Flowers for Algernon

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Bibliographic Information: Keyes, D. Flowers for Algernon. (1966). Orlando: Harcourt, Inc.

Brief Annotation: Charlie Gordon, a man with a severe mental disability and “friends” who make fun of him, volunteers to be the first human subject for a brain-enhancing surgery.  He becomes fast friends with a mouse, Algernon, who had gone through the same experiment.  He rapidly rises to the level of an intellectual genius and makes many contributions to the professional world, nearly falls in love, and then regresses again as the old Charlie within himself screams to be let out.

Genre: Free Choice (Chapter)

Grade Level: 8

Readers who will like this: Students who like reading about modern scientific advancements, students who like reading about “the underdog.”

Rating/Response: 4. Another great book.  This one should probably receive parental permission before high school, as there are some adult themes, but it would be very enlightening for many students.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Think about a time others made you feel inadequate, even if you didn’t deserve it?  How did it make you feel, and what would you have done to feel adequate?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

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