Following you can find some questions that I wanted you to consider in relation to the books we read this week, the teen “classics.” For example, here you have some ideas to consider in general about these group of books:
What makes a classic? Woloski considers this question in connection to films instead of books. So maybe we can revisit it on Week 13.
Is there a timelessness in the teen experience? Something that makes these book still connect to teens. I will connect our discussion panel in another post for your to use in the future, or perhaps to help construct your interview questions.
As a librarian, what should be your role? Should you blindly recommend them? Should you “translate” them to teens so they avoid mis- and pre-conceptions?
The voice and the character construction of Holden: is he just a rebel or is there anything else to his behaviour?
Should this book be in the adult section because of the language/literary style or some of the problematic issues?
Many of you touched on this book. My main discussion topic about is the tone of the book: it speaks about sex and the potential consequences from a didactic and trusting approach instead of that of punishment or risky behaviour. When you look at the book like that, do you know many current books that look at sex from a similar point of you, both non-judgmental and responsible?
Dystopian in Teen Lit is not something new
Over the years, The Giver has been among the American Library Association’s most challenged titles, with parents alleging that it encourages euthanasia and undermines motherhood, among other things. We might revisit these theme on the week about Intellectual Freedom.
An important topic in The Giver that of memory and access to information, how our memories (and those of our society) can be manipulated/erased. The comfort and security that they achieve as a society where they are without war, poverty, crime, alcoholism, divorce, is it worth the cleansing that they have suffered? This is a book that shows the strong connection between the wish for an Utopian society that is in actuality a scary Dystopia. Is there any connection that we can make to current themes in society? Or to other Dystopian media? Black Mirror anyone?
Can the reader realize that there are no easy answers to the problems we face in life and society?
The idea of making everybody beautiful to create an egalitarian basis for society is a scary idea, but how do we move from that to erasing personality traits? Again, the issue moves to issues of memory (society and individual) and personality (individual): What makes us who we are?
This is an innovative work: In a non traditional format, original but necessary to create this unreliable narrator, and very reflective of the changing times we live in.
The unreliable narrator/narrative: Are those different versions of the story? Perhaps different versions of his personality, his self?
Who do you expect reading this and who do you think can benefit from it? After answering this question, double check your answer and ask yourself, why do I think it would be this kind of reader/teen?