Title: Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: 2004
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Summary: Halley strives to be the best friend she can be to Scarlet after Scarlet's boyfriend dies suddenly and leaves her pregnant with his child. Halley wants to be there for Scarlet while also going to school, having a boyfriend for the first time, and dealing with her strained relationship with her mother.
What I Think: I have read a lot of young adult realistic fiction geared towards girls in the past year. One thing I have noticed is that it seems more authentic when there are multiple issues a girl has to deal with all at one time. This book does a great job of intertwining elements of Halley's life that a teen could identify with. This is the first book I have read by Dessen after hearing a book talk about it in one of the classrooms I worked in last year. I have to say that I thought the book would be more about Scarlet and how she dealt with the death of her boyfriend when really this book is more about Halley and her first boyfriend (who is kind of mysterious and dangerous and exciting-gotta love it!) and how that impacts her relationship with her mom. I can definitely see how this book would be liked by teenage girls.
The snatch of text I chose is a great example of how Dessens slows down to describe and build a character. There are various times in the book when she takes time to describe a character. I love this as an example for students to practice describing a character. They might use the description in their story and they might leave it out, but it's still useful to write a description like Dessen does so the student as a writer has a clear picture of who his or her character is. Besides the story, I love how she introduces and builds her characters.
Read Together: 8 - 12
Read Alone: 8 - 12
Read With: Other Sarah Dessen novels, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares, Lush and Bounce by Natash Friend, Crank and other books by Ellen Hopkins, All-American Girl and other girls by Meg Cabot
Snatch of Text: "The first time I saw Scarlet was the day she and her mother, Marion, moved in. I was eleven. I was sitting by my window, watching the movers, when I saw a girl just my age, with red hair and blue tennis shoes. She was sitting on the front steps of her new house, watching them cart furniture in, her elbows propped on her knees, chin in her hands, wearing heart-shaped sunglasses with white plastic frames. And she completely ignored me as I came up her front walk, stood in the thrown shade of the awning, and waited for her to say something. I'd never been good at friendships; I was too quiet, too mousy, and tended to choose bossy, mean girls who pushed me around and sent me home crying to my mother. Lakeview, A Neighborhood of Friends, was full of little fiendettes on pink bicycles with Barbie carrying cases in their white, flower-appliqued baskets. I'd never had a best friend." p. 6 (p.22-23 - more description of Scarlet)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Making Connections, Asking Questions, Predicting, Visualizing
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive, Personal Narrative, Characterization
Writing Prompts: Describe the first time you met your best friend or someone close to you. Write about the first time you had to deal with something serious like death or love. Write about a time in your life when you were there for a friend or a friend was there for you.
Topics Covered: Friendship, Love, Family, Relationships, Independence, Making Decisions
Translated to Spanish: No
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