por Shirley Jackson
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The Thief and His Mother
- 620-560 B.C.
Aesop was a slave and storyteller who was believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 B.C.E. This story about a boy and his immoral mother is part of his collection of tales known as “Aesop’s Fables,” which have been featured in children’s literature for centuries.Pair “The Thief and His Mother” with “Charles” and ask students to discuss how parents influence their children. How does the thief’s mother contribute to him turning into a thief? Do students think that Laurie’s parents have any influence on his actions? How do you think the interest that Laurie’s parents show in Charles affects Laurie?
- Julia Alvarez
In Julia Alvarez’s short story “Names/Nombres,” the author explores the various names she has received over the years.Pair “Names/Nombres” with “Charles” and ask students to discuss the significance of names in the two texts. How do the different names that the characters use comment on their identity? How does Laurie’s behavior compare to Charles’? How does Julia’s name vary throughout the text? What affect does this have on her identity?
Tuesday of the Other June
- Norma Fox Mazer
In Norma Fox Mazer’s short story “Tuesday of the Other June,” a young girl is bullied by another girl with the same name.Pair “Tuesday of the Other June” with “Charles” and ask students to discuss how June and Laurie both change throughout the two stories. How does June grow and become more confident? How does Laurie’s experimentation with good and bad behaviors shape his attempts to form an identity?
- Ishmael Beah
In “Unusual Normality,” Ishmael Beah describes his experience transitioning to life as an American teenager after living as a child soldier in Sierra Leone.Pair “Charles” with “Unusual Normality” and ask students to compare Charles’ mother with the parents of Ishmael Beah’s school peers in “Unusual Normality.” How can a person’s perspective affect the way they interpret a situation? What’s the difference between opinions and facts? What influences the way your perspective of a situation is formed?