Tuesday, May 28, 2013

THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian

First read: June 2012. I read this at the very end of the school year last year. As I read it I was thinking about the difference between fall and spring at a high school. It isn't just the Freshmen who change, everyone seems much more confident in the spring and more relaxed. (Except maybe Juniors who begin to really freak out about the SATs. Relax Juniors in 20 years the only thing your SAT scores will be good for is to hang them over the head of your husband when you are arguing about who is smarter.)

The story: The List comes out every fall. No one knows who writes it, but it is law at Mount Washington High School. The prettiest girl in each grade and the ugliest girl in each grade are posted and they are treated accordingly. The book is told in the voices of the eight girls in the seven days between when the list comes out and when the homecoming dance takes place. It shows their inner lives as their outer lives are changing. And they are all affected. It isn't the label of "pretty" or "ugly" that causes the trouble, it is the fact that there are labels at all.

Re-read: Last month I read it again and was surprised at how well the voices of the girls held up. They are all unique and tell the story beautifully.

Summer Reading Tips:
  • Think about your definition of pretty and ugly. 
  • Write an emotional timeline for each character.
  • Do NOT make a list of your prettiest and ugliest friends. Seriously, did you even read the book?

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