Thursday, April 26, 2018 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Lindop students interview best-selling author Angie Thomas via Skype on April 24. | Photo submitted
A group of seventh- and eighth-grade students at Lindop School, 2400 18th Ave. in Broadview, were so inspired by a book that the school’s principal, Dr. Sonya Spaulding, arranged for students to interview the book’s author by Skype.
On April 24, the students gathered in Lindop’s library to interview author Angie Thomas, whose book, “The Hate U Give,” debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list last year and served as motivation for the school to form an all-girls book club.
Part of the reason for the book’s success is its relevancy (the story centers on the police-involved killing of an unarmed African American teenager).
Last year, the New York Times described Thomas as “a literary ambassador of sorts, visiting classrooms and […] advising would-be authors at BuzzFeed how to represent traditionally underrepresented figures.”
Thomas’s first tip? Do your homework.
“If you were writing a legal thriller but have no legal background,” she told the newspaper, “would you do some research? So why not do the same when approaching marginalized characters?”
The Skype interview with Lindop students, school officials pointed out in a statement, was the culmination of a pilot initiative to increase students’ “affinity for reading with culturally relevant books and book clubs.”
Lindop book club students hold up “The Hate U Give” and the “Rose That Grew From Concrete” on April 24. | Photo submitted
The initiative, officials stated, was the result of a conversation between Spaulding and Jessica Lyons, of NWEA — an education nonprofit based in Portland, Ore. — while the nonprofit was reviewing reading assessment data and exploring ways to inspire a love of literature among Lindop students.
“The two Chicagoland women focused on the importance of students reading materials that are relatable to their lives and in which they could ‘see themselves,'” according to a statement.
“The first book club of all girls has been so popular that the school is developing an all boys book club to launch next month,” officials noted, adding that NWEA’s leadership was so taken by the students’ enthusiasm that they donated the book club’s next books: “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone and “The Rose That Grew from Concrete” by Tupac Shakur. VFP
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