A contemporary nonfiction book for AP EnglishHi, We are wrapping up Macbeth and I would like to switch gears with my AP English students.  I would like to do a contemporary nonfiction book.  So...

A contemporary nonfiction book for AP English

Hi,

We are wrapping up Macbeth and I would like to switch gears with my AP English students.  I would like to do a contemporary nonfiction book.  So far the only book I can think of is Angela's Ashes.  Do yo have any other suggestions?

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lmetcalf's profile pic

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I think The Color of Water by James McBride is an excellent biography.  The subtitle:  A Black Son's Tribute to his White Mother says a lot about the book.  James is the 8th of 12 children who grew up in Harlem in the 50's and 60's.  His mother is Jewish white woman from the south who married a black man and moved the New York.  My favorite line was in response to Jame's question of his mom -- "Are you white?"  She replied, "I am very light skinned."  She is an amazing woman and the written is excellent.

accessteacher's profile pic

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Great ideas - when I am teaching AP Language I really like to use pieces from the work of a British author and non-fiction writer called Alan Bennet. His words such as Writing Home and Untold Tales are really excellent and give lots of examples of non-fiction writing for students to get to grips with.

teachertaylor's profile pic

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I’m currently teaching AP Language, and I use both The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass  by himself and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich with my classes.  Both are excellent for rhetorical analysis.  You might also consider The Language of Composition, Frames of Mind, or 50 Essays.  All include short pieces of nonfiction that are great to use in AP Language.  Good luck!

dbello's profile pic

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In my opinion one of the best nonfiction contemporary books is  Founding Brothers by Joseph A. Ellis. Although written about individuals who lived more than 200 years ago, one cannot foresake the value it holds for the contemporary audience. (especially high school students)

 

ms-charleston-yawp's profile pic

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How about John Adams, . . . or perhaps even (dare I suggest) A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity?  I've never had the pleasure of teaching AP (because I'm most comfortable with the middle-of-the-roaders mostly), but I think it would be incredibly fascinating to connect some of these current nonfiction works to the facts behind them.  Perhaps team teaching could even be involved!  Exciting!!!

charcunning's profile pic

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An excellent nonfiction book is Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. I love teaching this book because I tie it into Transcendentalism and have my students read Thoreau and Emerson and tie in the short story "To Build A Fire" by Jack London. The young man that this story focuses on, Chris McCandless, based his principles and essentially his life around these three men (Tolstoy, too), so it is excellent for the students to be able to see the influence these authors had on this young man's decisions.

I also do the Autobiography of Malcolm X and tie in the Harlem Renaissance and other African-American nonfiction writers, such as bell hooks.

 

tresvivace's profile pic

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Response to #4:  I have been on the AP listserv for about eight years.  I know what you mean--currently it seems the discussion often favors AP Language.  But for a long time the Lang people complained that the focus was all on AP Lit.  Either way, the discussions, the people, the posts, and the resources are wonderful.  I'm beginning to enjoy this forum as well.

cybil's profile pic

Posted on

A contemporary nonfiction book for AP English

Hi,

We are wrapping up Macbeth and I would like to switch gears with my AP English students.  I would like to do a contemporary nonfiction book.  So far the only book I can think of is Angela's Ashes.  Do yo have any other suggestions?

Do you subscribe to the AP listserv? You can tap into ideas from 5000 subscribers!  I think probably more are Language teachers than Lit teachers--if that makes any difference.

This is the site you access to subscribe:
http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/homepage/7173.html

linda-allen's profile pic

Posted on

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, about growing up with a mentally ill mother.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Marley and Me by John Grogan

 

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