This story, by SE Hinton, is considered a timeless classic in my school. A story that his read and discussed each year by our 7th grade students. As I teach students who have lower reading abilities, we often read the story aloud in class, pausing and discussing words, phrases, scenes, and character actions in order for them to better understand the story and the themes found within. Because of this we often take longer than the general ed classes who require their students to read part in school and the remainder of the chapter at home, ready to discuss or write about the next day. But to suggest that I don't read this in class would put me in the dog house with the students because they want to read what everyone else does. I mean, the message is a good message, and the students often talk about how they love the book, but how much of it are they really getting?
So the question stands - should I continue this right of passage for my students, or get books for them that they can read and comprehend with some understanding independently, right of passage be damned?.