imageI’m trying to expand my blogging habits a bit by writing about the books I read and how I might use them in the classroom. here’s my first post:

I started and finished The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen laying on the beach in the Cayman Islands yesterday. It is the sequel to the wildly popular The Compound and by wildly, I mean my students loved it. It’s been a while since I read the first one, but it wasn’t difficult to pick up the story line. Eli, the protagonist of this sci-fi novel, is picking up the pieces of a normal life when, once more, everything he knows is turned upside down and he is faced with very real dangers to him and his family.

How I would use this in my classroom:

  • I would read some excerpts-once you read the first chapter aloud, chances are you will have kids clamoring to read it.
  • Use the beginning of the novel as an example in a writer’s craft lesson. The novel hooks the reader in quickly. I would facilitate a discussion about what Bodeen does that works. Why do we want to continue reading?
  • Sentence variety. BOden does  a nice job of varying sentence structure. You could spur a discussion about the impact on the reader.
  • Several chapters in, the family makes an important trip to Costco. I know what Costco is, but I was left wondering if all readers have been to Costco and would understand how that setting is helping to drive the events in the novel. I think writers would benefit from hearing this chapter read aloud (short, like most of them) and then talking about the pros and cons of using such a specific setting in their writing.

Things that I like to know about YA books:

  • Character development: eh. Static teen characters put in unlikely positions
  • Genre: sci-fi. No aliens-medical sci-fi (at least I hope it’s not real)
  • Bad language: none
  • Sex: none (just a quick smooch at one point-nothing startling)
  • Drugs/alcohol: none

I’d recommend this novel to any of my readers. Quick-moving storyline.

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