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Does anyone know a good short story that I can use with this book so that the students...

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vfromm | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 5, 2009 at 8:39 AM via web

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Does anyone know a good short story that I can use with this book so that the students (8th grade) can write a comparison contrast essay?

The Outsiders

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 5, 2009 at 9:22 AM (Answer #2)

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One short story that you might choose to use in conjunction with “The Outsiders” is “Broken Chain” written by Gary Soto.  This story is about brothers too.  Another short story is Langston Hughes story “Thank You, M’am” and this story fits into Black History month too.  Judith Cofer wrote a story called “American History.”  This story deals mainly with the 1960’s and is about a teenager who is different and how he deals with these differences.

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vfromm | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 5, 2009 at 1:51 PM (Answer #3)

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One short story that you might choose to use in conjunction with “The Outsiders” is “Broken Chain” written by Gary Soto.  This story is about brothers too.  Another short story is Langston Hughes story “Thank You, M’am” and this story fits into Black History month too.  Judith Cofer wrote a story called “American History.”  This story deals mainly with the 1960’s and is about a teenager who is different and how he deals with these differences.

Thank you for your help.  I printed off "Broken Chain" and will look for "American History."  My students read “Thank You, M’am” in 7th grade. 

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litchick2011 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted February 6, 2009 at 7:05 AM (Answer #4)

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I would suggest any of the vignette's from Sandra Cisneros's House on Mango Street. It is about a Hispanic girl who often feels like an outsider because she is from a different culture and because she does not live in a very nice neighborhood. "My Name" might be particularly helpful.

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hilahmarca | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 27, 2011 at 4:13 PM (Answer #5)

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In the anthology book I use in my class there is an excerpt from Richard Wright's autobiography Black Boy that tells a story of him as a young boy having to fight off bullies in order to earn respect on the streets.  It is also a first person narrative, so it parallels The Outsiders in thay way too.  The violence, the coming of age motif, and the broken family are three topics the two definitely have in common.  To contrast the two works, the student can consider necessary verses unnecessary violence.  It is hard to argue that Wright had a way out of turning to violence in his story.  However, it is often debated about Johnny's necessity to kill Bob and the necessity of the violence that occurred in the rumble.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM (Answer #6)

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I recommend Graham Greene's "The Destructors."  This short story is also about a street gang.  LikeThe Outsiders, "The Destructors" deals with conflict between social classes. The central characters in the story decide to destroy their neighbor's house, partly because it represented a higher social class from an earlier era.  They also decide to destroy it because they were bored and had nothing better to do. 

Kristen Lentz

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