Lesson 1 (from Chapters 1-4)
The setting of the story is the Upper West Side of New York City in 1979. The objective of this lesson is to explore the local color of New York and its impact on the story.
Lead the class in a discussion about local color. Begin with a definition and ask the class to validate their understanding by offering examples from the novel. How is regionalism exhibited in language? Interpersonal dynamics? Clothing? What other elements can the students define that make this story one from New York City during this particular time period?
Divide the class into small groups and have them discuss the author's authenticity with the novel. Could this story take place anywhere else but New York City in 1979? Why or why not? What is it about the elements of this story that slots in into this particular time period?
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