Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1)
This topic is about The Chocolate War

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Did anyone notice the attitudes of 1970s Americans reflected in this novel? Does it make the book dated?

Anna I read this awhile ago, but I thought the human nature part was still relevant. The parents being disconnected was very 1970s--I was a teenager during that time period and our parents definitely didn't hover like today. Boys will be boys is still prevalent today, however, I think the consequences (unless you can afford a rich attorney) are greater in today's society. I am hopeful that the adult school figures are "dated", but I have no experience with parochial schools in the 2000s.

message 3: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I wonder if the 1970s attitudes will be understood by today's YA?

message 4: by Muphyn (last edited Feb 13, 2009 08:13PM) (new)

Muphyn Angie wrote: "I wonder if the 1970s attitudes will be understood by today's YA? "

I think probably not that well; for one, judging by how the book has been perceived in the book club and reading reviews in general, it didn't seem to have spoken to many people. I have a feeling that it doesn't really speak to young people (anymore) in the way it affected me. I think the teenage culture has changed so much, concerns are so different and parents' attitudes tend to be much more protective these days. Perhaps conforming to peer pressure and bullying at school manifests itself totally differently these days (don't know, have been out of school for too long, I guess).

Celestasaurus I'll just say I'm part of "today's YA" and I understood the book. (I thought it was pretty good, but I didn't LOVE it.)
It's true that parents are much more protective now and school teacher's are more involved in student life, too. The fight probably wouldn't happen today like it did in the book, but the bullying aspect would. There are still fights, and there is still bullying, but most bullying is done with words now. I can't even count how many times I've heard people being called "fags" or insulted in other ways. Words are a lot easier to cover up or forget about than say a black eye.
So maybe The Chocolate War doesn't affect young people of today like it did you, Muphyn.

message 6: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn I remember from my school days that there was a lot of bullying going on, especially with words - I'd totally forgotten about that. thanks for sharing your thoughts, Celeste! :)

I think what affected me most was, however, not the bullying the kids did (from my experience as a kid but also as an adult, kids and teenagers can be so cruel) but it was the teacher Brother Leon. The power he held and exercised in such cruel ways just make me angry - what a role model... i see this kind of cruelty all around me and maybe I'm just a hopeless case of wanting the world to be a better place. :)

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