YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2013/2014



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by Amina Gautier


YAL Presenter Unit 2013/2014

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2014, CCSS, Common Core State Standards
Unit Created by: April Nauman and Durene Wheeler

What makes this a good YAL choice...

Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, Gautier’s short stories take us into the lives of African American teens in Brooklyn, facing the challenges commonly associated with ‘at risk” youth—racism, crime, drugs, broken families. But stereotypes end there. Each story is told with the heart-breaking dignity and complex emotions of individual young people making choices in painful situations their lives present. Movingly told, Gautier’s stories will stay with you for a very long time — Christine Johnson


YAL Conference Workshop Description
At Risk in Fiction and in Life: Imagination, Voice, Empowerment
April Nauman and Durene Wheeler, Presenters

Amina Gautier's At-Risk is a collection of short stories about "at-risk" African-American teenagers living in Brooklyn. Gautier's protagonists—some male, some female—find themselves in complicated situations. Feeling pushed in many directions, the adolescents in these tales must make compromises and choices as they work to make sense of their circumstances.

In our session, we will show how teachers can use these beautiful short stories as a platform for students' own storytelling, both orally and on paper. We are not focusing on personal narrative but on fiction writing, which allows students to create many versions of themselves, to gain perspective, and to imaginatively explore the many possible solutions to problems as well as the consequences of many possible actions. Imaginative storytelling enhances student literacy and addresses Common Core standards through increased vocabulary knowledge, critical thinking and analytical skills, close reading skills, text structure knowledge, and ability in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. — Workshop Description for YAL 2013