Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lost and Found Opportunities

So what to do about a wonderful novel written for the junior/senior high level that I really enjoyed but wonder what kids out there will actually read it. Bah….

The green glass sea by Ellen Klages (823 K661G FIC) is one of these books.

Briefly, it takes place in the US during the Second World War where we get to know girl-geek, Dewey (really loves to mix it up with machines and gadgets). Her widowed father is a scientist working for the government on a top secret project. Lots of speculation but no one knows for sure exactly what it’s all about. Most adults reading this book will recognize the scenario as the development of the atom bomb. Dewey’s story meshes with a bossy-boots, little miss known as Suze. The girls’ relationship becomes the main focus of the story but with the secret project going on in the background there is a certain amount of tension building throughout the book.

So, will kids read this? I think it does have great merit but would likely have to be ‘sold’. A young teen or preteen would not necessarily gravitate to it on their own.

But, what about using a book like this in a book club setting let’s say in a science class? This is one of those opportunities where making a cross-curricular connection between reading and science could be fantastic. Possible discussion topics: girls and science, the ethics of scientific endeavors, or learning about the atom bomb are just few. This may provide a point of engagement in an unexpected way for those not usually drawn to science.

Just a thought…


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