Wednesday, October 19, 2011


ShineTitle: Shine
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May, 2011
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Summary: Cat and Patrick were best friends. Soul mates. But have grown apart over the past 3 years. However, when Cat hears about the horrible hate crime which has put Patrick in a coma, she knows that is up to her to truly get to the bottom of the story. Shine follows Cat as she finds out the truth to determine who is the one who hurt her friend. 
What I Think: This is a book about more than just finding a criminal. This is a book about overcoming past injustices and obstacles and ultimately finding out the truth. The truth not only about the hate crime at hand, but also Cat finding out the truth about herself and others in her town. It is also about the thin line between good and bad. It is always not clear which side of the line someone falls. And sides change easily. This is an important book to have around and ranks up there with books like Speak as a book that is just so tough to read, but so important to share. 

I loved how the plot was put together as well. As you read, you become one with Cat. You feel her pain, her frustration and her joys. You cry with her and you laugh with her. You truly love her by the end of the book. And as you follow her, the book unfolds like a road map with more and more of the information being given to you each day that Cat investigates Patrick's attack. Then at the end of the book, all the information fits perfectly together and the puzzle becomes clear to all.

I have heard nothing but good things about this book from the minute ARCs were given out at ALAN 2010. However, I was still worried about the integrity of the book since it was dealing not only with a very touchy subject, but also could easily offend a whole region of people. But Lauren Myracle wrote this book with polished purity.

Read Together: Grades 9 to 12
Read Alone: Grades 9 to 12
Read With: I'll be honest- this book is so very unique that I can't even think of any books to ladder with it. I thought about listing some great LBGT books, but Shine was more than that.  Then I thought about mysteries, but I have never read a mystery like this one.  The only mystery that I could think of is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher because they both are mysteries in an uncommon sense and deals with injustices.  
Snatch of Text (some of many that I could have chosen from): "I felt blurry around my edges, like smoke, or the soft ssssss of a snuffed candle." (Ch. 1) 

"Her wisdom applied to more than butterflies and roly-polies, because life was fragile. Things happened. Things changed. A girl full of light could get that light snuffed out, and when everything around her was dark, she could roll up into a ball and ignore the whole world, starting with her best friend." (Ch. 1)

"I told myself it wasn't a big deal. Patrick liking boys was part of who he was, but it was hardly the whole picture." (Ch. 2)

"My humiliation turned to rage, and that was good. But it would take longer still for it to shift into something I could control. Something I could fight back with..." (Ch. 9)

"She said God had blessed me with an abundance of spirit, and not to ever squash it down. She said there was goodness in everything and everyone, and it was our job to let that goodness shine...
'God loves you even on your blackest days, and He will always, always be there to guide you home. All you have to do is look for the light of his love. As long as you remember that one thing, why, then you can cast off the darkness and shine again, can't you?'"(Ch. 9) 
Reading Strategies to Practice: Making connections, Predicting, Asking questions
Writing Strategies to Practice: Articles, Characterization, Plot Development, Dialogue
Writing Prompts: Anti-bullying has become a focus in schools around the nation; do you think that bullying is an issue that needs to addressed at schools?
Topics Covered: Hate crime, Homosexuality, Friendship, Alcoholism, Abuse, Prejudice, Bullies, Taking Risks, Gossip, Individuality
Translated to Spanish: No

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