Check out how this challenge to Grendel by John Gardner was unsuccessful. Or was it?
Students who choose not to read the book now may have an alternative, and notes must be sent home for permission to read the book in class. I would take issue with both of those conditions.
First, I do not want to teach two novels at once. The amount of preparation time, vocabulary work, and discussion time, and more needed to teach a single novel well is enough. Why would I want to add to my workload? I was asked to have a student read a novel apart from the rest of my class, and I said “no.” I’m not going to teach two different courses within one, and allowing this once will lead to more down the road. I will not set the precedent.
Also, sending permission slips home opens the door to having the parents approve or disapprove of the school board-approved and teacher-designed curriculum. This is another precedent I would not want to set.
Maybe I’m being a bit stubborn, maybe even arrogant, with this issue, but I truly feel that the literature chosen for classes should not be dictated from without. Choices are not haphazard or random.