Oklahoma's Pioneer Library System names 'Old School' as Big Read selection

The Pioneer Library System, based in Norman and serving Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties, is sponsoring workshops for high school teachers and offering lesson plans and a mentoring program to promote this year's Big Read selection, Tobias Wolff's book “Old School.”
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: October 9, 2012
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— “Old School,” Tobias Wolff's novel set in the 1960s in an elite, private boarding school, is the Pioneer Library System's Big Read book for the coming year.

Big Read is a community reading program that focuses each year on a specific book.

“Old School” was chosen to appeal to high school students in particular, and high school teachers are encouraged to teach the novel in conjunction with the campaign, which will culminate in April with a visit by the author to Norman, Moore and Shawnee.

Teachers will receive copies of the novel to check out to their students, a two-week lesson plan prepared by the National Endowment for the Arts, support materials and access to online resources, as well as advice and mentoring from a respected educator, said Gary Kramer, the Pioneer Library System's public information officer.

“‘Old School' has teen characters, is set in a private boys' school in the early 1960s and is full of references to authors of the day such as Robert Frost, Ayn Rand and Ernest Hemingway,” Kramer said.

The conflicts in the novel deal with issues of honesty, self-identity, competition, peer pressure and responsibility, he said.

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