Navigating Narratives: A Thematic Reader

by Hawkes Learning

Navigating Narratives: A Thematic Reader is a reading resource containing short stories, essays, speeches, poems, articles, and more, both fiction and nonfiction. Students can hone their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills as they encounter a carefully curated selection of both literary classics and contemporary pieces – varying in genre, length, topic, voice, and more – by authors of diverse perspectives, experiences, and purposes.

The readings are grouped into six thematic units emphasizing the powerful relationship between literature and the human experience:

  • Unit 1: Connections We Share
  • Unit 2: Turning Points
  • Unit 3: By Our Own Power
  • Unit 4: Who Am I?
  • Unit 5: The Roles We Play
  • Unit 6: Breaking Free

Each passage is supported by a framework of instructional content, developed by English educators across the country and designed to promote thoughtful discussion, deeper comprehension and analysis, and ample teaching opportunities:

  • Introduction with author background
  • Discussion questions
  • Style and strategy questions
  • Writing assignment(s)

Formats: Textbook, eBook

Product ISBN
Textbook 978‑1‑64277‑499‑3
Textbook + English Composition Software and eBook 978‑1‑64277‑512‑9
Textbook + English Composition with Integrated Review Software and eBook 978‑1‑64277‑513‑6

Table of Contents

  1. Unit 1: Connections We Share
    1. Amy Tan, "Mother Tongue"
    2. Helen Keller, "The Most Important Day"
    3. Anne Lamott, "Shitty First Drafts"
    4. Grace Paley, "A Conversation with My Father"
    5. Anne Moore, "Breaking Things"
    6. David Sedaris, "A Plague of Tics"
    7. Firoozeh Dumas, "Sweet, Sour, and Resentful"
    8. Jim Winship, "Nighttime Gratitude 19 April"
    9. Anastasia Stelse, "Building a Fire in Bristol"
    10. William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 116"
    11. Virginia Woolf, "A Haunted House"
    12. T.S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent"
    13. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (Excerpt)
  2. Unit 2: Turning Points
    1. Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (Excerpt)
    2. Chief Seattle, "1854 Speech"
    3. Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
    4. Nelson Mandela, "I Am Prepared to Die" (Excerpt)
    5. Abraham Lincoln & Stephen Douglas, Fourth Debate: Charleston, Illinois (Excerpt)
    6. Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote speech
    7. Intibah Murtafi, "Musings of an Entrepreneur during COVID-19"
    8. Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" (Excerpt)
    9. Marcus Amaker, "The Last Word"
  3. Unit 3: By Our Own Power
    1. Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal"
    2. Roald Dahl, "Lamb to the Slaughter"
    3. Junot Díaz, "The Dreamer"
    4. George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant"
    5. Edgar Allan Poe, "Cask of Amontillado"
    6. Flannery O’Connor, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
    7. Brenda Cooper, "For the Snake of Power"
    8. Kurt Vonnegut, "Harrison Bergeron"
    9. Dylan Thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night"
    10. Jen Karetnick, "Confederate Lake Effect"
  4. Unit 4: Who Am I?
    1. Julie Taiwo Oni, "Diaspora"
    2. Lauren Cross, "Anthropology of a Body: The Highs and Lows of Recovering from an Eating Disorder"
    3. Grace Lin, "Don't Judge a Book by Its Character (even if it is Chinese): Why I Wrote The Year of the Dog"
    4. Omar Majeed, "My life through mental illness"
    5. Aaron Lelito, "That Which Separates One from a Willow"
    6. Darci Hyman, "She Would Follow Along"
    7. James Allen, As a Man Thinketh (Excerpt)
    8. Roula Stavrou, "Compromise" and "Waiting room"
  5. Unit 5: The Roles We Play
    1. Franz Kafaka, The Metamorphosis (Excerpt)
    2. Becky Meadows, "Chicken Wings"
    3. Kate Chopin, "Désirée's Baby"
    4. Stacey Waite, "The Kind of Man I Am at the DMV"
    5. Martha Witt, "Playdate"
    6. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
    7. Oscar Wilde, "Model Millionaire"
    8. Colin McCandless, "Seeing Stars"
  6. Unit 6: Breaking Free
    1. Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise"
    2. Andrew Reiner, "Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest"
    3. Stanton & Mott, "Declaration of Sentiments"
    4. Nicholas Belardes, "Ready Player One and the Problem with Virtual Universes"
    5. Becky Meadows, "Garden of Eden"
    6. Roula Stavrou, "Untitled"