Activating Hope

Sometimes hope has a reputation of being a passive emotion. Hope does not require action. However, without hope, action is rarely taken. The motivation to work to change the world for the better comes from hope. In Hope Nation, edited by Rose Brock, young adult authors write about a moment in their lives when hope was awakened or about hope for the future.

Many of the authors in this collection are known for writing about issues of social justice in fiction and nonfiction and will be familiar to middle school and high school readers. Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely who co-wrote All American Boys write about meeting with young readers on their book tour and the hope that they feel after listening to young advocates for racial justice. Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King) writes about the heightened level of empathy that “Book People” often have because they are able to connect with characters on a page as well as marginalized people in our society.

Students who have read books by the authors featured in this collection, might enjoy reading these essays that give them a sense of where the authors are coming from and what issues concern them. Students might also find new authors whose books will inspire them to take action.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Identity 3- I know that overlapping identities combine to make me who I am and that none of my group identities on their own fully defines me or any other person.

Diversity 9- I know I am connected to other people and can relate to them even when we are different or when we disagree.

Action 16- I am concerned about how people (including myself) are treated and feel for people when they are excluded or mistreated because of their identities.

Action 19- I will speak up or take action when I see unfairness, even if those around me do not, and I will not let others convince me to go along with injustice.

Common Core Standards:

RI.2- Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

RI.3 – Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

RI.5 – Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).

RI.6- Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Published by socialjusticeinchildrenslit

My name is Leah Cole and I was a teacher in Iowa for nine years. My passions for education, social justice, and children's literature led me to create this blog. Students are faced with issues of justice and fairness from the time they are very young. The Social Justice Standards developed by Teaching Tolerance help teachers to support the development of students who recognize and embrace their own identities while respecting and valuing those who are different. In this blog, I will attempt to identify and review books that support the social justice standards.

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