“When Johnny Comes Marching Home” might not be your typical summer read. Does the title conjure up the idea of zombies? Maybe. Who knows?
Set during the time after the Civil War (1865), this story is a thriller written by Heather Graham. Would this selection be appropriate for a language arts course? Why not? At least, it has elements that would attract any high-school student: war, love, family ties, and zombies! We’ve got history mixed with the elements of science fiction. What an unsual combination! Or is it?
The following topics are excellent for debates or written exercises:
- the effect of war on soldiers and their familues;
- post-tramatic stress syndrome;
- the role of zombies in this selection;
- urban legends and how they arise;
- the elements of a thriller in a historical setting;
- history versus science fiction;
- science fiction in other historical settings.
And the artisitic student might want to depict a scene from the selection. There’s something about zombies that attracts teens! How do you explain the popularity of The Walking Dead?
When getting reluctant readers to actually READ, this topic might actually get their attention. Just make sure the parents are fully aware of what you’re reading in the classroom and why you chose this particular story!
Consider adding this one to your reading list for the coming school year.
Enjoy your summer reading!~~LMMolina
Source: First Thrills: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors (Lee Childs, Editor)