English 9: Literature of Growing Up

Upper School

Grade 9


Credits: 1

Coming-of-age is perhaps the most compelling theme in literature. A young person’s trajectory from childhood to adulthood is at the heart of many of the most exciting texts, but it is also the place in which students find themselves in the ninth grade. It is the beginning of high school, the beginning of taking on challenges and responsibilities that might be inconceivable prior to this moment. In addition to reading ancient and contemporary texts about this state of change, students examine the patterns and rituals that show the nuances of how race, class, gender, culture, family, and politics shape the experience. Students will read and write fiction, drama, poetry, and creative non-fiction. They can expect to be able to write a compelling literary essay, but also to be able to work in the genres they have studied. Reading, writing, and speaking are at the heart of every English class at Walker’s; each of these skills will be honed throughout the year. Works may include: Homer’s Odyssey, Ward’s Salvage the Bones, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Wiesel’s Night, Twelfth Night, Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, poems by Rita Dove, and Bronte’s Jane Eyre.