Sep 1

JET alum James Kennedy turns “Odd-Fish” novel into school curriculum

In a rather brilliantly creative move, James Kennedy (Nara-ken, 2004-06), author of the acclaimed young adult novel The Order of Odd-Fish, has developed a classroom guide for the novel which is intended to be used by school teachers in class with their students.

In James’ own words:

Some schools have put The Order of Odd-Fish on their reading lists. That’s great!

So I’ve put together a classroom guide for Odd-Fish. It’s 44 pages of discussion questions, lesson plans, and projects. It also features Odd-Fish fan art by enthusiastic readers—art that was featured in our Odd-Fish gallery show in Chicago in April 2010.

This curriculum does the strangeness of the book justice, I think. Aside from the chapter-by-chapter worksheets, there are also activities such as inventing your own Odd-Fish specialty, writing your own articles for the Eldritch Snitch, researching Japanese rituals that inspired the Odd-Fish festivals, baking avant-garde pies, creating urk-ack music, and inventing one’s own Eldritch City mythologies.

It’s also gateway to other fields of study. The knights of the Odd-Fish are, after all, scholars as well as warriors. This curriculum touches on topics as disparate as cockroach anatomy, Shinto and Hindu mythology, the KGB, Wikipedia, foppery, real-life historical eccentrics, and more.

Download the guide for free here. And of course, I always enjoy visiting schools, either in person or by Skype.

Go pester your teachers now! I’m doing this for you, people!

And in JetWit’s opinion, while the novel is in the young adult category, it’s also one of the funniest books you’ll ever read as an adult.  To read more JetWit posts about James, click here.  And watch the below video to see James doing an extremely dramatic reading from the book at last year’s JET Alumni Author Showcase in New York:

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