Can you name a short story you read at high school? It’s probably easier to remember that ‘classic’ novel your teacher forced you to read (for weeks and weeks). I want to put the spotlight back on the short story.
As a secondary school student myself, years ago, I remember enjoying short stories and being baffled by others. Yet as a teacher, I am lucky if I teach one a year to each of my classes. My goal is to increase exposure to this literary form and encourage variety in a reading programme, eliminating the reliance on selecting the next trilogy (as good as it may be).
One of the joys of the short story, the bridesmaid to the novel (at least in profits), is that it is so much more accessible, if only you can locate one in your local library. More on that later. Short stories should appeal to the slow reader, the indecisive reader, and those not willing to take a chance. What is the worst that can happen? It will be over before you know it. Of course, there are those short stories that students insist have been wrongly classified because they are more than the anticipated four or five pages, such as ‘The Most Dangerous Game‘ by Richard Connell.
I was inspired by my twitter community (namely #edchatnz) to begin a blog but much like the elusive idea of a tattoo, I could not pin down what I really wanted. The dream lay dormant until I read my colleague’s blog entitled #365picturebooks. As the title suggests, Steph will read and review a picture book a day during 2015. I guffawed at the mere thought of matching that and given the SMART way to establish a goal, I have decided to select, read and review one short story a week. By 31 December 2015, there will be 52 reviews and perhaps some other developments (like ideas for classroom activities and student reviews) posted here.
What can you expect?
- Short story selections predominantly suitable for teenage boys.
- Selections including, but not limited to, New Zealand authors.
- A mixture of new and old (perhaps forgotten) stories.
- References to the original sources. Sadly, this may be difficult as many short story collections are on stack in my local library and others, even those by great New Zealanders, are no longer in print. I will do my best.
- No posts of the texts themselves in order to avoid copyright infringement.
- No decision on a tattoo design!
My target countdown has been added to the sidebar, drop in any time to view my progress or read a review.