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Boundaries for Contemporary Literature: The Role of Censorship and Choice


  • Jen Denzin


Promoting student power in the choice of high school literature can prove uncomfortable, unruly, and contentious. Without enough preparation, research, and reading, teachers may find language, content, and themes to be more mature than initially anticipated. This essay explores one teacher's reflection of two instances when choice reading lead to discussions and written reflections of questionable content.

Providing a look into the potential pitfalls associated with choice reading for both the high school teacher and student, with insightful student responses and data from teacher-research, the power that comes from choice ultimately trumps the fear of “inappropriate” content.