Many (I hope most) of us believe in The Joy of Reading. Kind of helps if you yourself are a convinced reading addict if you intend to convert your students to a life of reading pleasure not to mention profit.
And so once in a while I run across some piece of writing that really, really gives me that Joy all over again. That will be a particular piece of writing that blows fresh oxygen into the banked embers of my reading enthusiasm and fans them, once again, into a roaring blaze! This article did just that! From the first words it grabbed me by the shirt collars and demanded my undivided attention. And in addition, it is a fine, modern-day adventure story that I think may just appeal to many of your YA students.
The story this author tells follows the traditional trope of a young man running away to sea to find adventure. Think Robert Louis Stevenson. Think John Masefield. Think Ernest Hemingway.
To quote from the article:
‘When the ship was tied off, the captain yelled down from an open bridge window.
“Are you my new deckhand?”
“No. New server.”
“Well. The deckhand didn’t show, so you’re now my new deckhand.”
I had $89 to my name, so I didn’t yell back that I’d never been on a ship before. “Sounds good,” I said.’
Here’s where you will find the whole article:
I should caution you that the story does include some risque, adult material.
If you have to, read some of this story to perhaps hesitant YA readers. Hopefully you can get them hooked, as in addicted. You (and they) could do a lot worse. Above all, there are life-lessons to be learned:
“What I wanted most was to gather stories and experience it all. I wanted that so badly. To unhinge my jaw and swallow the world. Perhaps I knew I needed to spend all my youthful energy, so there would be none left to sour into regret. Looking back, I’m so happy to have had this treasured adventure on ships that went everywhere. My cabin’s porthole gave me a view of several oceans as the ships flowed down tropical rivers and rubbed against giant icebergs; on any given night we might pull up alongside the Sydney Opera House, Chelsea Pier, or a rank dumpster in Port Moresby. For so long, everything drifted: The ship. The clouds. The people. The creatures underneath. Everything. Including me.”