S.E. Hinton’s other book about teenagers, violence, drinking, gangs, older brothers, sex, and friendship. Rusty James is only fourteen but has alreadyS.E. Hinton’s other book about teenagers, violence, drinking, gangs, older brothers, sex, and friendship. Rusty James is only fourteen but has already been abandoned by his mother, watched his father become an alcoholic, been abandoned by his older brother The Motorcycle Boy, and seen, and been a part of, the rise and fall of his neighborhood gangs.
The slim novel is narrated in the first person by Rusty James as a flashback recounting his final days with his brother The Motorcycle Boy, a local legend and the person Rusty James has always wanted to be. Unlike The Outsiders, the focus is much more personal, the cast of characters is much smaller, and the time period is much less specific so it feels a little more timeless.
A lot happens in the quick story, but really it’s about the relationship of two brothers and the youngest of them trying to become his own person in his sibling’s shadow.
From a literary standpoint- the book is a great example of a well-developed inner monologue; the first person narration is a perfect example for adolescents in developing narrative, and the framework of the flashback is a slightly more sophisticated idea for early readers....more
Written as a series of letters or journal entries for an unknown person, Paranoid Park is the story of a young skateboarder from Portland, Oregon dealWritten as a series of letters or journal entries for an unknown person, Paranoid Park is the story of a young skateboarder from Portland, Oregon dealing with the normal issues of adolescence- his parents are getting divorced, he’s a senior with some serious choices ahead of him, he has a new girlfriend, but he also is part of an unsolved death which may or may not be considered murder.
The typical feeling of adolescence, that feeling of going through something by yourself without anyone to talk to or relate to, is brought to such a heightened extreme in the novel that it forces the reader to think about their own relationships. Who can you trust? How do you deal with having a serious secret?
I can see this book being very appealing to younger readers. The writing is very fluid and the entries are broken into smaller fragments, which make the text very manageable. There are so many themes and ideas addressed in the story that it could appeal to a wide spectrum of readers; the murder, or accidental manslaughter, is really the backdrop for the already confusing set of circumstances the young boy is wrapped up in, but the device gives an immediacy to the plot and makes for a page turner. ...more
The first in L’Engle’s “Time Series”. I had vague recollections of reading this when I was young but really didn’t remember it at all, and so I wantedThe first in L’Engle’s “Time Series”. I had vague recollections of reading this when I was young but really didn’t remember it at all, and so I wanted to return to it. The book features the young Murry children in a quest through time and space to track down their missing father, who has been absent as a result of his experiments in the fifth dimension of time travel. Even though the book features some of Einstein’s ideas of relativity as the basis of plot points the short novel is really an adventure story featuring the members of a separated family and is easily accessible for young readers.
I have not read the rest of the series, which supposedly covers other members of the family and jumps around through time, but this first entry is great fun to read on its own. It reads a lot like The Chronicles of Narnia but more Science Fiction than Fantasy, and with more fully developed characters dealing with strong themes such as family turmoil like separation and abandonment. I can see it being read for a few different purposes- an introduction to science fiction, themes of good vs. evil, familial tensions. The book is a classic....more