Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to School Blues

Come in and check out our "Back to School Blues" display. Here's a sneak peek at one of the blue books.

Quaking by Kathryn Erskine

Fourteen-year-old Matt has made a few wrong turns in her life. For years Matt, whose real name is Matilda but don’t you ever call her that, has been bouncing around from distant family member to distant family member while pushing her limits every time. Now Matt is at her final stop. Her cousin, Loopy, has found a distant cousin of her own who will take Matt in. Sam and Jessica Fox are a little different than who Matt was expecting. Sam and Jessica are practicing Quakers. Matt looks like your average rebellious teenager with her black clothes and black makeup, but she is not as tough as she looks. Sam and Jessica, along with Rory, the special needs boy who also lives with them, try to find out what’s really going on in Matt’s head.

There’s a war going on and Matt has just landed in a very pro-war area. Matt realizes that she has a lot in common with Sam and his fellow Quakers, especially when the war is involved. Matt must endure oppression for her peaceful beliefs from the Social Studies teacher and the school bully and his posse. At the same time, there are reports of violent protests against churches and groups in the area that promote peace and Sam is right in the middle of them.

Matt must learn to fight the bullies of today while trying to overcome her devastating past. Quaking contains a topic not found in many books today even though it is a part of everyday life. Quakers are still present in society today and Quaking does a wonderful job of explaining their beliefs. The timeliness of the war and its controversy creates a strong connection to Matt and her family that is easy to relate to. At first, Matt is strong on the outside but weak and frail on the inside. Throughout the growth of Matt’s relationship with the Foxes, Matt finds her voice and makes her true self known.

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