Life in High School

partimeindianpub.jpgThe Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian

From having an enormous head that earns him the nickname of “Orbit” to wearing glasses the size of plates, Native American teenager Arnold Spirit faces many obstacles. More challenging, however, is his life on the Indian reservation where no one is expected to achieve anything but a life of poverty and alcoholism. Arnold startles everyone with his decision to attend the rich, all-white high school 24 miles away. Leaving the reservation makes him an outcast in his community and an outcast in his new school. Arnold must test the strength of his determination to have a better life.

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007.


You are walking in the hall in between classes minding your own business. You hear someone say she is going to beat up someone else. What do you do with this piece of information?
  1. Do share this gossip with your friends?
  2. Do you tell the victim, who has no clue?
  3. Do you say something to the aggressor, who is angry and large enough to pulverize anyone into a million pieces?
  4. Do you try and find out if the victim deserves to get beat up?
  5. Do you say something to a teacher or administrator?
Jumped revolves around a single day in high school and the issue of “snitching.” Find out what happens to three characters who play a part in a tragic situation. What would you do?

Williams Garcia, Rita. Jumped. New York: HarperCollins Publishing, 2009.

keeshashouse.jpgKeesha's Houseexternal image moz-screenshot-5.png

Stephie is pregnant. Jason is the father, and could have a promising future in college.
Dontay lives with a foster family while his family is in prison.
Carmen sits in a juvie detention center after being arrested for driving while drunk.
Harris lives in his car after he told his father he was gay, and his father kicked him out.
Katie is on her own because he mother fails to acknowledge that her stepfather is abusing her.
Six teens tackle very some very difficult situations.

Frost, Helen. Keesha's House. Canada: Douglas & McIntrye, Ltd., 2005.

oneofthesurvsimonschust.jpgOne of the Survivors

When a fire strikes Village Park High School, 24 students in the same freshman history class are dead. But two teens survived. They knew to get out of the class ahead of time. Questions, accusations and anger close in around the two friends who struggle to share the truth.

Shaw, Susan. One of the Survivors. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009.


Teenager Capricorn Anderson has never set foot in a school, never watched television, never tasted pizza and never had a friend because he has lived on a secluded farm with his “hippie” grandmother and been homeschooled. He also never experienced the meanness of others who relish mocking those who are different. When Capricorn’s grandmother must stay in the hospital for two months, Capricorn must attend public school and live with a “modern” family.

Unaware, he instantly becomes a target at school. Who will get “schooled’ the most -- Capricorn or the students he meets?

Korman, Gordon. Schooled. New York: Disney Book Group, 2007.


The Sledding Hill

Eddie finds his father and best friend Billy dead within weeks of each other. Yeah, freshman year looks like it's going to suck, and
it gets even stranger when Billy tries to communicate with Eddie. As Eddie struggles with what he has lost, he begins to realize all that lies ahead of him as he engages in a battle that involves standing up for what's right even when everyone thinks he is wrong.

Crutcher, Chris. The Sledding Hill. New York: HarperCollins Publishing, 2005.

13reasonsfrompublisher.jpgThirteen Reasons Why

“I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.”

Hannah Baker killed herself two weeks ago, but her voice haunts Clay in the form of seven audio tapes he receives in the mail. Along with a map. Using the tapes and map, Clay uncovers the events that led to Hannah taking her own life. He realizes how powerful a first kiss, a single rumor and a simple joke can be.

Asher, Jay. Thirteen Reasons Why. New York: Penguin Books, Ltd., 2007.