QuickLit Review: Friends, Fear, and Family come sharply into focus in Kakla Magoon’s 37 Things I Love in No Particular Order

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Kekla Magoon tells a deeply moving tale of a high school girl struggling with issues that most teenagers will connect with: friendships, body image, sexuality, and parents. Although many of the questions  Ellis struggles with as her school year comes to a close revolve around the decision concerning her father who has been in a coma for a couple years, most teens will focus on the other more teen-oriented problems. While Magoon’s sensitively draws a portrait of a young woman who needs and wants connections with those around her, it is Ellis’s poignant attachment to her silent father that fuels the emotional power of this novel. Well worth reading for the 13 through 15 crowd.

S = SS (Exploration and discussion of sex by gay, straight, and questioning characters.)

V= 0

Questionable Activity = ?? (Underage drinking and lying.)

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QuickLit: Far, Far Away, by Tom McNeal. For Better or Worse, Fairy Tales Do Come True

Far Far AwayFor a book in which fairy tales figure very prominently, this book took a very frightful turn, sort of like fairy tales themselves. For teachers or writers interested in the topic, this one is worth reading if you or your students are studying the conventions of folk tales, archetypes and symbols, and literary techniques of foreshadowing and building tension. It is full of artfully employed examples of all of them. For upper middle grade and older.

 

S = 0

V = 2

? = 1