Posts Tagged 'Young Adult fiction'

Charles Benoit, Fall From Grace

Fall from Grace

Fall from Grace, by Charles Benoit

Sawyer is a senior in high school, and he has always done the right thing.  His parents are behind him every step of the way—right behind him.  His girlfriend is there for him, too.  Even his plans for college are working out.

So—why is Sawyer so ready to listen to Grace, with her plans for stealing a picture?

As Young Adult author Robert Lipsyte said of a previous Benoit title, the decisions are “as harshly real as Hell or high school.”

Charles Benoit continues his theme of observing the choices a teen protagonist makes, choices that mount up to have a meaning all their own.  There are a lot of issues here for discussion, and HarperCollins has provided a provocative online discussion guide, http://files.harpercollins.com/HCChildrens/OMM/Media/FallFromGrace_ERBC_Guide.pdf .

And, by the way, here is Benoit’s answer to the question, Is there any deeper meaning to all this stuff?  Wish I had had it back when I taught high school English!

Sherry Gammon, Souls in Peril

Souls in Peril

Souls in Peril, by Sherry Gammon

Because a new intern angel had carried him off before his life was really supposed to end, Max was offered the chance to return to Earth, to his own high school, to help a soul in peril.

As Captain of the Football Team, Max hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about Lumpy Larry.  He disdained Larry’s looks, but had never thought about Larry’s harsh home life or the perils Larry faced at the bus stop.   And now Max was sent back to high school inside Larry’s body, to give him some (unspecified) kind of help.  “Fine,” thought Max, “I can see my old friends and help Larry lose weight.”  Aah, but it was harder than Max expected, just as the angel Gabriel (no, not thatGabriel! Gabriel from Schenechtady!) had said.

So this is a book about bullying:  the thoughtless sort, the violent sort, and the highly intentional sort.  Besides the engaging story, there’s humor and hope here.

For starters, kids can do a lot to help each other.  Some adults are disposed to be helpful. In the end, it is up to the sufferer to choose–or refuse–the offered help.   Humor and hope, and lots to talk about.