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Teaching a book unit this year? It's a best practice to supplement book units with short passages from a variety of different genres. These reading passages were handpicked by master teachers to supplement your book unit. They provide essential background information and can help spark discussions around common themes.
The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Edition: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005
Partially inspired by Plath’s experiences with depression, The Bell Jar follows the emotional breakdown of Esther Greenwood, a promising college student who cannot reconcile her desires with American conventions during the 1950s-1960s.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Author: Mark Haddon
Edition: First Vintage Contemporaries, 2004
Christopher Boone sets out to investigate the suspicious death of his neighbor’s dog but discovers more about his own family mysteries. Along the way, readers learn about the complex beauty of autistic thinkers.
Author: Laurence Yep
Edition: Harper Trophy 25th Anniversary, 2000
Moon Shadow is eight years old when he sails from the Middle Kingdom (China) to the land of the Golden Mountain (America) where he meets his father, Windrider, for the first time. In San Francisco, Moon Shadow and his father endure racist abuse from the natives, as well as derision from their fellow countrymen as they work to make their dreams come true.
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Author: ZZ Packer
Edition: First Riverhead Trade Paperback, 2004
In this collection of short stories ZZ Packer introduces us to a range of different perspectives, from Brownie Troops out to seek retribution, to a father and son who bicker on their way to the Million Man March.
Eight Days: A Story of Haiti
Author: Edwidge Danticat
Edition: Orchard Books, 2010
In this tale, for young readers, award-winning Edwidge Danticat tells the story of Junior, a seven-year-old boy trapped beneath his house after the Port-au-Prince earthquake and his rescue. While trapped during the earthquake, Junior calls on his imagination and the love he has for his friends and his family to help him find the strength to survive.
The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edition: Scribner Trade Paperback, 2004
Nick Carraway observes the wasteful lives of four wealthy acquaintances in the nouveau riche society of West Egg, Long Island. During his time there Carraway befriends his affluent and enigmatic neighbor, Jay Gatsby.