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« GhostNet | Main | Works for me »

Mar 30, 2009


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Seymour Hardy Floyd

I used this book a couple years with eighth-grade students. I thought it blended history, action, and adolescent/human tensions very well.

One year, we read Johnny Tremain, Dragonwings, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, three fairly diverse selections. I thought it was the coolest thing when one of my students pointed out a common thread among all three novels: a character in each one ends up with a severely damaged hand. Cocky Johnny burns his in an "accident" caused by a jealous fellow apprentice. In Dragonwings, an uncle cuts off his own hand as self-inflicted punishment to remind him never again to gamble away money he needs to support his family. Captain Jaggery, a great villain, ends up being accidentally slashed across his face by a whip in The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle--memory has left me, but I'm certain there's a character with a damaged hand also. Sorry I can't finish the connection right now.

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