The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a novel by Stephen Chbosky (and was made into a hit movie in 2012).
Perks is a year-long series of ‘Dear Friend’ letters, written by 15-year-old Charlie, to an anonymous older teen whom Charlie believes is non-judgemental and won’t be freaked out by his references to drugs, sex and mental health issues. Charlie’s letters reveal that he is sensitive and very bright, but is struggling with post- traumatic stress disorder and filled with deep sadness owing to the suicide of his only school friend. He’s also filled with rage but doesn’t know why until the end of the story (when a sexual encounter triggers a repressed memory of his being molested by his aunt, who herself was a victim of child molestation by a family member).
Perks provides various avenues for meaningful conversations around drug use, sexuality and wellbeing as well as dealing with mental health issues.
English Language Arts 11 – Composition
The exploration of text and story deepens our understanding of diverse, complex ideas about identity, others, and the world
People understand text differently depending on their worldviews and perspectives
Texts are socially, culturally, geographically, and historically constructed
Language shapes ideas and influences others
Questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens
People are empowered by being able to communicate effectively
Engagement with writing processes can support creativity and enhance clarity of expression
Read for enjoyment and to achieve personal goals
Apply appropriate strategies in a variety of contexts to comprehend written, oral, visual, and multimodal texts, to guide inquiry, and to extend thinking
Recognize and understand how different forms, formats, structures, and features of texts enhance and shape meaning and impact
Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts
Recognize and identify the role of personal, social, and cultural contexts, values, and perspectives in texts
Recognize and understand how language constructs personal, social, and cultural identities
Construct meaningful personal connections between self, text, and world
Evaluate how text structures, literary elements, techniques, and devices enhance and shape meaning and impact
Respectfully exchange ideas and viewpoints from diverse perspectives to build shared understandings and extend thinking
Respond to text in personal, creative, and critical ways
Demonstrate speaking and listening skills in a variety of formal and informal contexts for a range of purposes
Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful texts for a variety of purposes and audiences
Express and support an opinion with evidence
Transform ideas and information to create original texts, using various genres, forms, structures, and styles
Experiment with genres, forms, or styles of creative and communicative texts
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