I’m the middle child in a series of three sisters, and while I don’t know what it’s like to be a twin, I can certainly relate to the sibling relationships that Katherine Paterson and Sundee T. Frazier have depicted in their middle grade books. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who you are when you feel like you’ve been defined by your siblings for so long. Paterson won the Newberry Award in 1981 with Jacob Have I Loved, and Frazier’s 2010 novel, The Other Half of My Heart, offers diversity to the familiar tale of two sisters. Below is background information, contextual information, reading strategies, discussion questions, activities, and resources to be used for a unit on these two novels. I hope students and teachers alike can find fruitful conversation (and maybe even themselves) in these novels.
Banned Books Week 2018 was September 23 through September 29. The annual event, hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, celebrates the freedom to read and raises awareness of literary censorship in schools and libraries across the globe. This fall, as the president of my university’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society, I helped organize banned books weeks events on campus. I also used my position as assistant culture editor at the K-State Collegian for good and coordinated a series of banned book reviews to be published in print and online over the course of the week. Here are some of the highlights of our efforts: