The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

Mr. Dreisbach

January 6, 2023


Ashley Hawkins

“I love two things about a good book,” Mr. Dreisbach said. “I love it when a book takes me so into the story that I don’t want to put it down, or I am really excited about reading forward, or I get really sad at the end of a book because it’s done and over.”

English teacher Mr. Paul Dreisbach’s favorite read from 2022 is the novel “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler.

The book follows fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina, who resides in a gated community which protects her and her family from the everchanging dangers that lie past the walls, from droughts to violent arsonists.

A year ago during Christmas break, Mr. Dreisbach picked up the book based on a suggestion from a friend, and he ended up teaching it to his AP English 3 class last year.

“I had an interest in trying to get into science fiction or fantasy, which is not a genre that I’ve really ever paid much attention to,” Mr. Dreisbach said. “And she was somebody that I kept seeing or reading about as a sort of a person who sat on the cusp of those genres and literature.”

One reason Mr. Dreisbach enjoyed the novel is because “it features a BIPOC character who was a teenager, but thought sort of beyond her years.” 

The author’s way of writing Laura’s character and the things Butler chose to emphasize are other reasons for Mr. Dreisbach’s love of the book.

“Their race is only one aspect of their heroism,” Mr. Dreisbach said. “In the book race plays a role but not a really significant overwhelming role. It’s nice to sort of see a character in that vein, who is not struggling against racism as much as they’re just struggling against the way of the world.”

Published in 1993, “Parable of the Sower” has withstood the test of time and remains relevant today, according to Mr. Dreisbach.

“[Butler] presents this sort of nightmarish vision of the West Coast after a climate crisis and after a scourge of this new drug has come out,” he said. “While we are not in that same place, a lot of the ways that people are interacting with each other and a lot of the ways that people were being really selfish and really frightened, seemed really appropriate a year ago and still somewhat appropriate now.”

Mr. Dreisbach also expressed that the character of Lauren served as another reason for his love of the book because she was written to be “so fiercely, stubbornly hopeful that she refuses to give in, even in the midst of a perfectly horrific situation,” he said.

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