Help me organize a narrative non-fiction unit with new graphic novels!

Alright, so here’s the deal folks… I made a DonorsChoose proposal about two months ago. I need to teach a section of my class on non-fiction/memoir and it always seems we’re asked to use texts from World War II. After getting the approval of my administrators, I decided to pursue the idea of using a piece of Derf Backderf’s harrowing My Friend Dahmer in my classroom for this unit.

I realize the idea of using a book about a notorious serial killer is fairly controversial in a ninth grade classroom, but My Friend Dahmer is about a lot more than Dahmer’s notoriety. It’s about bullying. It’s about wasted potential. It’s a clarion call to students to treat one another as people rather than nameless travelers and I think I could do a great job with it as a piece of my planned unit. The book has been nominated for about every prestigious award in the comic industry and was named as one of the Top Five Non-Fiction Books of 2012 by Time Magazine.

After about five weeks into the project I scrapped promoting it. I wasn’t seeing any donations… but I also became a little scared of the prospect of using the book as a learning tool. Despite having support from my school, and despite having years’ worth of experience teaching using comics and graphic novels… I was freaked out by how potentially big this assignment would be. Using My Friend Dahmer as a text would be controversial. It would make waves.

Well, with 8 days left, I’ve seen a surge of support for the project and I now know I need to suck it up and see it through. My classroom is $134 dollars away from having a class set of My Friend Dahmer. If you can help or if you know anyone else who can help, please put this out there in the world.

 

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