YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2015/2016



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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli


YAL Presenter Unit 2015/2016

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2015, CCSS, Common Core State Standards
Unit Created by: Kat Tigges and Molly Kelly, Chicago Public Library


YAL Conference Workshop Description
Save the Drama for Your Mama: Social Media and Online Ethics
Kat Tigges and Molly Kelly, Chicago Public Library, Presenters

Sixteen-year-old Simon Spier hasn’t come out—not to his friends or family, and certainly not at school. The only exception is his online pen pal, Blue, an anonymous classmate who is in the same situation. When one of Simon’s schoolmates discovers their correspondence and uses it to blackmail Simon, things get even more complicated. Can Simon juggle his role in the school play, friendships old and new, and keep the blackmailer at bay without messing things up with the perfect guy (who he’s never even met)? This humorous and heartwarming story explores the LGBTQ teen experience through Simon’s genuine, believable voice, touching on themes of coming out, coming of age, privacy, bullying, and stigma.

This book is particularly relevant in English and Drama classrooms, though it could be adapted for any classroom discussion of behavior, ethics, diversity, and/or tolerance. As teens increasingly interact with their peers online and through social media, the use and misuse of internet platforms is a topic of heightened importance. In this workshop, we’ll examine this theme within the text, engage in replicable hands-on activities, and explore resources for further consideration with special attention to LGBTQ issues.

Workshop Description for YAL 2015