Not sure how any of the Carnegie short list books are supposed to top this. As far as I am concerned this is a work of genius.
It's hard. And brutal. ANot sure how any of the Carnegie short list books are supposed to top this. As far as I am concerned this is a work of genius.
It's hard. And brutal. And difficult to get through, but boy oh boy has a book ever been more necessary to read?
We don't get taught much, if anything, about the Indian Wars in America at school. We get told a bunch about the abolishment of slavery, but I doubt it involves any of the information presented in this piece of historical fiction.
The main protagonist in this novel is so real, so alive, that I dare anyone not to love her from the first pages. Charley O'hara is grit and guts and a surviver. Her voice is both naive and wise, and Landman crafts her beautifully from the get-go.
I can't recommend it enough. This is as much an adult novel as it is YA. Never has there been a more perfect example of why YA is groundbreaking and challenging and full of thoughtful, smart readers....more
Really great little novel. It's dyslexic friendly, has the reading age of a 7 year old but the interest age of a teen. I'm looking forward to readingReally great little novel. It's dyslexic friendly, has the reading age of a 7 year old but the interest age of a teen. I'm looking forward to reading this with my lower ability Year 9s. There are some great themes running through it. Namely; peer pressure, conscientious objectors, prison camps. Looking forward to creating a Guided Reading Scheme of Work for this!...more
I have been searching for a new Frankie Landau-Banks for years. It seems I will keep on searching. If any of you have recommendations for me in the veI have been searching for a new Frankie Landau-Banks for years. It seems I will keep on searching. If any of you have recommendations for me in the vein of The Disreputable History, please, comment below.
I have a lot of issues I would like to discuss. But first and foremost, let me state: If you take a picture of a minor, whether or not she has given her consent for it, and then you pass that picture around, you will be charged as a sex offender. It is illegal for that to happen. NOTHING frustrates me more than the girls who have this done to them being blamed. I just recently had to stand through a school assembly aimed at my Form Classes year (Year 8, aged 12-13), where they were played this video. Only not even all the way to the end, just to the point where the girl was incredibly guilty and ashamed of what she had done. You can be sure I followed up the next morning with this video for my Form Class, and made it explicitly clear that it is not the person who has their photo spread around that has committed a crime here. I'm glad to say my school does take that situation a little more seriously than the school in this novel. I'm glad to say the person who has their photo spread around without their consent is not suspended for a week, and if a boy four years a girls senior was to participate in this act they would be passed on to the police immediately. Sadly, that is not what happened in this novel. In fact, blame was placed on a 14 year old girl. For 'behaving' in a certain way that led to her photo being sent around to a whole school body.
Please, by all means let's have the discussion about teenage sexuality, about the expectations put on boys and girls, about the different implications those expectations have and whether it is fair. Please, let's talk about what society says about sexually active women, how powerful women are portrayed in the media. Let's have a really frank discussion about what factors lead to make young girls' feel they have to act and behave in a certain way to 'fit in', or impress, or please. Because this book certainly didn't.
You had a lead character who thought she was better than everyone else because she managed to avoid boys. She liked to frequently remind her best friend of that one time she made a silly mistake for liking a boy and how he spread nasty rumours about her. Heck, the whole novel STARTS with a retelling of that story.
You have a best friend who was clearly changed and altered by an event that happened to her at 14, and who had never felt enough courage to get justice for it.
You had my favourite character, a 14 year old girl aware of the power her body can unleash and very outspoken in her beliefs.
You have a teacher, full of all the knowledge of a literary based feminism, but the first to judge the actions of her female pupils and decide what 'type' of girl they were.
There was a lot of confusion in this novel. I'm not entirely sure what the over arching message is supposed to be. The male characters were two dimensional, the female characters were more problematic than clear. I just don't know what rating I'm supposed to give it. Maybe it's unbelievably clever in it's portrayal of a complex view of gender roles and double standards?
But I can't help but feel, for a novel with a teenage readership, the messages need to be far clearer.
I will say, the one thing I think this novel did do well, was the strain of self questioning that ran through it. Natalie didn't like herself, Autumn didn't like her self, Spencer put a good show on but also didn't like herself. It did a really good job of showing the insecurities that teenage girls deal with daily, and showed that, actually, everyone wants to be liked....more
The art is a delight. The storyline a little more confusing. It's a snapshot of a summer, dealing with friendship, teen pregnancy, parental arguments,The art is a delight. The storyline a little more confusing. It's a snapshot of a summer, dealing with friendship, teen pregnancy, parental arguments, and summer crushes, amongst other things. And this is where it got a little confusing. The main character was kind of unlikeable, her summer friend was easier to warm to, but their friendship in general felt forced. But maybe that was the point? Because how many summer friendships are really a meeting of the minds? They are more about convenience, surely.
Perhaps the thing that was most confusing is the character development. Namely; there was none. There is a whole argument centring around slut shaming that never really went anywhere, and it SHOULD have.
What it did well was create the atmosphere of long summer days and evenings spent by fires and watching movies. I liked the feeling of nostalgia that ran through the whole thing. I was just a bit disappointed with the overall plot.
I didn't knock my two front teeth out, but I do remember the pain of wearing a night head brace, wires digging into the side of your cheeks and elastiI didn't knock my two front teeth out, but I do remember the pain of wearing a night head brace, wires digging into the side of your cheeks and elastic bands snapping in your mouth. Being a teenager is tough. This graphic novel depicts that feeling really well, the art is cute, and it's easy to follow. It's one I would consider teaching, and one that will definitely be in my classroom library....more
I have been a fan of The Manhunt by Simon Armitage for many years, a genuinely moving, thought provoking poem with layers of emotion. I hadn't realiseI have been a fan of The Manhunt by Simon Armitage for many years, a genuinely moving, thought provoking poem with layers of emotion. I hadn't realised it was from this anthology, but when preparing for a new Poetry Scheme of Work at school this kept popping up.
I can't recommend it enough. You will read it and read it again and read it again.
I'm really hoping, (with the added visuals of some of the poems being spoken by the soldiers themselves on YouTube) my lower ability boys will really be able to engage with these poems....more
I wasn't a fan. A VERY quick, easy read, I just couldn't get into the characters at all. Both relationships felt very stilted, sudden and a bit lackinI wasn't a fan. A VERY quick, easy read, I just couldn't get into the characters at all. Both relationships felt very stilted, sudden and a bit lacking....more
I'm holding out for better conflict now the first one is over. The first half is devoted to finding Sonea. The second half trying not to be annoyed thI'm holding out for better conflict now the first one is over. The first half is devoted to finding Sonea. The second half trying not to be annoyed that she is so ridiculous. And the final 3% where an actual interesting storyline was introduced.
I have no time for villains that are 2 dimensional, which is precisely what Fergun is. And whilst I can understand that Sonea brings with her a lot of confusion and trust issues, it was just rather frustrating for the sole drama to be dependant on her inability to realise Rothen was trustworthy and would help her.
Like I said, I'm holding out for the action and storylines to pick up as the series goes on....more