It definitely lost momentum in the last bit, but overall a really thought-provoking and wonderful book. I loved The Scarlet Letter, but was not sure wIt definitely lost momentum in the last bit, but overall a really thought-provoking and wonderful book. I loved The Scarlet Letter, but was not sure what to think about a rewrite... This was worthy of the book that inspired it....more
**spoiler alert** Aspects of the work that appeal, or do not appeal to teens: One of the significant themes of the book is that adults are shortsighted**spoiler alert** Aspects of the work that appeal, or do not appeal to teens: One of the significant themes of the book is that adults are shortsighted. Ender’s tale ends happily in a sense, but he is not afforded the freedoms of childhood because of the strains under which he is placed. Students seem to appreciate knowing that even those adults with their best interests at heart are not infallible and can make terrible mistakes.
Developmental markers or assets: Youth as resources - Achievement motivation – Responsibility - Planning & decision-making
Are the characters believable? Ender’s character is believable to varying degrees. Ender has relatively normal worries (school, making friends, avoiding bullies); however, his thought processes are those of an older teen (and a gifted one) rather than a kid up to the age of 12 – 13. This is particularly the case when Ender is supposed to be a child. Occasionally this is a problem as the rule of thumb I was taught was to push books in which the protagonist is about 2 years older than the child… Ender then creates a conundrum: his literal age is young, but his thought processes are advanced. It is possible, however, that this will first appeal to a specific audience (those who are already open to sci-fi novels), but this is a story that truly transcends its setting and Ender’s age may create problems for those more reluctant or resistant readers.
How would you promote this book to teens? I’d pair it with Harry Potter first. Students will see parallels between Ender and Harry’s lives in that both lived the first several years of their lives without understanding how unique their abilities are and are then enrolled in a school to teach them how to best use those abilities.
In addition, I think that this could be thematically paired with The Lord of the Flies in that the students have created their own faulty hierarchy through the influence of the adults, but enforced of their own volition. As in Lord of the Flies, this hierarchy is both perpetuated and falls apart because of the violence of the children.
Aspects of the work that appeal to teens: It’s fast-paced, well written, and while it’s easy to figure out the conclusion of the book, it’s not easy toAspects of the work that appeal to teens: It’s fast-paced, well written, and while it’s easy to figure out the conclusion of the book, it’s not easy to figure out the ways that Collins will reach that conclusion. Katniss is an interesting conundrum: someone who is out for herself but clearly wants to help others, beautiful but rugged.
Are the characters believable? Definitely. Katniss is strong and believably independent, but as a reader we are able to see inside her thoughts to her deepest weaknesses: her love for her sister and her compassion for Peeta, Gale, and Rue; her desperate attempts to stay alive both at home and in the arena.
There is one flaw – Katniss is definitely too obtuse about Peeta’s feelings for her and visa versa. One can make some justifications based on her father’s death and her mother “leaving” her in addition to the context of the games, but after a point, it becomes nearly ridiculous. Why would she hurt him so much after he has repeatedly proven that their friendship, if nothing else, is so very important to him?
How would you promote this book to teens? Pair with…. Popular • Twilight, because it is crazy-popular and the author loves it. • Feed, Uglies, and The Giver because each also shows a dystopian society and a young person fighting back • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer Classic Dystopian • 1984 • Farenheit 451 (probably the best fit overall) • Brave New World because the moments with her stylist seem right out of Huxley's text • Z for Zachariah Nonfiction • The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven • Survival, Evasion, and Escape by the Department of the Army • How to Stay Alive in the Woods by Bradford Angier
Developmental markers or assets that the work addresses Other adult relationships - Caring neighborhood - Youth as resources - Positive peer influence - High expectations - Caring - Integrity - Honesty (the exception is when honesty could literally have Katniss and others killed) - Responsibility - Restraint - Planning and decision making - Interpersonal Competence - Resistance skills - Personal power - Self-esteem - Sense of purpose
**spoiler alert** Aspects of the work that appeal, or do not appeal to teens: Teens who love manga and weird fantasy will love this one. Students who a**spoiler alert** Aspects of the work that appeal, or do not appeal to teens: Teens who love manga and weird fantasy will love this one. Students who are GLBT activists may also appreciate it. However, is the text relatable? I would argue it isn’t. Unlike most fantasy novels that become popular, there isn’t a normal human aspect to the characters. The tale is so short that it is incredibly jumpy, with no explanations, character development, or description. The art really is nice, I suppose, but it doesn’t add much to the text. It only pictures what the text says explicitly and does not fill in any of those gaps for the reader.
Developmental markers or assets that the work addresses: Achievement motivation – caring – interpersonal competence
Are the character believable? The characters’ voices aren’t particularly believable. We almost never hear Ichijo Mashiro’s thoughts, and the only thoughts we are exposed to are his attempts to convince himself that he is a boy and not a girl. That struggle in itself seems incredibly contrived... seriously? You can't figure out which one your own anatomy is? There are too many “jumps and gaps” in the dialogue and art for a traditional reader to get much from the story. While some of this is expected in a graphic novel if it is read as a traditional novel, the problem with this text is that the pictures do not fill those gaps; they only supplement the text that is printed. We know that Ichijo has kissed Kureha (a girl) and liked it; Ichijo has kissed Sou and didn’t like it, but neither of these are convincing other than one suits Ichijo’s perception of himself and the other doesn’t. We also know that there is another character in these nightmares who is missing her face, and we are given some background about why she feels that her true form does not have a face or heart, but the fact that this is background and not a point of character development is hazy for a page or two.