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Alan Drew taught high school English for ten years, and wrote much of Gardens of Water while teaching seniors in a suburban high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a teacher, Alan appreciated books that offered students complex moral and ethical situations, books that lived in the gray areas of life and forced students to think more deeply about human experience. These books generated heated discussions that often challenged the students' perceptions of the world. In many ways, Gardens of Water is Alan's attempt to write the kind of books he loves to teach. School Library Journal chose Gardens of Water as one of the best adult books of 2008 for high school students. According to SLJ, "The complex relationships within and between American and Kurdish families united by two teens speak to readers interested in forbidden romance, self-definition, and exploring cultural, political, and religious boundaries."
Below is a link to a teacher's guide which offers suggestions for approaching the teaching of Gardens of Water. The guide is also available at Random House's website, where teachers can download the curriculum in PDF format.
As a former high school teacher, Alan would be glad to visit schools and individual classes to discuss Gardens of Water. Teachers can contact him here at this website, or contact his publicists at Random House. He is also available on line, via email to answer any questions from teachers and students.View Teacher's Guide