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Living Dead Girl: student recommended reading

Posted by on in Teens and Tweens
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A chilling tale of dealing with abuse, struggling to stay alive.

With a title like Living Dead Girl, I had no idea what to expect, but when a student hands me a book and says, "I loved this, you should read it;" I make sure I do.

So I dove into the first pages of the novel, horrified by what I read. At first confused and then disgusted and then saddened and the pages turned. Cover to cover in one day.

Short chapters, hasten the pace and maintain interest as the reader waits and hopes for "Alice" to get free. We wonder, but not for long, how it happened and continue to languish with protagonist listening to her abuses own tales of how he was treated. We read with anger as he threatens and instills fear.

Living Dead Girl is not for the faint of heart. Reading through the car wreck, I made it to the end and wasn't sure what to make of it. The narrative voice reminded me of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak in how a character is able to set herself free.

More extreme than Speak, Living Dead Girl will have any reader riveted, page turning and nauseated.

Always grateful when a student shares something they enjoy. Definitely want to talk to this student about what she loved so much about it. This novel should elicit a response, a powerful one. It will make you want to fight for Alice and all those like her against child molesters. All children deserve the right to be free, flourish and thrive naturally - as teachers, we are just one kind of protector and have an obligation to notice when things aren't right.

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Starr Sackstein currently works at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, N.Y., as a high-school English and journalism teacher. She is the author of Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective, Blogging for Educators, Teaching Students to Self-Assess, Hacking Assessment, The Power of Questioning and Simply May . She blogs for Education Week Teacher on “Work in Progress” in addition to her personal blog StarrSackstein.com where she discusses all aspects of being a teacher. Sackstein co-moderates #sunchat and contributes to #NYedChat. In speaking engagements, Sackstein speaks about blogging, journalism education, throwing out grades and BYOD, helping people see technology doesn’t have to be feared. Follow her @MsSackstein on Twitter.
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Guest Saturday, 22 October 2016