Nantucket High School welcomed Morowa Yejide, author of Time of the Locust, this past April. It was an event made possible by the Nantucket Book Foundation in partnership with the Nantucket High School, and the NBF PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, now made possible with the help of a grant from The Nantucket Fund™.
Administered by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Writers in Schools is a literary arts program dedicated to developing the next generation of readers. Mary Haft, co-founder of the Nantucket Book Festival and Vice-President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation writes, “Yejidé’s book was the work of contemporary literature studied in the classroom of English teacher, Liz Reinemo. PEN/Faulkner supplied the curriculum guide, and the book was given as a gift to all students. It was read, studied and discussed, which culminated with this classroom visit.
Ms. Reinemo created a dynamic classroom exploration of this powerful novel. “We tracked various topics throughout the novel, including racial tension, autism, solitary confinement, communication, isolation, hope, the power of love and dualities. We also looked at the writer’s craft and the genre of magical realism. We also celebrated World Autism Day and ‘lit it up BLUE’, in addition to hearing first-hand accounts from families who live with autism in their lives.” Additionally, Ms. Reinemo noted that “we also had a former corrections officer come in to class and speak about ‘life on the inside’.”
Time of the Locust is a deeply imaginative debut novel about a family in crisis. It deftly brings together the fantastic and the realistic, and touches on a variety of issues, from politics, race, and murder to disability, domestic tragedy, and myth and spins them with gold and possibility all with an autistic boy at its center.
“The authors that have come to Nantucket under the sponsorship of the Nantucket Book Foundation have clearly addressed the needs of our increasingly diverse student population. Their stories have painted for readers the difficulty in adjusting to new and challenging surroundings, while also embracing the wonderful array of perspectives and abilities that weave the fabric of our humanity,” says Maggie Sullivan, Nantucket’s middle and high school librarian.
Interested to learn more how the Nantucket Fund™ helps ALL of Nantucket? From substance abuse to the homeless, from education to supporting the next generation of Island readers and writers, visit our Nantucket Fund™ page here or MAKE A GIFT today!
“The imaginative spirit of Nantucket is as passionate and humbling as the ocean that surrounds it. Nowhere else is there such a mixture of intellect, art, and discovery–all floating in a suspension of vision, effort, and hope.” -Morowa Yejide