Wednesday, September 22, 2010

For the Love of the Language- Favorite Lines

Today I was suckered into reading a book that was suggested by a student of mine. She promised it would be worth my time, and although I was reluctant, I did truly believe that she loved the book. "How bad could it be then?" I convinced myself.

I started reading it during our sustained-reading time and found that the book was, at least, interesting. It made it's way into my backpack, and then, into my home, were it sat on the sofa-table. By 9:00, I had read a few more chapters.

The book, PEEPS, by Scott Westerfeld is (by no surprise) a vampire-themed story like the other 70% of my students' current choices. Although I'm not thoroughly convinced of the story yet, I am in love with the language.

If you have never read Scott Westerfeld, you might at least recognize his name from the incredibly popular YA series he recently concluded: The Uglies, The Pretties, The Specials and The Extras. Most of his stories are futuristic fantasies which blend teenage internal conflicts with the societal chaos of slightly stranger, new worlds.

Despite my reluctance to dig into another vampire story, I can't get out of this book! Westerfeld is fun and creative. He feeds the teacher in me with great context clues surrounding strange new words. He builds bridges between his details, setting me up for some mystery he'll reveal bit by bit. He uses fabulous figurative language and often carries it on for a paragraph or even an entire page! He's sometimes a bit trite, and that's o.k. too. Truth is, I've been suckered in to this book by the language.

Early on in the book,Westerfeld main character, Cal states, "The bruises on my chest were still throbbing, and my ribs were knitting back together in an itchy way." Perfect! (I'm borrowing that one next week as an example for the class.) It's that LANGUAGE that keeps me reading. I want more. I crave more.

Heck, I'm a special breed of vampire, maybe I'll even write about it: Vampires that crave fanciful words, witty phrases and creative figurative language!

Do you have a favorite line or a great passage that should be shared? Post it!

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