Weekend Classic for Teens:
The urge to conform is strong. We feel the pressure every day of our lives. Children and teens feel it even more strongly because they haven’t built up defenses yet. For most kids, their sense of self hasn’t developed to the level where they’re comfortable choosing their own path.
Robert Cormier understood this. When Jerry Renault refuses to sell chocolate in his school’s fundraising activity, the spotlight shines on the corrupt, cruel, and brutal aspects of his school. A “secret” club of boys runs the school and Jerry asks “Do I dare to disturb the universe.”
It’s a book that will make your heart pound. As recently as 2009, it was still one of the top ten most challenged books, even though it was first published in 1975. Read the book. What do you think? Issues of conformity and morality are two of the biggest confronting teens. Will your children … your students … benefit from a discussion of The Chocolate War?
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