Push by Sapphire has received a lot of attention after being turned into the award-winning movie “Precious.” I picked a copy of it up at a bookstore a few months ago and then forgot about it. I’m glad I read it now though. I had a feeling I would like the book but was not prepared for the way in which it was written. The novel is written from Precious’ point of view and is written as if she wrote it- and as a girl severely lacking in reading and writing skills this means that there are phonetic spellings, lots of swearing, and also slang. I did find it easy to follow though and read it rather quickly.
I think this is a great book for English teachers to read because it reminds us of what deficiencies our students may be coming to us with that we might not think of. i.e. the inability to read or write. Due to the graphic descriptions of rape, incest, and abuse I would be hesitant to use this in my classroom. I think it has a message that could be discussed, but having worked with students coming from this type of a background themselves I would be concerned about triggering flashbacks and or re-traumatizing them. I would however recommend it to students in 11th and 12th grade while explaining to them that there are some rather graphic scenes, and letting them make their own mind up about whether they want to read it or not.
Overall I really enjoyed the book.
2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults- YALSA
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