Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Ballad of Jesse Pearl and its Curriculum Guide (Shannon Hitchcock)

It is my distinct pleasure to showcase the debut upper middle grade novel, The Ballad of Jesse Pearl, written by my friend and colleague,  Shannon Hitchcock.  It was published by namelos.The book was illustrated by Timothy Decker.

To me, Jesse Pearl is a haunting slice of time set in rural North Carolina almost one hundred years ago.  It tells the story of a young girl who must grow up way too fast, when, in fact, she is emerging from childhood herself.

In Jesse's own words:

 Sometimes when the kerosene lamp casts shadows, I think I see Ma’s ghost. If she were still alive, she’d say, Jessie Pearl, you keep on studying. Not everybody is cut out to be a farm wife. We’ll find a way to pay for teachers’ college. Leave your Pa to me.

A marvelous read for kids? A growth experience as well?  A piece of American history to absorb?  All that and more.  And those three questions answer why a curriculum guide is so beneficial, particularly to a historical fiction novel.  

The curriculum guide, (prepared by Debbie Gonzalas) that accompanies Jesse Pearl helps students achieve so much and adds a rich dimension to the book.  Why a curriculum guide one may ask?  Several reasons.

A good curriculum guide lists core standards.  These legitimize the study process itself and gives skills to be achieved.

A curriculum guide may act as an outline of important events for students to assimilate.

The guide will provide seminal discussion questions, hopefully using the Socratic Method--one question leading to another and so on.  

The guide may give one or more activities for students to do.  It may give examples of songs, poetry or other artifacts or examples of the times.

And the curriculum guide for The Ballad of Jesse Pearl?  It contains all of the above, including a rich array of activities.  It is thorough, thoughtful, direct and multi-leveled.  An excellent novel with a first-rate curriculum guide.  A winning combination for your young person, and for you...It can be found at:
 Have a look for yourself!

Brava, Shannon!

No comments:

Post a Comment