How The Word Is Passed

Clint Smith

There are so many reasons why I loved this book that I don’t have space to talk about here. But wow, Clint Smith is the teacher I wish I had in high school. Here he does what any good teacher should do: present the facts, observe your audience, be an attentive listener (!!!), ask probing questions, and always always always be your authentic self. I love that this was a nonfiction book that almost read like a memoir. It is also so clear that Smith is a poet. His ability to create such evocative imagery made it feel like you were standing there with him at every site he visited. It made the learning so powerful. Can we make every history textbook read like this please??? Of course I was also enraged because so much history I had been taught was so watered down. And I don’t understand how anyone could be satisfied with half versions of the truth or just straight up lies.

It also really made me reflect on CA history and how the Spanish Missions reckon, or don’t really, with their treatment of the Indigenous people of CA. I take students on field trips to the CA Missions and not one says anything about the Indigenous tribes that thrived in those areas before the colonizers invaded their lands. If they do, it’s very subtle and mentions nothing of the way they were forced to convert to Christianity and work for the mission or suffer the consequences. This book is definitely inspiring me for some future lessons and end of unit ideas…

This is a powerful book, and definitely in my top reads of the year, and arguably my life. There is so much I don’t know. There is so much more I want to learn. Thank you Clint Smith for writing this masterpiece and sharing such a personal part of yourself with us. You are the teacher I strive to be.

#Bookstagram #NonFitcionReads #BestBooksOfTheYear #HistoryBooks #AlwaysReading #AmericanHistory #NonFictionBooks #BestBooksof2021 #HowtheWordisPassed #clintsmith

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