I am beginning a new leadership position with the Claude Watson School for the Arts in North York
(Convener of the Arts), beginning this September, 1997. I am seeking novel recommendations by
teachers, parents, etc., suitable for the Grade 4 and Grade 5 levels. I am seeking short novel
recommendations that have a definite bend toward the integrated arts and creativity (dance,
theatre, art music), but with the focus around a novel character who learns to begin to find
themselves, their strengths and limitations, in such an environment. My goal is to introduce this
literature to my new students at the beginning of their program with the hopeful impact to the
student in understanding that learning is a growth process, that this novel character meets
barriers and learns to understand the importance of acceptance of self amongst a group of children
with highly diverse and difference abilities and learning styles. Do any novels come to mind?
Other factors in my selection: humorous, relevant, non-stereotyped, non-biased,--the key in
searching for such novel recommendations are assist my students in understanding themselves within
this inherently competitive program. I seek the creatively unique literature choices--pieces that
stand out in your minds from your experience--the art novel icons. Of course, the novels (classic
or new) would serve as bridges to understanding to growth and transition as the year progresses.
Have I asked for too much? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Steven Dwayne Bryk, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., Registered Graphic Designer (Ontario)