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Relevance to Students: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

  • "I'm not Chinese, so why is this book important to me?"
  • It may help you answer/reflect on questions such as the following:
    • Where is your family from originally (what country/countries; what part of the United States)? How and why did your family come to the place where you now live?
    • What aspects of your family's culture do you still use (celebrations, language, food, religious traditions)? What have you adapted? What has been lost?
    • Have you ever had difficulties in translation within your family? What kinds and why? This may occur even if everyone in your family speaks the same language.
    • Do your expectations for your life differ from your parents' expectations for you?

Relevance to Students: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

  • "I'm not Mexican-American, so why should I read this book?"
  • Have you ever hoped to escape the surroundings in which you were brought up?
  • Have you ever felt sexually exploited? (Recent research shows that 1 in 5 adolescent girls has felt sexual pressure/abuse from a boyfriend.)
  • Have you ever vowed to fulfill your dreams even when you see others falling back on theirs?
  • Have you ever seen your parents work so hard that they were too tired to pay attention to you?

Relevance to Students -- When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

  • “I'm not Puerto Rican, so why would I want to read this book?
  • Have you ever had to deal with mean or unfair teachers who judged you before getting to know you?
  • Have you ever had difficulty mastering a skill in one of your classes?
  • Have you ever questioned your beliefs?
  • Have you ever had to spend a week or more with a relative you hardly knew?
  • Have you ever had to cope with the death of a grandparents?
  • Have you ever had to go to a new school where the teachers and students did not welcome you with open arms?
  • Have people ever called you names because of where you live, what you look like, how you dress, or how you speak?
  • Have you ever enjoyed the forbidden fruit of overhearing adults gossiping about things they don't want you to know?
  • Do your parents work very hard because they want you to have a better life than they had?
  • Do your parents expect you to take care of your younger brothers or sisters, sometimes without regard to your needs?
  • Have your parents ever accused you of not living up to their expectations?
  • Have you ever cried because you heard your parents arguing?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you NEED to read these books!

To learn more about the influence of Global Literature on our global society, click on the links below:
Relevance | Lesson Plans | Resources | Results

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