stephanie jones

welfare brat by mary childers

In American Dream, classism, creativity, families, family-school relations, gender and education, great books, language, mothers, personal narratives, poverty, professional development resources, social class, teacher education resources, Uncategorized on August 1, 2008 at 3:03 am

I’ll be adding this book to my list of terrific reads that explore the complexities of social mobility through education. Childers’ memoir is beautifully written even when she’s writing about her teenage rage directed at her mother and painful realizations caught up in the tricky web woven between gratitude and desire, loyalty and resentment, love and fear, school and home. Some of the most insightful moments for educators might be in her writing about language use, clothing, and eye contact as she crosses the threshold into middle-class Manhattan to work as a teen and downplays desires to attend college to maintain peer relationships. Interchanges between Childers and her guidance counselor would also make for interesting dialogue, as well as the variety of ways her siblings experience mobility – and how sexuality, lies/truths, language, and relationships buttress such mobility.

Brava Childers!

  1. Hello my name is Milagro I just want to say that I am so very interested in reading this book. Reading this blog just hit me so close to home and I can relate to the section of the memoir when they speak personally about her rage towards her mother. I myself went through rage and actual hatred towards my mom for years and everything she mentions being caught in tricky web also hits me close to home. I can not wait to look for this book so that I may read more.

  2. Hi Milagro – thanks for stopping by! I’d love to know what you think of the book after you read it. It sounds like you and I may have some things in common…

    Have you checked out Jane VanGalen’s blog before? Click on “Education and Class” under my blogroll – and do check out Mike Rose’s site too if you don’t know that one.

    Hope to hear from you again soon!


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