Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Review: The Pearl

April 28, 2007

Who am I to review a classic by John Steinbeck? One of my big "jobs" in these next few weeks is to pick the nine novels that we'll read in the American Lit class I'm teaching next year for our enrichment class program. Boy, is it ever hard to pick just 9 classic books by American authors. I have somewhat narrowed down my list and am now reading those with a critical eye: Is this book appropriate for grades 9-12 in subject matter, comprehension, etc. Do the students have the world context necessary to understand the book? Does it represent something unique about life in the U.S.?

The Pearl is a timeless study of human nature, of the struggle between good and evil. It is fast-paced and readable--an excellent introduction to John Steinbeck. But it doesn't capture that facet of America that is so powerful in other Steinbeck novels, and so I will take this out of my stack of possibilities. Next up, Of Mice and Men.

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