I've been teaching writing for many years and I am always on the lookout for books I can use that stimulate student's minds with relevent examples of writing, using topics in the real world.
I am thinking about books that are compilations of news stories or web stories ... etc.
One book I like is "To Japan with Love: A Travel Guide for the Conoisseur" It is filled with interesting stories about Japan, told by people who lived in Japan. Each story is well written and tells about a real out-of-the-way place in Japan.
Does anyone else have ideas? I want to show students writing examples that are fun and interesting, so they can think, "I want to write like that !"
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Walter Dean Myers has written two books which might be useful though he writes fairly simply. One is his memoir called Bad Boy and the other is his book about how to write called Just Write: Here's How. He uses examples and explains. Students might find the books interesting as Myers did not have the happy little boy childhood, much like Gary Paulsen didn't either.There is also a book called The Best Women's Travel Writing; I have the 2007 edition which is the third one of an annual series. The stories are all true ,written by some very good authors, and several might work for you.
Gary Paulsen is an author my students have always loved. He writers great fiction, but his non-fiction works are just wonderful. They're told like stories, so students won't turn their noses up at the non-fiction (which they always seem to translate as BORING) material. In addition, you're still able to address elements of non-fiction in your instruction.
I have a copy of a book called Literary Nonfiction by Patsy Sims that has excerpts of longer pieces of literary nonfiction and also some shorter full-length pieces. Some of the featured writers include Joan Didion, Madeleine Blais, and John McPhee. The book is intended for writers--Sims includes detailed footnotes pointing out the rhetorical strategies and devices that the writers use to develop the stories. It's a great resource for teaching literary nonfiction as a genre.
The Norton Reader is 100% non-fiction, and extensivley covers all prose forms. We use it in our AP Language and Composition class all the time. I love it
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