Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nettie's Trip South

Nettie’s Trip South
Author: Ann Turner
Illustrated by: Ronald Himler

Summary: This story is about a girl named Nettie. The story is in the format of a letter. Nettie writes to her friend Addie and talks about her first experience visiting the south, everything from the train ride there to the many different things that she saw. She talks about what it was like seeing slaves but more importantly she expresses her opinion on everything. She sees the way they lived and the work that they needed to do. She also sees a slave auction. Seeing all these things disturbs her and makes her sick. She becomes very compassionate, sympathetic towards blacks and becomes very grateful for what she can do.

Reflections: I was very touched by this book. I believe that Nettie’s reaction to her first experience with slaves is very meaningful and speaks loudly. Her reactions really showed me that she looked pass their appearance and was able to look beyond that. I believe that this book will help the students learn about what it was like in the past and can also be a lesson to the students.

How would I use the book/curriculum units: This book could be used during a historical fiction reading unit. The students can learn about what was happening during the time of slavery. This book could also be used to start letter writing. This book can also be used for community building and teaching students to look beyond what their appearances are but to look deeper like Nettie did.

Domains of Social Justice:
1. Self-love and acceptance: This book addresses the issue of this domain, because through this book we could talk about different race and cultures and you can talk about how each person no matter what race or culture is accepted.
2. Respect for Others – This book really addresses this domain. We can see with Nettie’s reaction that she was able to respect other and look beyond their skin color.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice – The issue of racism is definitely confronted. There can be a lot of discussion around this issue. As you read the story, the students will learn about the way that the blacks lived and the way that they were treated. The students will hopefully understand the oppression that took place during this time.
4. Social movements and Social Change – I believe that from reading this book the students will be able to start looking at what happened after slavery and how equality was trying to be achieved.
5. Taking Social action – After reading this book and talking about Nettie’s reaction and their own reaction you can discuss what she should do next and what we can do to continue to make a difference. From this discussion, we can try to start taking action.

I believe that this book is a good beginning book for students to see what the south was like and what slavery really was. The students can see Nettie’s reaction and from that point, further their thinking and discussion explore in the other domains.

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