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Orchard School Bristol

  • YEAR 9 - 04 May 2022 - Novel Selection in English

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    May 2022

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Year 9 – Novel Selection in English

    We wanted to share with you our choice of novel for the current unit of work in
    English. We have chosen ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck and wanted to
    share our reasons for this choice of book.

    The story of ‘Of Mice and Men’ follows the experiences of George and Lennie, two
    ranch workers looking for a place to call home, during the Great Depression in 1920s
    America.   

    As they arrive at yet another temporary ranch job, George and Lennie learn that
    they are not alone in their shared need for friendship, dreams and, most importantly,
    hope. However, these qualities alone are not enough: ranch life, financial instability
    and social inequality all play a part in derailing the dreams of several characters.
    We want you to be aware in advance that as English teachers we have chosen this
    novel very carefully. As part of this story, teachers will tackle a racist term which
    appears in the book about people with African American heritage. We are keen to
    take this opportunity to reassure our students, parents and carers that use of this
    language within our school community is not tolerated, and the racist slur in the
    book will not be read aloud in lessons.

    Where it is used in the book, we will be using it as a learning opportunity to consider
    the damage which racist language can have, and why Steinbeck chose to include
    it in his book.

    If you have any concerns about the book or themes in it, please contact your child’s
    English teacher at school.

    Yours sincerely,
    The English Faculty Team