While not your typical YA novel, Nikki Grimes’ Bronx Masquerade takes a powerful look at urban teens and their eventual understanding of one another i...moreWhile not your typical YA novel, Nikki Grimes’ Bronx Masquerade takes a powerful look at urban teens and their eventual understanding of one another in class through poetry in their class. Grimes creates vivid background stories for each student, the characters becoming fleshed out and more developed as the novel goes on.
What is so interesting about this text is that it can captivate an audience through the change of writing from poetry to the thoughtful musings of different students. Mr. Ward, the NYC teacher of these students, empowers the kids to share their life stories and the dreams that he believes they can reach out and grab. Relating so close to my field of study in education, this novel reminds me the importance of embracing students for who they are and pushing them to succeed. Bronx Masquerade is definitely worth reading for its poetry and themes. (less)
Having gotten the chance to meet and listen to Laurie Halse Anderson, I feel like I have a better connection to her novel Speak. The style to which it...moreHaving gotten the chance to meet and listen to Laurie Halse Anderson, I feel like I have a better connection to her novel Speak. The style to which it is written in, using effective fragments and short sentences to create a quick rapport with the reader that allows the narrator to give her voice without even hardly talking, allows for readers to be drawn in instantly.
Anderson’s Speak is a poignant novel that everyone can relate to about high school and is worth reading. However, I feel like YAL always buckles into topics like bulimia, rape, and alienation to relate to the large female reading population. While I loved the style of the novel, I felt somewhat discontented with Anderson’s generalization and constant theme of female empowerment through a protagonist too weak to “speak” until the end. While thematically cliché, this novel is still definitely worth reading.(less)
Being a male who focuses his October Sundays watching football and being manly (or trying, anyway), I was very apprehensive about reading Sisterhood o...moreBeing a male who focuses his October Sundays watching football and being manly (or trying, anyway), I was very apprehensive about reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. Not only is this a girly novel that focuses on girly friendship and romances, but it focuses on sharing magical pants.
Oddly enough, I found the novel charming.
Brashares does a great job of using one story in a lot of different ways, twisting each viewpoint from the four diverse characters with distinct voice. What ends up happening is a very charming take of friendship and the unity of these teens to overcome adversities. Although I was willing to lower my “Man Shield” to read this text, I didn’t necessarily weep or swoon over the love interests. Brashares still creates a very real piece that does not alienate audiences. This series is definitely recommended to teens everywhere.(less)
As a young girl, Adeline Yen Mah constantly fights for the love and affection of her family. Her biographical tale, Chinese Cinderella, deals with emo...moreAs a young girl, Adeline Yen Mah constantly fights for the love and affection of her family. Her biographical tale, Chinese Cinderella, deals with emotional family issues that relate to teen audiences reading this novel.
The “Cinderella” portion comes from Adeline’s stepmother, who eventually changes her family to the point of everyone betraying Adeline. The abuse is very emotionally powerful in the text and the anecdotes that Adeline uses, mixed with Chinese references, made the story very charming. While it seemed at times that Adeline never attempts to defend herself, the flow was well enough to keep readers interested.
Chinese Cinderella, deals with issues that the reader can connect to: loneliness, abandonment, despair, and the taking away of happiness. While I did not find this novel to tug on my heart strings on a personal level, it is recommended for all who want to read a non-fiction piece.(less)