Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Moon and More

Title: The Moon and More 
Author: Sarah Dessen 
Publisher: Viking 
Publication Date: February 20th, 2013 
Genre/Format: Contemporary Realistic Fiction/Novel 
GoodReads Summary: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going? 
Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer. 
What I Think: The Moon and More is such a perfect summer beach read! It would be great to recommend to students as they are heading off for summer break. Sarah Dessen brings great characters to life again in this novel. She's able to weave in all sorts of different characters that feel so real and true to life. As a mentor text, this book is great for looking at how dialogue and description work together to build a story that readers can visualize. 
     I love that Emaline is dealing with this pull between the life she has known and loved in Colby and her future that awaits her. Going away to college is such a rite of passage and I hope in this age of online courses and evolving learning experiences, that kids still get to experience going away to college after high school. I think high school students will identify with Emaline as she stretches into life beyond Colby while still staying loyal to her family and friends in Colby and ultimately, who she is at heart.
Read Together: Grades 8 - 12 
Read Alone: Grades 8 - 12 
Read With: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot 
Snatch of Text:  
     "There's a difference between the words father and dad. And it's more than three letters.
     Up until the age of ten, I didn't know this. I also didn't know much about where I'd come from, other than my mom had me when she was a senior in high school, which was why she was so much younger than the mothers of all my friends. Then, one day in fifth grade, my teacher Mr. Champion got up in front of the whiteboard and wrote, My Family Tree. And just like that, things got complicated." (p. 25-26)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing  
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Dialoge, Characterization 
Writing Prompts:  Write about a time in your life when you experienced a big change. How did you deal with it? Who or what helped you deal with it and why?
Topics Covered: Family, Friendship, Love, Relationships, Communication, Loyalty, Trust, Change, Honesty 
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