Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles...

How I Heard About It:  I had read See You at Harry's a few summers ago and it was one of my favorite reads that year.  Such a powerful and emotional story. I was excited to see this new novel by Jo Knowles on the shelf and picked it right up.  I have spent about the last week with this really great story.  

What It Is About:  This is not an easy task to summarize this story.  There was a lot that happened to quite a few different major characters in the story.  The plot takes place during one particular day in the lives of about ten different high school students.  At first I thought the stories of each student were not related to each other, but the more I read, the more I realized just how intertwined the "little plots" were connected to the overall "big plot."  One student is quite unpopular with a tough life in his dad's home and breaks his "middle" finger during gym class.  This makes for interesting interactions with other students and his father.  One girl is quite popular and has her "click", but isn't sure she wants to be in that click any longer and is on a quest to find herself.  Another girl is dating the star basketball player, but when she finds out his secret, she isn't' sure what she should do.  Finally, a third girl so desperately wants to fit in with the crowd at school, but knows her weight could get in the way of this.  As the day goes on for these characters, and others, their lives and situations twist and turn all colliding in the same direction.

What I Thought Of It:  When I first bought this book I thought it was a novel.  When I started reading it, I was thinking it was a collection of short stories.  Once I got more into the book, I realized it actually was a novel.  There were times when I had a hard time keeping all the different characters straight, but once I just relaxed and enjoyed the slow of the story, I was fine with them.  It was amazing to me how the author was able to take a day in the life of several different high school kids and tell quite a unique story.  Each story alone could stand alone, but together they were even stronger.  I was fascinated how they all were tied together in different ways and told from different points of view.  Some of the story lines I enjoyed more than others, but overall I really enjoyed this novel.  

Who Should Read It:  When I read See You at Harry's, I thought that particular book would be for upper elementary and/or middle-school readers.  This new novel is definitely for the high school reader or above.  I know many adult readers that enjoy "young-adult" stories, and this one would be perfect.  Jo Knowles is a great writer and really knows how to portray the young people in our society with honesty and sensitivity.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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