Young Adult Materials Blog

Young Adult Materials Blog

Patricia Ludwig

LIBR 265-10

Summer 2015

San Jose State University

Professor Beth Wrenn-Estes

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Twilight

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Published in 2008 by Little, Brown and Company

ISBN: 978-0-316-0383-6

Genre – Romance

Sub genre – Horror

Reading Level/Interest – 15-18 (Girls)

Plot Summary –

The story begins with Bella Swan moving to the town of Forks, Washington and starting her first day of school. She has moved in with her father so that her mother could move around with her new husband, who travels with his job. She is immediately beset on by several boys who do not appeal to her. The boy she is attracted to takes off before class is over, making it look like he is trying to get away from her, and hurting her feelings.

Things take a turn with the mysterious boy, when he saves her from being crushed by a truck in the parking lot, revealing his use of super strength and speed to her. She then annoys him with questions having noticed his abilities. At a beach party, she meets Jacob and he tries to impress Bella with tribal history detailing events of wolves against vampires and Jacob insinuates that his tribe doesn’t trust the Cullen’s (Edward) specifically because of this story.

After coming to her rescue in Port Angeles again, when she wonders into the bad part of town and is being threatened by the local bad thugs, he takes her to dinner. She shares her theory that he is a vampire with him in the middle of the restaurant. He admits to it, even going so far as to tell her he tried to stay away because her scent was too desirable to him, and he needed to create distance from her so he wouldn’t eat her. They begin a relationship with Edward slightly reluctant at times, and his family is more then apprehensive about it.

Critical Evaluation –

In terms of character development, the way that Meyers approaches the Mythological creatures that are known as vampires is unique and not the typical things associated with vampires. Edward can read people’s minds, and James can track humans and animals by smelling their blood. Due to a condition in their skin they reflect the sunlight, causing a shimmer effect. No fangs for these vampires, they have sharp edged teeth, and they look exceptionally worn down when they are hungry. Their eyes change according to their diet, human eaters produce red irises and animal eaters produce amber irises. Meyers keeps some vampire traditions in that they are attractive and charming in order to seduce their prey, they drink blood exclusively, burning them is the only deterrent, and they have preternatural strength.

The other thing about character development is that I was not very impressed with it otherwise. Bella and company have almost no background. No thought processes seem to occur in Bella’s mind other than, this doesn’t sound like a good idea and then she does it anyway, without any reason or explanation. She does things several times many times the exact same way, there is little variation to her character, and it appears little growth other than accepting the relationship of her and Edward. She is shallow in emotion, not necessarily in character. I have heard that background, and depth of character improve as the story continues to other books, but I am not seeing it in this first book.

Reader’s Annotation –

Girl meets boy. Boy avoids girl because he wants to eat her. Time to date?

Author Information –

Stephenie Meyer’s life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke-up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head. “Though I had a million things to do (i.e. making breakfast for hungry children, dressing and changing the diapers of said children, finding the swimsuits that no one ever puts away in the right place), I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write–something I hadn’t done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering.” Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, then writing it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight.
Twilight was one of 2005’s most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list.Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an “ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults,” an Amazon.com “Best Book of the Decade&So Far”, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. The movie version of Twilight will be released by Summit Entertainment nationwide on November 21, 2008, starring Kristen Stewart (“Into The Wild”) and Robert Pattinson (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”).
The highly-anticipated sequel, New Moon, was released in September 2006 and spent 31 weeks at the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list. Eclipse, the third book in Meyer’s Twilight saga, was released on August 7, 2007 and sold 150,000 copies its first day on-sale. The book debuted at #1 bestseller lists across the country, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The fourth and final book in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, was published on August 2, 2008, with a first printing of 3.2 million copies – the largest first printing in the publisher’s history. Breaking Dawn sold 1.3 million copies its first day on-sale rocketing the title to #1 on bestseller lists nationwide.
Meyer’s highly-anticipated debut for novel adults, The Host, was released by Little, Brown and Company in May 2008 and debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and sons.

Curriculum Ties –

Mythology Updated

Booktalking Ideas –

Were you ever attracted to someone you knew you shouldn’t date?

Challenge Issues –

Religious viewpoint, Violence, Presents an Unhealthy Relationship to Young Women, Sexual Situations

Why Did I Choose This?

It is on the ALA’s Top Ten List of Most Frequently Challenges Books of 2010.

Reference –

http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Saga-Book-1-ebook/dp/B000QRIGLW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438627524&sr=1-1&keywords=twilight

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird (Kindle Edition) by Harper Lee

Published in 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers

ASIN: B00K0O142W

Genre – Drama

Sub genre – Mystery

Reading Level/Interest – Adult Crossover

Plot Summary –

Scout remembers that it all started with Jem’s broken arm, but Jem tells her that it started with meeting Dill and trying to make Boo Radley, the town recluse and imagined boogey man, come out of his house. They are unsuccessful in every attempt, but notice little presents in the tree on the Radley property towards the end of the school year. This goes on for the next year but the children never actually see him.

Scout has a rough first day at first grade. She is told that she knows how to read and she must stop that and be taught the correct way instead. This puzzles Scout, as well as when she is whipped for explaining that the Cunninghams are poor. By the end of the day, she wants nothing more to do with the school, but Atticus strikes a deal with her, that he will keep reading with her if she keeps going to school.

The town is in an uproar when Atticus is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. The reader knows the family as a bunch of kids who refuse to go to school and have a bad reputation amongst the community. Despite this, the town sides on Ewell’s side and wants to lynch him. Jen and Scout have to deal with the prejudice and disapproval at school, while Atticus deals with stopping the lynch mob, and getting Tom to court in one piece. The mob finally turns back when Jem, Dill and Scout shows up and Scout shames Mr. Cunningham into leaving and taking everybody with him, because he owes Atticus for helping him with his legal issues.

There is no room on the ground floor of the courthouse the day of the trial, where the whites sit, so Jem and Scout are snuck up into the colored section in the balcony by Reverend Sykes. Atticus presents a clear case, where Mayella made advances on Tom, and her father catches her and beats her, so she tried to save face by accusing Tom. The jury won’t have any of it and declare Tom guilty. Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, threatens Atticus after the trail, spits on him in the street and vows to kill him. When Tom tries to escape from prison, he is shot and killed.

Critical Evaluation –

The book is written in first person through Scout’s eyes, but is told entirely in past tense, as Scout seems to be recounting these events from the future. She refers to her father as Atticus, which could be indicative of her being an adult at this time. She discusses talking things through with other characters sometimes to get a story straight, sometimes to get what they were feeling and we can sort of see a little into other people’s minds but all through the filter of time and what Scout thinks of it all.  The book is mainly in narrative, not a lot of dialogue, but the descriptions are engaging and draw you into the quiet, sleepy town where children can play in the red, muddy streets with little supervision, and there can be a haunted house down the road all the children dare not go near.

When dealing with theme, the overarching theme throughout this book is innocence. The innocence of the children when reacting to the people around them like when Scout explains to teacher about the Cunninghams, Dill wants to marry Scout, Scout hurts Walter’s feelings, or when Scout is too young to understand prejudice when the kids at school make fun of her father. There is the speech Atticus gives Scout about mockingbirds being an innocent bird and that it is a sin to destroy innocence. The black man that Atticus is defending is innocent. Finally, Boo Radley is also a symbol of innocence, as he is not what people think he is.

Reader’s Annotation –

Brother and Sister, Jem and Scout Finch, observe life in their dusty, red dirt town in Maycomb, Alabama at the height of Jim Crowe. They think that Maycomb people are the best people out there until they begin to learn more about the people around them.

Author Information –

Nelle Harper Lee is known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, her only major work. In 1999, it was voted “Best Novel of the Century” in a poll by Library Journal. Ms. Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature in 2007. Her father was a lawyer who served in the Alabama state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate, Truman Capote. After completing To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee accompanied Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to assist him in researching his bestselling book, In Cold Blood. Since publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee has granted very few requests for interviews or public appearances. Her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, is scheduled to be released in July, 2015.

Curriculum Ties –

Literature, History of the South, Equality in the 1930’s, Great Depression Era

Booktalking Ideas –

When have you been innocent of something, either that you didn’t know any better, or that you were accused of something?

Challenge Issues –

Racism, Murder, Violence, Racial Slurs, Lynch Mob

Why Did I Choose This?

It won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1960, and it is often part of the curriculum in most High Schools. It is perhaps one of the most influential stories ever written.

Reference –

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Mockingbird-Harperperennial-Modern-Classics-ebook/dp/B00K0OI42W/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438623546&sr=1-3&keywords=to+kill+a+mockingbird

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Published in 1971 by Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.

ISBN-13: 978-0060837020

Genre – Real Life

Sub genre – Drama

Reading Level/Interest – 15-18

Plot Summary –

Esther rooms with Doreen and has a job as an editorial intern in New York. She got the position from a writing contest where she and eleven other girls got the jobs. Doreen and Esther go to a bar and then go home with a guy named Lenny and his friend. Doreen stays and makes out with Lenny, but Esther isn’t feeling it with the friend and goes home.

The next day the girls at the office go to a banquet and enjoy themselves, all except Esther, who had been chastised earlier in the day by her boss about knowing where she was going in life. Later on she feels sick and comes home early from a movie she went to see with Betsy. It turns out the girls all had crabmeat at the banquet and all got food poisoning. Doreen had gone out with Lenny all day and wasn’t sick, so when she comes home she wakes Esther up. She thinks about her boyfriend who is now in a sanatorium recovering from tuberculosis. Unfortunately, she had wanted to break up with him, but he got sick and got put away before she could do so. She didn’t like his hypocritical nature.

She visits him at the place, and he writes her bad poetry that doesn’t impress her and then asks her to marry him and she tells him she isn’t the marrying kind, which he doesn’t believe. When he gets out, they go skiing and she breaks her leg.

She tries to date and sleep with someone else, but he’s not interested. The next day, Doreen tries to cheer her up by taking her out with Lenny and Lenny’s friend Marco. Marco attacks her sexually and she punches him in the nose and throws her clothes off the hotel roof.

She finds out that after her internship is over she is going back to her mother’s house. She gets depressed and won’t write, eat or sleep. Nothing appeals to her, not traditional gender roles like wife and mother or traditional womanly jobs like secretary and stenographer. After she asks for stronger sleeping pills she is referred to a psychiatrist.

Esther doesn’t trust the doctor because he doesn’t act like he’s listening, and after a couple of meetings, prescribes shock therapy, which is a treatment that terrifies Esther. The electroshock only makes her worse and she decides not to go back. Instead she begins to make plans to kill herself. She starts by trying to slash her wrists, but stops after she draws blood on one wrist and bandages it up. She then tries to hang herself, but her body won’t let her the way she is trying to do it, so she resorts to taking pills and hides in the basement.

Critical Evaluation –

One of the main themes of the book is the stereotype that was prevalent in the 1950’s and that was the idea that women were supposed to get married and have babies and not have careers or minds of their own. Esther does not know what she wants and it adds to her depression.

Esther is also somewhat overwhelmed by sex and her sexuality. The first chapter has her following Doreen around, observing the way she flaunts her sexuality by wearing her hair, clothing and makeup a certain way and she manages to attract an equally attractive man. Esther notes that the only person interested in her is not up to par with Lenny. When she goes with Doreen to Lenny’s apartment, she enjoys herself at first but becomes uncomfortable when Lenny picks up Doreen, making her breasts fall out of her dress and bites at her hip. Not wanting to see anymore, Esther leaves. She does have a boyfriend she refuses to sleep with and was turned off by his naked body. When she learns he had slept with other people she wants to ditch him completely because he wasn’t as pure as he acted, and always made her feel as though she was more experienced then him. She becomes highly sexualized at this realization and wants to sleep with somebody, but at first a guy isn’t interested and another falls asleep on her. The third one attacks her and she punches him in the nose. She doesn’t seem to be comfortable with herself at all.

Reader’s Annotation –

Esther is misunderstood and slowly spiraling down into insanity, depression, and suicide attempts. Can what she has be treated and fixed?

Author Information –

Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Plath is credited with being a pioneer of the 20th-century style of writing called confessional poetry. Her poem “Daddy” is one of the best-known examples of this genre.

In 1963, Plath’s semi-autobiographic novel The Bell Jar was published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas”; it was reissued in 1966 under her own name. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.

Curriculum Ties –

Psychology

Booktalking Ideas –

What did you think as you were reading the book, did you recognize that she was spiraling into depression or did you think something else was happening?

Challenge Issues –

Suicide, Depression, Language, Sexual Situations

Why Did I Choose This?

It is about a young woman, possibly still in her teens or right out of them, who is experiencing severe depression. As Plath herself was also suffering and spent time in mental hospitals, the experiences in the book sound genuine. For any teen who is going through this or knows someone going through this, it can be a great reference and for others it is a look into a baffling and misunderstood disease.

Reference –

http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Jar-Modern-Classics/dp/0060837020/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438570320&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bell+jar+by+sylvia+plath

 

Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green

Published in 2008 By Dutton Books

ISBN: 9781101010938

Genre – Drama

Sub genre – Mystery, Suspense

Reading Level/Interest – 15-18

Plot Summary –

Quentin and Margo are bound together through a mutual experience of discovering a dead body together when they were young. They grow up and grow apart, but that all changes in high school.

Margo is now the most popular girl in school and is known for being a little crazy. Quentin is a nerd and has acquired fellow nerd friends Radar and Ben. Quentin has loved Margo secretly and from afar so when she breaks into his room one night and reveals her eleven part crazy plan of revenge, he agrees to help her with it.

The plan is divulged to be mostly her taking retaliation out on her ex-boyfriend, and they start by going to Wal-Mart to obtain the materials to execute their plans. Since her ex-boyfriend Jase left her for Becca, she calls Becca’s parents and let them know that Becca and Jase are having sex currently in their basement. While they are busy chasing Jase out of their house naked, Quentin and Margo sneak into Becca’s room and spray a blue M on the wall. They go to the basement and leave a dead catfish as a reminder of her betrayal, since she had been Margo’s best friend.

Next they visit Karin, who had let Margo know that Jase was cheating, even though Margo hadn’t believed her at the time. Margo leaves her a bouquet of flowers. Then, they go to Jase’s house next and break into his room, leaving a turquoise M on the wall and a fish. Margo and Quentin go to Lacey’s next and break into her car, leaving a fish under her seat and a blue M on her roof.

Margo lets Quentin decide if he wants to choose the next person to get revenge on, and Quentin chooses Chuck, who is a bully and had been bothering him since middle school, until Margo made him stop three years ago. They break into his room and use hair removal cream on his eyebrow and slick all of his door handles with Vaseline.

Margo doesn’t show up to school the next day or for the next three days, prompting her parents to fill out a missing person’s report on her. Quentin is interviewed by the cops because he was the last to see her alive. He and his friends get her sister to let them into her house to look for clues. They think they find one in her room and set off on a road trip to try to find Margo and save her from her fate.

Critical Evaluation –

The book is written in first person from the perspective of Quentin Jacobson, and he spends some time recounting the past but for the most part is in the here and now while telling the story. The point of view is always what he has personally experienced and never anybody else’s. Even when Margo tells him her thoughts, it is filtered through Quentin’s thoughts when he tells the reader.

The three sections of the book point out the symbols prevalent throughout the book strings grass and the vessel. The kids in the book ponder about the meaning of strings when Margo initially uses the metaphor about herself. She believes that strings keep a person grounded and sane. It’s the Leaves of Grass book by Walt Whitman that leads the boys to find Margo when she disappears for three days. Quentin refers to the minivan that they take the trip in as the vessel. Then there is the idea of Paper Towns. A paper town is a town that only exists on paper; it isn’t what one thinks it is. So it is with Margo, Quentin has built up this image of Margo and wants to be her hero, only to have it all come crashing down when he realizes she is nothing like he’d dreamed up. She is merely a paper person, much like a paper town.

Reader’s Annotation –

Nerdy Quentin and his friends were completely overlooked by popular Margo, until Margo needs his help one night in a quest for revenge.

Author Information –

John Green is a New York Times bestselling author who has received numerous awards, including both the Printz Medal and a Printz Honor. John is also the cocreator (with his brother, Hank) of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe. John Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Curriculum Ties –

Geography, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy

Booktalking Ideas –

Have you ever built someone up into something they weren’t, or had someone represent himself or herself as something different than they are?

Challenge Issues –

Language and sexual content

Why Did I Choose This?

It is currently a motion picture running in theaters nationwide. School Library Journal gave it a favorable review as well as the Orlando Sentinel.

Reference –

http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Towns-John-Green/dp/014241493X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438098543&sr=1-1&keywords=john+Green

http://www.amazon.com/John-Green/e/B001I9OQNE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Looking For Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Published in 2008 by Speak

ISBN: 978-1-101-43420-8

Genre – Drama

Sub genre – Mystery, Suspense

Reading Level/Interest – 15-18

Plot Summary –

The novel begins with Miles Halter’s mother trying to give her son a going away party, which fails since her son is not nearly as popular as she was hoping. Only two people attend the party, Marie Lawson and her boyfriend Will. During the non party the reader finds out that Miles is going away to a boarding school, Culver Creek, that his father had attended and that he wants to go to seek his “Great Perhaps”, a quote he got from his hobby of collecting the last words of famous people.

They go drop him off at the school near Birmingham, Alabama, and he notices the heat is far more intense than the heat in Florida where he is from. He also does not have air conditioning in his dorm room. His roommate is Chip, known as the Colonel, and immediately names Miles ‘Pudge’, because he is skinny. They go to get Chip’s stuff from the TV room that served as a storage area over the summer. Chip then goes to get cigarettes from Alaska, who promptly pulls down his baggy shorts.

The two boys go down to the beach to meet with Alaska after she finds Takumi. They sit on the swings and wait while Pudge tries to smoke for the first time after buying cigarettes he never intended on using. The Colonel wants to meet up with his girlfriend and leaves Pudge alone. He stays hoping to meet with Alaska, whom he thinks is hot. She does show finally and quizzes on his hobby. She strikes a deal with him, that he figures out what the labyrinth was in Simon Bolivar’s last words, ‘ Damn it, how will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” and she will find him a girlfriend.

The next day Pudge meets Takumi at lunch while he’s eating his first bufriedo, a deep-fried bean burrito. The conversation revolved around what had happened to Alaska’s roommate, who had been sent away at the end of the previous year. She and her boyfriend were caught being drunk, getting high and naked on her bed.

That night, he is grabbed by three guys and tossed in the water, after they taped his arms and legs together and his mouth with duct tape. Not knowing what to do, after he finally makes it to shore, he goes to Alaska’s room. She tells him to grow up, and he stops off. The Colonel tells him they were only supposed to throw him in, not try to kill him. The next morning he discovers that the kids had peed in Colonel’s shoes before grabbing them. The Colonel declares war on those kids.

Critical Evaluation –

Like The Fault in Our Stars, this book is in first person and features the voice of Miles or Pudge, but unlike Fault, Miles is actually upbeat and hopeful about attending his new school and seeking his, Great Perhaps. He isn’t cynical despite his lonely existence at his previous school.  He looks forward to ditching his parents, and making new friends and starting all over. He goes so far as to fantasize about what he’ll say and how it will go. His feeling swiftly turn to apprehension, once nothing goes his way and then terror as he is thrown in the water in a heinous prank that could have killed him. This soon turns into almost elation as his new friends band around him and they start a prank war against the ones that did him wrong.

The labyrinth is one symbol that stands out against many as Alaska challenges him to find the meaning. After hearing about how Alaska’s mother died he concludes that to Alaska, the Labyrinth is Alaska’s suffering and she wants to find her way out of feeling guilty that she did not call 911 that night. The Labyrinth could also be the life each of us is forced to navigate separately. If it was her intention to actually kill herself, this could account for her braking free of it according to her note, “Straight and Fast”, although this would also have let her escape the pain she was in also.

Reader’s Annotation –

Miles is only trying to survive going to a new school. Nothing could have prepared him for hazing, The Colonel, and a girl named Alaska.

Author Information –

John Green is a New York Times bestselling author who has received numerous awards, including both the Printz Medal and a Printz Honor. John is also the cocreator (with his brother, Hank) of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe. John Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Curriculum Ties –

Boarding Schools, Sociology, Psychology

Booktalking Ideas –

People you meet in dorms. What does the Labyrinth mean?

Challenge Issues –

Sex, drugs, smoking, language, hazing

Why Did I Choose This?

It’s a number one best seller on Amazon in Teen and Young Adult Fiction. Its by John Green, and highly recommended.

Reference –

http://www.amazon.com/John-Green/e/B001I9OQNE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Forever

Forever by Judy Blume (Kindle Ed)

Published in 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

ASIN: B008737VJU

Genre – Romance

Sub genre – Drama

Reading Level/Interest – 15-18

Plot Summary –

Katherine meets Michael at a New Year’s Party and likes him. He comes over with the pretense of getting some albums back from the house the day after the party in order to see Katherine before she goes home from the slumber party. They go for a ride, but she has to be back in time for her father to pick her up. They make small talk and decide they like each other to continue. Michael kisses her when he drops her off.

She describes him to her mother later on that night and tells her sister that she is going on a date the next weekend. The two future daters begin calling each other every night that week before the date occurs. They go for a movie and then dinner, and then Michael wants to park. Katherine tells him she doesn’t know and that they should go hang out at her house. They go to the den and Michael tries to get to second base, so Katherine shuts him down, provoking him to ask if she is a virgin, which she admits to. Michael says he doesn’t mind.

Katherine has a small get together at her house after a couple of weeks have past, and invites Michael, Erica and Artie. After her parents go to sleep they pair off, Erica and Artie leave the room for another, and Michael and Katherine are alone in the den. When Michael tries to round third, Katherine stops him and goes to join the other couple in the other room who are playing Monopoly, to her surprise. The boys leave and Erica spends the night. Their conversation revolves around the boys. Erica was surprised that Artie hadn’t made a move on her and wants to have sex before going off to college. When Katherine insists she should wait for someone she loves, she tells Katherine that you don’t need to be in love to have sex.

Things continue to go slowly for Michael; he keeps trying to push Katherine a little farther, and she keeps stopping him. The opposite happens with Erica and Artie, she is to the point where she is going to try something if he doesn’t, since they had been out a couple of times and not even a kiss has been exchanged between them. After the play, Erica is frustrated by the lack of anything sexual and asks Artie if he is gay. He replies that he is confused and trying to figure it out. She asks him how he’s ever going to figure it out if he doesn’t experiment with a girl instead of hiding from them and he admits he’s scared to try.

Critical Evaluation –

According to Blume’s introduction to the book, she wanted to show a teen couple in love and having sex without something looming over them like cancer, death, being hit by a car, or an unplanned pregnancy. She wanted to show a couple in love that have sex because they were in love, not despite all else. It defiantly shines as the main theme of the novel being teenage sexuality and a close second teen relationships and how they grow and fall apart.

Another theme I noticed was Michael constantly adding pressure on Katherine to progress. He never waits for Katherine to make a move, although he does stop whenever she asks him too, although begrudgingly. He is a teenager and it is to be expected that he would be overeager and press his limits. I found that Katherine’s internal dialogue where she often did not want him to stop or wouldn’t have stopped him if there hadn’t been other circumstances, friends in the other room, sister in the other room or she was babysitting.

Reader’s Annotation –

Katherine really likes Michael and Michael really like Katherine. Will her virginity be a problem in a continued relationship?

Author Information –

Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, NJ, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places, doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Superfudge; Blubber; Just As Long As We’re Together; and Forever. She has also written the best-selling novels Wifey; Smart Women; and, Summer Sisters. More than 75 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.
She receives thousands of letters each month from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.
Judy received a B.S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996, the same year that American Library Association honored her with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. She has won more than ninety awards, none more important than those coming directly from her youngest readers.
She serves on the boards of the Author’s Guild, currently as Vice President; the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where she sponsors an award for contemporary fiction; and the National Coalition Against Censorship, working to protect intellectual freedom. In Spring 2002, Judy was a spokesperson for the Cheerios “A Book for Every Child” literacy campaign which benefited Reading is Fundamental, America’s largest literacy organization. She is also the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation.
Judy’s first book in the Fudge series, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, was published in 1972. She is thrilled to be celebrating its 30th Anniversary with the publication of Double Fudge. Just as generations of fans have loved the Fudge books, generations of Judy’s family have inspired them. Thirty years ago, Fudge was inspired by her son, Larry, and now Double Fudge was written at the request of her grandson, Elliot.
Judy lives on islands up and down the East Coast with her husband George Cooper. They have three grown children and one grandchild.

Curriculum Ties –

Health class, Sex Ed.

Booktalking Ideas –

Do you feel that people who have sex, or take drugs in movies and books should be punished for their behavior with a disease, unplanned pregnancy or death?

Challenge Issues –

Sex, Sex Without Repercussions, Language, Use of the Pill, Possible Homosexuality, Attempted Suicide

Why Did I Choose This?

It falls on the ALA’s list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books from 1990-2000 at number seven. It was runner up for the Best Book of the Year Award in 1975, and it won the Margaret A. Edwards Award.

Reference –

http://www.amazon.com/Forever-Judy-Blume-ebook/dp/B008737VJU/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438565489&sr=1-3&keywords=Forever