Rage by Laura Bogart
This is a nice personal narrative essay I found on The Rumpus website, which is one of my favorites. The essay talks about how Bogart learned to be tough, how to be a fighter. She had to be fierce because living with her father was not easy as a child. It details her youth and ends as she turns 30 and gets reflective.
Essay: 8 of 10
I really like Bogart's style here. She writes combatively and it completely works with her subject matter. The stories she tells are captivating and there is one where she beats up the neighbor boy that is outstanding. It also reminded me of second grade when I got punched in the nose by a girl. I was afraid of her for seven years.
Teachability: 9 of 10 The writing is fluid and enjoyable. The essay captures attention. The subject matter is important for students to read (relationships with parents). If teaching this essay, I'd focus on diction and syntax and have the kids find and analyze some very-well put together phrases. I'd ask them what makes those phrases so strong. There is a lot to like here and it could definitely be used effectively in an upper-level high school classroom.