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13 August 2010 @ 07:35 am
#bookaday STOLEN  



We have a forum going at Goodreads.com for the 100 books in 2010 challenge (part of Paul Hankins Centurions Project to read 100 books this year). I was catching up with posts and saw one from a friend touting this book and picked it up as my #bookaday. It did not disappoint (and it has two starred reviews as I noticed last night when I posted that list here to the blog).

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher (Chicekn House/Scholastic 2010) is dark and intense and a perfect recommendation for those who want another book like Elizabeth Scott's LIVING DEAD GIRL. Gemma is kidnapped at the airport and taken to a remote location in Australia by a man who claims to have been watching her for many years. Ty (she only knows his first name) says they are destined to be together, but Gemma is frightened by the glimpses of violence she has seen and longs to escape. Eventually, though, Gemma begins to find Ty more fascinating than repulsive. Is this Stockholm Syndrome or something more?

The novel is not narrated by Gemma. Rather it is revealed as Gemma writes a letter to Ty, her former captor, who is now jailed and awaiting trial. Part of what stands out here in this terrific debut novel is the description of the barren landscape that is, from Ty's perspective and ultimately from Gemma's as well, a desert paradise. Colors, textures, elements are all essential. These play out in the characters, too. <318>

On a side note: the Lexile level for this book is in the 500s which means it could possibly end up in an intermediate or middle school library. Like reading levels, lexiles are NO way to ensure the right books get to the right reader.


POSSIBLE READING LADDER RUNGS:

LIVING DEAD GIRL
KIDNAPPING OF CHRISTINA LATTIMORE
THE COMPOUND
EXPOSED
THE MISSING GIRL
PAPER TOWNS ( taking off in a different direction)
 
 
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ex_kmessner on August 13th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for the reminder - this is in my to-read list! I heard Lucy read from it at ALA and was hooked.
(Anonymous) on August 13th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
No my Living Dead Girl fans
I think "Stolen" is way too slow for the readers who love "Living Dead Girl." Reluctant readers can't put Scott's book down, but this one takes forever to move after the opening chapter. I give LDG to girls (mostly) who don't read, whereas I'd offer "Stolen" to someone with some strength who can appreciate the psychological dimensions and doesn't need the intensity of plot.
professornanaprofessornana on August 14th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: No my Living Dead Girl fans
I was building a reading ladder using LIVING DEAD GIRL as one of the rungs. I think as readers progress, STOLEN is a good link. However, there is no one right book for kids as you point out. I found STOLEN absolutely riveting and read it cover to cover. Maybe that is because I am a reader and I read widely? Who knows?

I agree that LDG is great for reluctant readers though my avid readers adore it as much.
(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
recommending books by lexile
I so agree about the fallacy of recommending books by lexile or by AR readling level! Well, besides greatly disliking Accelerated Reader (and teaching in a school that hammers kids over the head with AR), I've personally had two bad experiences just this week with my book recommendations and reading levels.

The first involved a lovely conversation I had with a girl in the gifted program in my school who checked out and read my copy of the London Eye Mystery. When she returned the book, we had a delightful conversation about the point of view and the British language and the unexpected outcome of the mystery. On her way out the door, she commented that her English teacher would not be giving her credit for the book though because it was below her AR reading level. This girl is in 7th grade and it was the perfect book for her.

I had a similar experience with The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which when I finished last week, I immediately considered the students in my 7th grade class and who might be interested and ready. I think the book is fairly sophisticated with the flashbacks and also the discussion of medical ethics. It's rated YA, so actually I considered it a high school book rather than middle school, so I was thinking of my more mature readers. I happened to see its AR reading level: 3.2! That would mean that if I were to force my students to read within their tested reading levels, NONE of them would be allowed to read this book.

Like you, I believe that there is no substitute for a teacher knowing books and putting the right book into the right hands. I have a lot of battles ahead of me this year though at my school to fight the status quo.

Thanks for continuing to inspire me and continuing to recommend books that my kids love!

Sherry,
Chandler, AZ