I know, I know, it sounds like an April Fool’s Day joke, but I’m being totally serious here. Although Big in Japan has made the rounds through quite a few book groups now, but this week it’s making the jump to the big time:
High school English classes!
Yep, it’s true. Last Tuesday a high school library let me know that their shipment of a classroom set of Big in Japan had arrived. They were “wrapping them” (I think that means putting plastic on the covers for protection) and then will be distributing them to students in the junior and senior English classes this week for the kids to dig in and start to read.
I can’t believe it! This inconceivable thing is blowing my mind! (As Hiro Yoshida would say.)
The teacher has contacted me about what issues will be discussed as the students make their way through the book: multiculturalism, feminism, culture shock, bullying, racism, sizeism (is that how you spell that?), and a few other possiblities were on the list. A few weeks into their reading process, the teacher has asked me to come for a day and discuss some of these issues with the class and answer questions.
Over the years I’ve given presentations on writing craft, on the writing process, and tips on finding a publisher. However, coming before a group and having my own work dissected for meaning? That’s new. I really am looking forward to seeing what (if anything!) the students are able to pull from the story.
Yes, all my days I’ve felt like my little mission in life was to write things that were just cotton candy. Light, sweet, gone. However, learning that a teacher has found enough in Big in Japan to discuss it for several weeks with scores of young readers is humbling in the extreme.
And super duper cool!