Thursday, March 19, 2009

Event Recap - Burbank Teens Consider Verdure

The Burbank Public Library High School Book Club selection for March tied into our “green” theme in a big way: We read The Family Tree, by Sheri S. Tepper. It’s a science fiction saga of present and future, incorporating many themes germane to a discussion about the impact of our actions on the earth and our legacy. (See previous post, “Teen Book Clubs Read Green,” from 3 March 2009 for a synopsis.) Although it was a difficult book for some to get through, due to the multiplicity of characters, times and places, we were all enthralled by the idea of trees and plants taking their survival into their own “hands” by deciding to limit how and where people are allowed to live, travel, and even add to the population! Likewise the transformation of thought about the potential of animals to occupy a niche in the world that goes beyond man’s companion, servant or dinner provoked some lively discussion.

The Middle School Book Club’s ecologically minded choice, The Secret Under My Skin, by Janet McNaughton, was a hit with three-quarters of the club and a miss with the rest, but received an overall rating higher than Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, which is praise indeed coming from the Edward-and-Bella-obsessed! The book’s fans particularly liked its narrative style: The story is told without omniscience by its protagonist, so that the reader learns everything along with Blay Raytee instead of having foreknowledge about any of the people or events of her story. They enjoyed a picture of the future that wasn’t either technology-obsessed or technology-deprived, and several of them absorbed from this book that the future is up to them and it is their obligation to study how to be of use.

Stayed tuned for photographs!

From Melissa E.

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