Memorable Memoirs
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Memorable Memoirs

The memoir is one of the most compelling forms of literature and is also one of the most humanizing. Reading a memoir is truly stepping into another’s shoes and walking a few miles in them from the safety of your own armchair! Students will spend some time reading experiences of the African continent set in Kenya and Malawi. Students will also experience an ill-fated summit of Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. They will learn the depths of grief from a 20th century master of American literature, who investigates what grief is. Students will find two works focusing on childhood especially compelling: one in which the pain of a Holocaust survivor is recounted by a Nobel Prize winner, and another in which a daughter must escape a deeply troubled family. Finally, some uplifting works will explore the Appalachian Trail! One tale is told by a very unlikely hiker while the other recounts the triumphant journey of the first blind man to complete the AT trip (because God told him to do it!).

These works are known for their gritty realism, and so this course is best suited for mature high schoolers ready to tackle the realities of dysfunctional human lives. This course is taught by a team of teachers with an eye to a Christian worldview. This course is discussion and project-based; there will be no papers assigned, but there will be a brief creative writing assignment.

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Papers/Projects

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee, ISBN 9781419727610
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, ISBN-10: 0061730335 or ISBN-13: 978-0061730337
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, ISBN-13: 978-0385494786
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, ISBN-13: 978-1400078431
Night by Elie Wiesel, ISBN-13: 978-0374500016
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, ISBN-13: 978-0743247542
Wide Sky, Narrow Path by Courtney Mann, ISBN-13:  978-1456810870
Blind Courage by Bill Irwin, ASIN: B007HH5IO2

Jodi Guerra is an Instructor and Coordinator with Excelsior Classes, a consortium of online teachers dedicated to excellence in online instruction. She has been involved in the education of children and adults serving in public schools, private schools, and corporate America. For the last eighteen years, Jodi has worked with homeschool students in private classes, tutoring situations, and in the virtual world of online education. She seeks to make every learning situation fun yet productive. Besides teaching, Jodi loves to read and finds both cooking and sewing to be creative expressions.

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