Making Curriculum Pop


1. Since all of you are reading different books, the idea is to share the many reads students can experience from reading YA literature. For each list you, will get
reviews on approximately 20 or more books.

2. What must be included in your posts are:

            a. A short summary

            b. A connection to YA Lit criteria

            c. A link to a resource for further information about the book/novel( these may include author information, reviews, insight or information about issues the text references.

            d. Your opinion/recommendations of the book/novel relating back to criteria. A key
question to consider is whether the book is
classroom appropriate, and, if so, what reading level/grade/studentswouldbenefit from reading the text. If it is not suited for the classroom, if students are reading the book, what is the appeal?           

3. Lastly, you must respond to at least 2 other posts in detail.

 Have fun this week; I did... reading your work.



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Replies to This Discussion

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, is a book with two seperate plots. The first plot is about a young girl named Andi who is struggling to deal with her brothers death that took place two years ago. She has not dealt with all the issues and the most important is blame. She also has to deal with her parents spliting up and the issues her mother has since her brother's death. She has two things that keep her strong. Her music and her medicine that she abuses. Eventually her father tries to step in and correct the situation right around winter break. He checks her mother into a hospital and takes Andi to Paris, France while he is there doing research on DNA. The DNA that he is doing research on is the lost Prince of France Louis-Charles. His father is trying to determine if they have Louis-Charles heart. His father is doing this for his friend G who is absolutely obsessed with the French Revolution and aims to open up a museum dedicated solely to it. There are loads of artifacts from the era including a guitar in which G lets Andi play. The case for the Guitar is very interesting to Andi, there is a lock that there is no key for. One day she decided to try a key (A very important key to her and that was found in The U.S at a Flee market by her brother) that she wears around her neck every day that works in opening it. In the case she finds a picture that at first she mistakes at her brother, but is really Louis-Charles and a journal that belongs to Alexandrine Paradis who was an attendant to the prince before he was imprisioned in a dark murky tower to die. Enter Plot #2. Andi gets completely intralled by this journal and feels so connected to Alex and the pain that Alex feels. Along the way many other adventures come to light. There is love, fear, suicide, and much more.

B. I definately feel that this book fits into the YA Lit Critera. The parents or Adults are not all the present. There are there and a represented well, but are represented as your typical upper east side parents you would see on Gossip Girl where they are truely absent most of the time and come in and out of their childrens lives. The point of view comes from 2 YA (Andi and Alex) We get into their minds; Andi through out the entire story and Alex through her Journal. There are several goals or accomplishments that Andi and Alex are both trying to achieve and which they do one their own. There are a lot of different issues brought up; love, sex, fear, death, suicide, abandonment and much more. There are also a lot of twist and turns and surprises. Just when you think you know what is going on, you are probably going to be wrong. an interview with Donnelly about the text and what it meant to her to write it.

I really liked this book a lot. I was a little annoyed when I found it because of the length and all the stuff that I had going on at the time. However, this book was truely a pretty quick read. I grew so interested and invested in the story, that I was up till very late hours reading it. This book has a lot of value to it. I think that this book would be good for Juniors or Seniors, however, at least in my high school world lit took place in 10th Grade. This book would go very good with learning about the French Revolution, because there is a lot of research done about the revolution and people of the time not just the royals. The way that Donnelly brings this history to life is absolutely amazing.
This book sounds interesting, I like how when Andi travels abroad the book transforms into Alex's world (as well as Andi's). I also think you reaction to the book was appropriate for YA's - look long and boring at first! A lot of students would probably have this reaction so it's good that you can relate and explain that once you start reading, you'll be hooked. Does Andi come to terms with her brother's death? I want to know who commits suicide!
Andi does come to terms with her bothers death, but it is very powerful how she does it. It does take her a long time to deal with it. I wont tell you who or if someone commits suicide. You will have to read it for yourself. It is a very good book though.
sex is just vaguely brought up, but I am not really sure what I would do. I think there are a lot of topics that would bring up good discussion and that it would be possible to expand it for a unit plan. However, I am a little apprehensive to say that I would do that. I think that if I were to use it in my classroom, I would want it to be in a co-op class with history. There historical value of this book and all the research that Donnolly had done, would go great to really bring the French Revolution alive for the students.
This book sounds amazing. I almost wish that I had chosen that one instead. I think that the plot does sound very young adult. These days, there are a lot of adolescents abusing drugs for any number of reasons. Does Andi ever really stop abusing drugs? I'm just curious. I think that it's also wonderful that we get two different narrators. I think that the two plots will make the book even more interesting for the students that read it. Would you consider this a good book to teach for a unit? Or would you consider this more outside reading/independent work? It sounds like there could be a lot of discussion about it.
It does not explicitly say, but from the details, I think she really does. I think she becomes a lot heathier than at the beginning of the story. I think there is a lot of good aspects of this book, and could be taught as its own unit, but it would also go hand in hand with a history class.
Now this book seems like something to good to read. It is wierd that the key she got from her brother is what opened that case. I really do not see too many books that have two different plots. Did Andi have any particular feelings toward her mother? It seems like she should be upset with her mother because she clearly showed that she did not know how to deal with the death of her son and her divorce in detrimental ways. Did Andi's parents get a divorce because of the mothers's behavior or was it something more to that? From what you wrote this book seems to perfect for YAL.
it is not that there are two different plots, there are two different story lines that play into eachother. The way that it is done is very well done and interesting. Andi however, was very sympathetic for her mother. She protected her and understood what she was going through, because in many ways she was going through the same things. Andi blames her self for her brothers death. However, her mom is really only present at the beginning of the book, the rest of the book is Andi coming to terms with verything that has happened in her life in a short amount of time.
I think you're right in thinking that this book would be perfect for older teens, and the book itself sounds really interesting. In particular, I think you have a great point in saying that it would be an excellent read alongside learning about the French Revolution. I am curious about what exactly kept you up reading it... was it the narrative frame, or just the action of the story that kept you interested? Did you feel particularly invested in the characters?
I was definately invested in the character Andi. She just really spoke to me and I think she could speak to a lot of people. She is just very interesting and so is her life. The way it was written was just very interesting to. I found myself wondering when the second story line came in to play because it does take some time, but once it came into play, the way it was written was awesome. I also really thought I knew what was going to happen, and I was very wrong and slightly disappointed, but it was still good.
This sounds great! I love books that combine the past and the present. Being a history nut, I'd be fascinated by a book where a character feels such a connection to someone who lived long ago. It just shows how two people can connect despite their places in history. It also focuses on obsession, and the grief of losing a loved one. Family dynamics are difficult enough, but death can have devastating effects. Altogether, it looks like a heavy read--one that would be difficult to tackle.
To me it is always amazing when you look at the pages of a book and think that you will not have the time, and then get wrapped up in it. Kudos for good reads; they keep us going!!!



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