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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Biographies/autobiographies/memoirs?

Biographies/autobiographies/memoirs?

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We are developing electives at my high school for next year, and I am looking at one that deals with biographies/autobiographies/memoirs. I teach in a VERY conservative district - these must be squeaky clean! I am having trouble finding anything that I think would be interesting for teenagers. Any ideas? THANK YOU!

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Ray Dorso's picture
Ray Dorso
Director of Special Services, New Milford School District

Elie Wiesel's Night would engage your students, however, since it is an account of the Holocaust, it is graphic.

Another option is Zlata's Diary, see description below:
From School Library Journal
YA-From September 1991 through October 1993, young Zlata Filipovic kept a diary. When she began it, she was 11 years old, concerned mostly with friends, school, piano lessons, MTV, and Madonna. As the diary ends, she has become used to constant bombing and snipers; severe shortages of food, water, and gas; and the end of a privileged adolescence in her native Sarajevo. Zlata has been described as the new Anne Frank. While the circumstances are somewhat similar, and Zlata is intelligent and observant, this diary lacks the compelling style and mature preceptions that gave Anne Frank's account such universality. The entire situation in the former Yugoslavia, however, is of such currency and concern that any first-person account, especially one such as this that speaks so directly to adolescents, is important and necessary. While not great literature, the narrative provides a vivid description of the ravages of war and its effect upon one young woman, and, as such, is valuable for today's YAs.
Susan H. Woodcock, King's Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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