Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 13, 2008

Drama High & Book Club

Filed under: "Drama High: The Fight" — jwill7 @ 4:17 pm

Drama High.  What can we say about this one?  It lends itself to a compare/contrast with Tyrell.  We’ve got the female protagonist versus male.  We also have a text which concerns itself with teen sex.  What I found interesting is that Drama uses the word “sex” but very few explicit curse words, whereas Tyrell pulls out the stops for language but avoids the word “sex” itself as if that were the great taboo.  I think the comparison says something true about differing approaches and attitudes toward sex from the perspective of young people.  I want to be clear about these observations and not have them misunderstood as generalizations.  That being said I think a strong-minded female, like Jayd, will call it like she sees it; sex is sex.  A manipulative/deceitful male may give sex a new name like foolin’ around to make it seem like less of a big deal.  I suppose I don’t need to make any distinctions here about race or gender since anyone is capable of acting anyway they choose to achieve their desired outcome.  Drama High definitely took me out of my comfort zone and now I feel all cold and clammy like a newborn.

My Book Club book has compensated for the departure.  I’m reading Neo-noir crime fiction from Dennis Lehane.  Lehane wrote Mystic River (w/ Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Laura Linney etc./ dir. Clint Eastwood) and Gone Baby Gone (w/ C. Affleck-dir. B. Affleck).  The book I copped is called Coronado.  It’s a collection of short stories and a play.  It makes me want to read everything he’s written.  I just ordered his first novel before coming over here to tutor so I guess I better get back to work.  Oh look, it’s READING TIME, YEA!


  1. Josh,

    You broach some interesting topics here. I think both “Drama High” and “Tyrell” give us an opportunity as teachers to discuss issues relating to gender and sexuality with our students. There are no doubt a million other texts that could also be brought into play here.

    I’m not sure if I understand how “Drama High” took you out of your comfort zone? Could you explain a little more about this if you get the chance? Thanks.


    Comment by scrollman — February 13, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

  2. I love Lehane, but YA Josh? KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 13, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  3. I agree that ample comparisons can be made between Jayd and Tyrell, despite their gender differences. One that comes to mind is how they react to peer pressure, something all adolescents encounter. Calvin pressures Tyrell to sell drugs and make some quick money, yet he repeatedly refuses. KJ pressures Jayd to give up the “cookies” yet she also refuses. However, there are also noteworthy difference between these two situations in that Tyrell has no support system at home (and no home as well) and Jayd has a loving grandmother who is influential…I am excited to discuss other comparisons and contrasts with the class tomorrow.

    Drama High also reminded me how silly some of the things that happen in high school are, in retrospect, especially in comparison to Tyrell’s life. Yet like Jayd and her friends, when you are in the moment, in high school, it seems like the most important time of your life. Friends, boyfriends, school work, flirting, and partying dominate this time period for her. Yet on the other coast, Tyrell’s problems seem to trivialize Jayd’s…This is what I am left thinking after reading these texts. Tyrell was simply powerful.

    Also, on a tangent, did anyone else notice all of the advertisement for products in the text?! Isn’t there a phrase for this? Jayd mentions Tims, Nike, Dooney and Burke, and Candies, all popular fashion lines. I remember reading something about advertising in YA lit…but I can’t think of where.


    Comment by mandygrl101 — February 13, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

  4. Mandy, re: product placement in YA Lit–this NYTimes article is interesting. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 13, 2008 @ 10:14 pm

  5. Mandy:
    I also noticed the use of product placement in this novel, but I hadn’t really considered it’s effects until reading your previous comment. I believe that Tyrell also used some brand names in it as well? Or maybe I just added those in under assumption: North face, Timberland, Pepsi, Red Lobster? I would have to really go back and double check to be sure!

    Comment by Kari — February 13, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

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