Monday, September 19, 2011

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)Title: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski 
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publication Date: June 2011 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction-Teen Issues/Novel 
Summary: When April’s dad decides to move to Cleveland with his new wife and bring her with them, April is not excited. She works out a plan so that she can stay to finish the school year with her friends and more importantly her boyfriend, Noah. April’s parents think she’s staying with her friend Vi and her mom but Vi’s mom is actually traveling. April and Vi are on their own…which leads to all the other things they do that they probably shouldn’t have!
What I Think: Of course, you can imagine the trouble teenagers could get into if left to their own devices! I always find myself wondering if these things could really happen. I’m not sure how easily a parent would let his or her child stay with friends if they never actually talk to or see the parents. April is able to create fake e-mail accounts to trick her dad and Vi’s mom. It seems crazy, but at the same time doesn’t seem that far from possible – especially if the parent trusts his or her son or daughter in the first place. While April gets into some not-so-great situations, she deals with those situations. The topic of teen sex is carried through the entire book. I like that she thinks a lot about having sex before she does – she still could have been more careful and does suffer the consequences of her actions.  Overall, there are lots of teen issues that come up in this book.  I love that it’s a fun book at the same time addressing issues that teens deal with all the time. I think any high school girl would devour this book. I would not recommend this to anyone younger than high school because of the focus on teen sex (just my opinion).
This is definitely a book that I wish existed when I was in high school. I wish there was more fiction like this about teenagers dealing with teenage situations and working through feelings and dealing with friends and boyfriends. There's one part towards the end that I wish I could share here with my snatch of text but it gives a lot away so I won't post it. I read it aloud to a friend and we were both cracking up. April is too much fun, I can see teenage girls identifying with her.
Read Together: 8 - 12 
Read Alone: 9 - 12 
Read With:  Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Snatch of Text:  

"saturday, march 28


I bolted awake. A siren.
     The police were outside my house. Ready to arrested for underage partying, excessive flirting, and an overcrowded hot tub.
     But wait.
     My brain turned on. No, not the cops. Just my phone – my dad’s ringtone." (p. 1)

“All my words were swishing through my brain, like dirty dishwater in the sink.” (p. 300)

Reading Strategies to Practice: Making Connections, Asking Questions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative 
Writing Prompts: Think about a time in your life when someone told you something that surprised you or caught you off guard. Write about how you reacted when you heard the good or bad news and what went through your head. 
Topics Covered: Family, Divorce, Siblings, Friendship, Relationships, Sex, STDs, Love, Responsibility, Trust, Loyalty, Honesty
Translated to Spanish: No

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