Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taken by Edward Bloor

I read this book for my YA book club. We tried to choose books that would be appealing to both boys and girls, since we have one boy in our group of 10 girls. The boy dropped out - but we stuck with our book selections.

Taken is set in the future, 2035. In the future, kidnapping is such a lucrative business that the rich have currency vaults, their children have trackers inserted somewhere on their persons, the help consists of people who will be willing to die for you, and they live in gated communities - and rarely leave!

Charity Meyers goes to school via satellite, buys her clothes online, and only has one friend. Taken refers to what happens when someone is kidnapped. Such as Charity. The rule is the families have 24 hours to follow the kidnappers demands and the book opens with only about 12 hours left.

It's a very interesting concept. I didn't think the Mickie Meyers character, Charity's ex-stepmother, was believable. Everyone did what she said but it was noted that she wasn't very bright. She disrupted the satschool classes and the Meyer's everyday life - and they let her.

Other than that - it was a pretty good middle grade mystery. Lots of twists and turns. There were some scenes that might make it a little YA though - such as how Charity and her friend Patience make fun of the background of their names. But, I would recommend it to people looking for a quick read.

posted on Goodreads

Friday, March 14, 2008

Poetry Friday - School Stuff

This poem reminds me of teaching. Students always imagine that nothing can happen when they are not there. It was shared with me yesterday by an eighth grade teacher who is starting a poetry unit. It's from Poetry 180. Great resource!

Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

but it was one place

And you weren’t here

From Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993, 1993
Harbour Publishing

Copyright 1993 Tom Wayman.
All rights reserved.


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