Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Nuff Read: The Kite Runner

The summer assignment for The Kite Runner.
As a teacher, sometimes I am instructed (translation: directed) to teach certain books that, though I can see their merit, fail to capture my fancy and become a chore to read. Fortunately, that was not the case with the first required Advanced Placement Literature and Composition reading of the summer, one assigned by the other AP English 12 teacher, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Like many, I saw the movie adaptation released many years ago, and while I enjoyed it, there was little to motivate me to read the book following its conclusion. Now, a few years removed from that initial impression, and seeking to set a good example for my students in September, I hunkered down to read the book for myself.

I am very glad to report that The Kite Runner is an incredibly engrossing book that I struggled to put down. Two days later, having completed it, I find myself looking forward to reading the essay outlines that students will prepare in responses to the prompt above. (Students enrolled in AP Literature and Composition were given he assignment prior to summer break.) I also am curious to see which of the characters each student will choose to analyze in light of the prompt that requires them to "choose a character... who must contend with some aspect of the past, either personal or societal."

Because the characters in the book are much more well developed, I am curious to see if everyone makes the most obvious choice of either Amir and Hassan. The book develops more fully a number of characters who were either absent or underdeveloped in the film version. This will allow for a wider variety of choices--should students choose to accept the more challenging options. Ultimately, it would be a shame to appear as though one is relying on the motion picture rather than the book for information, wouldn't it?

Certainly the requirement of including "Quotations along with page numbers... in the outline," will insure that such short cuts are not taken--something I am confident the solid students I have worked with in the past would not do!

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