Monday, January 28, 2008

Because of Anya by Margaret Peterson Haddix

image from LibraryThing
This is the second book club book for February.

I didn't like this as well as Stuck in Neutral mostly because it wasn't as adult appealing. It was much more predictable. But, I think it would really appeal to kids. I think I will recommend it to my 4th graders. It's not nearly as scary as Neutral.

The story is told from two 10-yr-old girls' perspectives.

Anya is the quiet, shy girl who suddenly began loosing her hair. It was pretty much all gone my Christmas. With the loss of her hair she also looses who she is. She refuses to look in the mirror. She wants/hopes to fade into the walls of her classroom and simply fade away.

The second side is Keely's. Keely is the minion of powerful and nasty Stef. But, she has a tender side. When Stef notices Anya's wig after Christmas vacation and wants to make sure it's a wig by getting Keely to tug on it...Keely stands up to her and tells her to stop.

But - the wig seems to have a mind of it's own - and in the midst of gym class it comes off and all the 4th graders see what Anya really looks like.

As Anya is revealed - so is Keely. Because it's Keely who attempts to connect with Anya and offer some sort of a solution.

Maybe it's because I teach 4th grade - but the adults in the story including the teacher didn't act like the adults I know. Instead, they sort of stood around wringing their hands and crying. It was Keely who went online and did research and it was Keely who crossed the divide and went to Anya's house with an idea...

Anyway- these two books will make for great conversation at book club. Each presents a child in need and very different ways of helping/solving that....

No comments: