“You’re such a rebel,” Genevieve reclined against the chair in the teacher’s lounge. “I could never do it.”
“You couldn’t do what?” Ruth smiled.
“Stand up to the administration. I’d be too afraid it would all end in my dismissal.”
“And it probably will for me,” Ruth poured herself another cup of stale coffee. “But I didn’t do anything all that rebellious. All I did was to put ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ in my syllabus.”
“But it’s on the prohibited list,” Genevieve’s eyes grew saucer big. “All those books have been deemed too radical. They are afraid the books will give students ideas.”
“Exactly!” Ruth lifted her coffee in a toast. “And what do you think comprises my syllabus for the year?”
(I loved writing this one. I could see the tone and plot from the beginning. Honestly, the hardest part was figuring out which book to choose as the example, and exactly how to refer to the “List,” the syllabus, etc. Those kinds of tricky language edits can affect readers’ perceptions. If you don’t write a conversation the way a reader’s ear expects to hear spoken language, it can make the entire story feel stilted.
How about you? What is a favorite book that you might have used as the example? How might we show the importance of books in this sort of scenario?)