcast interview others or is it one person talking? Does it seem like it has a focus or is it unscripted? When I was listening, I would think about whether I could create a podcast and would anyone listen? What would I talk about? If you already know the answers to these questions, get started with your teens. It might be that you’re creating a new avenue for delivering school news and information and the podcast is created weekly by teen journalists. Or maybe your teen book group just finished reading dystopian novels and want to review their favorites. Continue reading Podcasts: Resources for Listening and Recording

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Adult Books for Young Adults: Psychology & Sociology

As teens become more self-aware and motivated to learn for job training or college preparations, there are some intelligently-researched self-help/psychology books designed to get readers thinking. So while many are targeted to adults, they’re absolutely useful for the inquiring teen.

nonfiction on psychology and sociology for teens

The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Duhigg shares the mechanisms through which humans form habits and by using examples of every day habits such as smoking or exercising and he automatically gets the readers attention. The book is useful to any teen looking to make a change, little or big, by understanding routine. Not brushing twice a day? It might change after this. Continue reading Adult Books for Young Adults: Psychology & Sociology

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Resources for Discussing Human Trafficking with Teens

The idea for this post came from watching the documentary Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America published in 2009 through Netflix. I was disturbed to say the least and then just a few short weeks later, I read E.R. Frank’s Dime (2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults) about a girl lured into the sex industry. Frank’s gripping portrayal of pimping and prostituting is vivid, unforgiving, and gut-wrenching. But how much do students know about sexual slavery and sex trafficking?

Polaris

Tenth grade students at the high school where I work do a unit on social justice. Their choices for a topic frequently center around sex trafficking because Patricia McCormick’s Sold is a part of their class reading. So what kinds of resources are available to help students learn about these topics, from the shocking statistics about its frequency in the United States, when so many shows, documentaries, and books focus on Asian countries? Continue reading Resources for Discussing Human Trafficking with Teens

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