The Real Deal: Young Adult Book Club

Head Case April 15, 2009

Filed under: Head Case — librarylaura23 @ 1:20 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Head Case by Sarah AronsonThis book tells the story of Frank Marder, a seventeen year old quadriplegic. Frank was a typical high school guy, into sports and girls, until the day of his injury, the day that he becomes, as he says, “a head.” He says that he is “a head” because he cannot feel anything below the neck at all. He used to be an independent teenager. Now he needs help with the most basic tasks, from eating to simply rolling over in bed.

Frank got injured when he drove drunk. On the way home from a party with his girlfriend Meredith, he got into an accident in which he crashed into a pedestrian and then lost control of the car and hit a tree. Meredith and the pedestrian died. Frank must deal with their deaths as well as his paralysis.

On the Internet, someone has started a site about the accident with a comments section. Many people who comment think that Frank is an evil murderer. Then Frank sees some postings from a person who posts as “Anonymous.” This person seems to understand what Frank is going through. Who is “Anonymous?” Will just a little bit of support give Frank the courage he needs to move on?

Discussion Questions:

Why do you think Frank’s relationship with his best friend Harry changed after the accident?

Do you agree with the people on the Internet that Frank should serve time in jail? Or do you agree with his attorney, that being paralyzed is punishment enough?

Who do you think the anonymous poster might be?

Frank says that he did not love Meredith. Do you think the situation or his feelings now would be different if he had?

Why do you think Frank agree to speak at his high school even though he knows what others think about him?


American Library Association Quick Picks for Young Adults



Filed under: Wintergirls — librarylaura23 @ 12:44 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonEighteen-year-old Lia has been living with her father, stepmother, and stepsister for a few months, since returning from rehabilitation for anorexia.

One morning at breakfast, Lia’s stepmother tells Lia some bad news.

Lia’s friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room last night. Lia and Cassie had struggled with eating disorders together.

Cassie was bulimic. They had wanted to be thinner than everyone else, and called themselves wintergirls because of the way they could balance between life and death. For the past few months, Lia and Cassie hadn’t been as close because Cassie, while going through recovery, blamed Lia for her disorder.

They hadn’t had a chance to make up, and now Cassie is dead. When Lia checks her cell phone, she realizes that Cassie called her the night of her death. In fact, she called 33 times.

Lia struggles with the guilt that perhaps she could have saved her friend, and the sadness of her death.

These feelings bring on a full relapse of her anorexia. As Lia gets more and more involved with her disease and its rituals, she begins to see visions of Cassie, cheering her along in her quest for thinness.

Discussion Questions

Why do you think teenage girls feel pressure to look a certain way? Where did Lia feel that type of pressure?

As Lia’s life becomes more and more wrapped up in her anorexia, what are some things that keep her connected to real life?

What does it mean to be a wintergirl?

Describe some of the problems in Lia’s life that could have led to her anorexia.

Why do you think Lia felt so connected to Elijah, the man who lived at the motel?

Why do you think Anderson chose to write the book using different fonts, crossed-out words, counting, and even blank pages?

Other Works

* Speak (1999)

* Fever 1793 (2000)

* Catalyst (2002)

* Prom (2005)

* Twisted (2007)

* Chains (2008)