Lit Up

One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives.
Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
4 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's no secret that millions of American teenagers, caught up in social media, television, movies, and games, don't read seriously - they associate sustained reading with duty or work, not with pleasure. This indifference has become a grievous loss to our standing as a great nation - and a personal loss, too, for millions of teenagers who may turn into adults with limited understanding of themselves and the world.

Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books? To find out, Denby sat in on a 10th-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year and made frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven and to a respected public school in Westchester County. He read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the kids were reading and creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes from Underground, Long Way Gone, and many more.

Lit Up is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance and inspiration of great books.

©2016 David Denby (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

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A book on the importance of passionate teachers.

l enjoyed the content. It had a good message for students and parents. The writing was not stellar, but the book read more like a report on the power of passionate teachers.

1 person found this helpful

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Asks is there hope. Answers yes

The author starts expressing his belief that reading, particularly reading literature is the foundation of self understanding and critical thinking. He clarifies the challenges faced by individual teenagers. Next be illustrates their intellectual and emotional growth during their communal reading exercise.
The hypothesis is that the teenagers would both learn to enjoy literature and be changed by it. The conclusion is that exposure to literature by an enthusiastic teacher works.