Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Module 6: Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Hale, Shannon, Dean Hale, and Nathan Hale. Rapunzel's Revenge. New York, NY: Bloomsbury, 2008. Print. ISBN:9781599900704

"I'd read about stuff like this, romance and falling in love and such. I'd even imagined it happening to me. But I never guess how it could feel like ... well, I may as well just say it ... like a good kind of magic."

Rapunzel's Revenge is a new take on an old tale. Rapunzel is growing up under her mother's care, Mother Gothel. One day she finds out that she is not the daughter of Mother Gothel, but that she was stolen right after she was born. When she finds this out, Mother Gothel puts her in a tall tree tower where she is required to live for many years. When she is finally able to escape, she meets Jack. They meet many people on their quest to get back to the mines to free Rapunzel's real mom.

Readers who enjoy graphic novels and fairy tales will get a kick out of this fractured fairy tale. Much of the action is captured in each picture and this book will be a big hit with reluctant readers. The art is well done and suits the story. One of the confusing things is the setting. The map of the country the story takes place in is put on a page in the middle of the book. By make this a part of the beginning, readers will be able to follow Rapunzel and Jack. The reviewer at Booklist says that, "Hale’s art matches the story well, yielding expressive characters and lending a wonderful sense of place to the fantasy landscape. Rich with humor and excitement, this is an alternate version of a classic that will become a fast favorite of young readers." Overall, many students will find draw ti this favorite children's stories.

Students will be given a sheet of paper with twelve boxes on it. They are required to take a Aesop's tale and turn it into a graphic tale. This can be done in pairs or individually.

"Rapunzel's Revenge." Booklist 105.1 (2008). Titlewave. Follett Library Resources. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. .

Module 6: One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones

Sones, Sonya. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies. New York: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers, 2004. Print. ISBN: 9780689858208

"I wished I believed in heaven. Because at least then I'd be able to picture you up there with your halo and your wings, flying around with all the other angels, doing good deeds, maybe even watching over me to make sure my life turns out okay."

Ruby is going through some major life changes, and she is not happy about it. Her mother has just died, and she is being sent off to California to live with her dad. The problem is her dad is none other than Whip Logan, famous movie star and absentee father. As Ruby tries to adapt to life without her best friend and boyfriend in this very confusing place, she starts to wonder....who wants me?

In this part free verse poem, part letters story, Sonya Sones take a girl in her teens and pulls her completely out of her element. Not only does she lose her mom, her best friend, and her boyfriend, but she feels like she is losing herself. Written in first person, the reader gets a taste of the raw teenage emotions that so many young adult readers will be able to connect with. By using the free verse, much of the over done detail is left out and the readers just gets the heart of the story. School Library Journal says, "This is not just another one of those gimmicky novels written in poetry. It's solid and well written, and Sones has a lot to say about the importance of carefully assessing people and situations and about opening the door to one's own happiness. Despite several predictable particulars of plot, Ruby's story is gripping, enjoyable, and memorable."

After showing this book as an example, I would have students experiment with free verse by writing poems based on there life and something that they are going through. Students will need to be well equipped with knowledge of the outline of poetry.

Scheps, Susan. "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies." School Library Journal (2004). Title Wave. Follett Library Resourse. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. .

Module 6: Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes

Grimes, Nikki. Dark Sons. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion for Children, 2005. Print. ISBN: 0786818883

"I scanned the story of Abraham,
and heard a voice
deep inside of me.
Slow doen, it said.
Take a closer look.
And there he was -- Ishmael,
someone a lot like me.
A guy whose father ripped his heart out too.
Me and you, Ishmael,
we're brothers,
two dark sons..."

In Dark Sons, Sam and Ishmael are from two different times, but are having the same problems. Their dads have left them to go have a new family, with a new son. As years pass, each older son must make peace with the father they have grown to not trust, and ask God to help them forgive.

What a beautifully depicted tale of two boys, from two different cultures and two different times, having to deal with a broken family. By taking a story like this and writing it in the form of poetry, the reader gets the raw emotion from each individual. Although at times Ishmael's voice is hard to understand, there is no mistaking the conflict he feels between his love of his baby brother and his hate over losing his place as his father's only son. Sam's voice is easy to recognize the anger that he is trying to deal with. He is trying to be strong for his mom, but inside all he wants to do is curl up and hope it goes away. Many readers will be able to with both points of view. Booklist says, "The simple words eloquently reveal what it's like to miss someone ("I've stopped expecting / his shadow in the hallway / his frame in the doorway"), but even more moving is the struggle to forgive and the affection each boy feels for the baby that displaces him. The elemental connections and the hope ("You made it / in the end / and so will I") will speak to a wide audience. Dark Sons is sure to make an impact with all readers.

For a book report activity, students will write 10 free verse poems, focusing on two different characters of the book. (Example: Harry Potter and Voldermort). Each poem much focus on the same event, just each one is from two different perspectives.

"Dark Sons." Booklist. Amazon. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. .