Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 15, 2008

Reaction to Drama High: The Fight

Filed under: "Drama High: The Fight" — traverse02 @ 3:44 pm

I am guilty of judging a book by its cover. Upon first glance, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and ask, “why am I reading this?” I figured I might as well pick up a few entries in the Babysitter’s Club canon or a novelization of Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor. But, cover art aside, once I started Drama High: The Fight, I couldn’t stop. I finished in two and a half hours. The main reason for this was Divine’s use of language. The dialog was very realistic and  the action was described in a very immediate way through Jayd. Basically, I wanted to see her give Trecee and Misty the beat down of a lifetime, and that pulled me right through. It was almost like the literary equivalent of watching an episode of Jerry Springer–with the baby daddies and the cookies and what not–but minus the vulgarity (plus the characters in the book had more substance than any piece of human trash that has ever set foot on that soiled stage). Overall, I am happy I was able to get over that terrible photo on the cover of the book.

Having read the posts regarding this book, I agree that there is plenty of great material here for discussion in a classroom. Divine does a good job of taking important issues like teen pregnancy, pre-marital sex, drug abuse, etc. and making them part of the norm. After all, to quote Phil Collins from the band Genesis, “this is the world we live in.” I know from our experiences observing and teaching, we have all heard plenty about what is going on in our student’s lives, and if we can present them with a text like this that pulls no punches and relates to them in a way that makes them feel like normal people, they will be more comfortable talking to us about/writing about what they think and how they feel. Also, the fact that the language is so realistic, fitting perfectly with the current teenage dialect, makes this book something easy for them to get into and see through to completion.

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1 Comment »

  1. You didn’t trust your prof on this one–letting that cover throw you!! Great read and the series is really tearing up urban middle and high schools. I was first handed a DRAMA HIGH title as a supervisor at Clary Middle in Syr. last year. The teacher was using it as a read-aloud and she said it was the only reason some kids came to her class on Friday’s when they would get to hear the next chapter. You didn’t mention the inter-racial dating and the neat juxtaposition of class markers among Jayd’s crowd and not-crowd. This is a screamingly contemporary story–like TYRELL. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 15, 2008 @ 5:12 pm


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