stephanie jones

Rich read aloud chapter books/working-class stories by Barbara O’Connor

In communities, families, family-school relations, fiction, great books, poverty, professional development resources, social class, teacher education, teacher education resources, teaching reading on July 20, 2008 at 9:40 pm

I discovered Barbara O’Connor this summer and have zipped through three of her young adult short novels – all of which I would read aloud to children in the early grades. Hayden loved Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia and Taking Care of Moses and I read Moonpie and Ivy on my own (reading aloud takes so much longer than reading to myself…). Each of these three books are richly contextualized in the daily lives of working-class and poor characters while none of them are overtly about social class. You won’t find the more typical “overcoming adversity” stories here, but rather nuanced narratives of love, desire, loss, grief, anxiety, anger, friendship, and all the other complexities of living as humans. Hayden and I love the characters – it’s rare to find a book for children with tattooed big-hearted men, aluminum-can collecting dads, or mothers who have reached their mothering limits within a context where everything costs more money than she has and no one nearby can help much. But such characters fill the pages of O’Connor’s stories, and I have enjoyed them immensely. I’ll likely seek out her other books as well…

  1. […] So, much gratitude to Stephanie Jones who is on the hunt for exactly such books and seems to be hitting paydirt. […]

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