National Writing Project

Personal Narrative, Revised: Writing Love and Agency in the High School Classroom

Bronwyn Clare LaMay

List Price $31.95
NWP's Price $23.96

In this inspirational book, LaMay shows readers how to transform classrooms and schools into places where youth can explore the intersection between literacy and their lives. This book is the culmination of a literacy curriculum that the author and her high school students wrote dialogically, beginning with their attempt to define love. Through real-life classroom examples, they demonstrate how an innovative curriculum that intertwines personal and academic engagement can create space for students to explore their identities, connect to literary texts, and develop agency as writers and thinkers. In this important contribution to literacy educators, the author shows how personal narratives can help students rebuild their fractured relationships with school and envision writing and academic achievement as playing a role in their futures.

Book Features:

  • Evidence of how students' social-emotional and academic growth may intertwine in the interest of school engagement.
  • A re-conceptualization of the complex layers of the personal narrative genre and its role in the pedagogy of academic writing.
  • A reinterpretation of the transformational role of revision in students' academic and life texts.
  • Examples of writing and interview data that illustrate the diversity of student responses.


"Heart and mind blend in this remarkable story of a teacher and her students working with courageous determination to create an education that values young people and gives weight and meaning to their lives."
—Mike Rose, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and author of Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us

About the Author: Bronwyn Clare LaMay is currently a high school English teacher at Impact Academy of Arts and Technology, Envision Schools, in Hayward, CA. In addition to her K–12 work, she has taught pre- and inservice teachers at University of San Francisco, Mills College, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley.

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