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Do you remember where you grew up? Was it a quiet little town with one church that everybody would visit? Or maybe you are from a bustling metropolis with so many houses of worship that you wouldn’t know where to begin. A visit last year from author Steve Kluger set our students on the path of documenting their own childhoods. That project, titled “Where I Grew Up,” is now ready to be shared.
Last Days of Summer
In Kluger’s novel Last Days of Summer, we journey into the life of Joey Margolis, a precocious child growing up in 1940s Brooklyn. After weathering one too many assaults from the other kids in his neighborhood, Joey strikes up an unlikely friendship with Giants baseball player Charlie Banks, and the story goes from there. Kluger’s work is written in an epistolary style, meaning the entire story is told through various forms of correspondence: post cards, letters, newspaper clippings, and war dispatches bring Joey Margolis and 1940’s Brooklyn to life. Although fictional, Last Days of Summer is loosely based off of Mr. Kluger’s own life, a fact that has endeared the novel to audiences -like our students- since its publication.
Watch Steve Kluger’s talk with TGS:
Where I Grew Up
During our 2013 term in Boston , Mr. Kluger paid a visit to THINK Global School to discuss Last Days of Summer with the students of Breanna Reynold’s IB Language and Literature classes and Nick Martino’s Global Studies classes. The conversation was a lively one and included quite a few anecdotes from Mr. Kluger’s childhood growing up in Brooklyn. These stories struck a chord with our students and set the groundwork for “Where I Grew Up” — a project chronicling their own childhood home towns and experiences. Spearheaded by students Isaac F. and Mark S., “Where I Grew Up” uses mixed media elements to take the reader on a journey around the world and into the lives of the students who provide THINK Global School with its incredible diversity.
How to download
“Where I Grew Up” is currently available as an iBook and best viewed on the iPad. You can download “Where I Grew Up” at the link below. Mr. Kluger’s talk is also available as an episode of the THINK Out Loud podcast. Download it here.
Last Days of Summer on iTunes U
Educators who would like to learn more about Breanna Reynold’s unit on Steve Kluger and his work can additionally download her iTunes U course “Last Days of Summer.” The course includes a copy of “Where I Grew Up” as well as additional resources that can be applied in the classroom. “Where I Grew Up” is designed for use with the iPad. You can download the iTunes U app here