Thursday, January 24, 2008
Watson, C.G. 2007. QUAD. New York: Penguin. ISBN 1595141383 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]
QUAD has multiple narrators and a non-chronological framework. The premise is simple: one of these students, one of the narrators' classmates, has decided to take revenge on classmates. Someone is out for vengeance and they've brought a gun. How does this become complex? Each narrator, each circle of friends, has a motive. All of them are angry, most are bitter. All see high school labels and social hierarchies as evil for the most part. The "bad guys," the popular kids, come across as true villains. While not all narrators are equally likable, most are portrayed as human—fallible, but likable just the same. The suspense of who lives, who dies, and the unveiling of the identity of the shooter and victim(s) will keep the reader hooked until the very end.
QUAD dissects the minute details of high school society and examines the concept of cause and effect showing how daily interactions can be perceived and received either negatively or positively. Actions have consequences as this book shows. Watson’s characters are authentic because of their flaws—their weaknesses. She has a gift for capturing teen humanity at its best and worst.
One of the messages of QUAD is that words—that actions—have consequences. Choose an example from the book and show how that one act had an impact on another person.
Other books about troubled teens:
Alexie, Sherman. THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN. ISBN 0316013684
Asher, Jay. THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. ISBN 1595141715
Garsee, Jeannine. BEFORE, AFTER, AND SOMEBODY IN BETWEEN. ISBN 159990022X
Harazin, S.A. BLOOD BROTHERS. ISBN 038573364X
Zarr, Sara. STORY OF A GIRL. ISBN 0316014532
By Becky Laney