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The Good Braider

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The Good Braider

Examining Issues of Violence against Women

9-10 Grade Band Text Set

Line of Inquiry: In this text set, students will explore fiction and nonfiction texts that are connected through several questions:

  1. Are female victims of violence treated differently than male victims of violence?

  2. Who commits the violence?

  3. Who responds?

A brave girl named Malala brought the tragedy and outrage of violence against women to the forefront of the world’s conscience. This set explores that violence and presents stories of survival and of overcoming oppression. Most of the victims are adolescent. The set includes an opportunity to understand that this violence is just in other countries; it is in this one as well. Many authentic stories are presented by young English language learners. The set can be presented as a study in strength and a search for positive youth role models. Viola sees the value of education as salvation and so does Malala who was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize. This set also includes links to statistical data, legislation, and other facts which offers the opportunity to teach literacy of history/social studies texts. Although this set is at lower lexile than the 9 – 10 grand band, the content contained in the anchor text is appropriate for a more mature audience. Depending on the group of students, this could also be done towards the end of eighth grade.

Anchor Text
630L The Good Braider

By: Terry Farish

Text Type: Novel/Epic Poem

Farish, Terry. The Good Braider. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2012.

Viola lives in constant fear of the soldiers who are present in and around her village in Juba, South Sudan. After she is raped by one of those soldiers, she embarks on the journey that takes her to a new life in Portland, Maine. The memories of her assault and the longing for lost family and fading customs fuels Viola’s sadness and her courage. As the anchor to this set, The Good Braider provides opportunities for targeted instruction with short chunks of text. The epic poem format also provides significant opportunity for sentence-level analysis and language instruction. The language is relatively simple to reflect the voice of a child who is also a language learner. The topics are mature, violent, and sexual.
Available from Amazon in paperback for $4.36.

1050L Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men

By: Souad and Judith Armbruster

Text Type: Literary Nonfiction

Souad. Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men. New York: Warner Books, 2005.
The author is careful to share select details of her childhood and her survival after being set afire by her brother-in-law as an “honor” killing without revealing too much about her identity. She fears that her family will complete the task if they find her. The story is compelling and the writing is slightly more complex than The Good Braider, but reflects the author’s efforts to develop literacy skills as an adult. Relative to the reading may also be the debate about whether this is a true story or not. Reasons to include in this set vary from the connected topic to the story structure which may be easier to follow for students who struggled with the epic poem format.
Available from Amazon in paperback for $9.68.
910L I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

By: Malala Yousafzai

Text Type: Autobiography

Yousafzai, Malala. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. London: Orion Publishing Group Ltd, 2013.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. She was shot at point-blank range and few expected her to live. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. In this text set, the novel presents a story that many students may know from the extraordinary press coverage. The voice is of an adolescent and the writing is style is both sophisticated and child-like, offering multiple opportunities for students to engage with all or part of the text and teachers to provide specific, targeted instruction.
Available from Amazon in hardcover for $15.60.
1420L Obama Signs Violence Against Women Act

By: Josh Lederman

Text Type: Newspaper Article

Lederman, Josh. “Obama Signs Violence Against Women Act.” Huffington Post 7 Mar. 2013.

This article describes the need for the act to be law and the impact that such legislation has had on occurrences of domestic violence in the United States. In the context of this set, it provides opportunity to extract data from a narrative article, takes the topic of gender-based violence into the American perspective, and provides an opportunity for students to explore topics like how laws are made in this country and others, expands the awareness of needs for protection within specific populations, and begins to present actions which can be taken to end violence.
1380L Gender-Based Violence

Source: Women’s Refugee Commission

Text Type: Website

“Gender-Based Violence.” Women’s Refugee Commission. N.d.

This website provides information about violence against women, its causes and effects, current status around the world, and efforts to support and rescue women of all ages everywhere. In this text set, it provides an opportunity to teach digital literacy skills. The site offers data about gender-based violence internationally and some information about responses and actions.

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