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Feel These Words: Writing in the Lives of Urban Youth Paperback – June 4, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1438426525 ISBN-10: 1438426526

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (June 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438426526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438426525
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,943,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Feel These Words is the story of nine young people from Chicago--Jig, Crazy, TeTe, Mekanism, Robbie, Marta, Patricia, Jose, and Dave--who regularly write poetry and/or song lyrics, but not for school. The Writers, as author Susan Weinstein calls them, are skilled in a variety of literacy-centered discourses through which they develop sophisticated understandings of core rhetorical issues and explore concepts of identity, social positioning, gender roles, and sexuality. Despite a deep engagement with imaginative composition, their work regularly goes unrecognized or is devalued due to the normative trends in standardized curricula and testing. Weinstein argues that this devaluation exists because their writing is informed by discourses that use language, forms, and styles different from--and at times at odds with--the mainstream. She explores the ways in which educators can focus not simply on what they believe kids need to be taught, but also on what makes them want to learn.

"A work that captures the elusive nature of writing for today's youth, this narrative lets us in on how young people see writing in their multiple worlds. Keenly aware of ways to create a spectrum of types and purposes of writing, the young composers, entrepreneurs, and community members portrayed here will give writing teachers, journalism leaders, and the entertainment industry a new perspective." -- Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Susan Weinstein is Assistant Professor of English at Louisiana State University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a smart, and very accessible book on how young people--who may struggle with the "academics" foisted upon them by the usual suspects--engage a literacy of their own making to give voice to the ideas of their lives. The author introduces us to several youth from Chicago and walks us through their backgrounds and specific, often collaborative, approaches to reading and writing. This is a book about how young people, of their own accord, create and perform and rely on crafted articulation to deliver powerful messages. What's great is how the author illuminates the duet of the written and spoken word, how the written word finds imaginative, snappy and sly expression in the rap, hip-hop duels staged for a rapt and appreciative audience. Weinstein does not idealize this "other" literacy, but points to it as a vital resource that would be worth acknowledging. The book is never boring, and feels vital, in a number of ways. Writing, even against the expected grains, is a vital necessity for these city youth; the writing they produce is the writing of their lives and not an interpretation of dead masters :). And the book's prose lends clarity and compassion to a vital, implied issue--what can the educational system make of the abilities youth bring to the table? How can we show them our respect? This book is a very strong and readable start.
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