Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 18, 2008


Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — Joyce @ 10:47 pm

This week I read ERAGON for Book Club. I totally didn’t know that Paolini was 15 when he wrote it, and I’m glad you brought that up, Raph. See how much 15 year old boys can write when they’re interested in a topic? (497 pages!)

Paolini does a lot of telling, and sometimes I think that’s the way of the fantasy novel. Telling is okay, but I like to be able to work out some things on my own, without the author just explaining every detail. Fantasy is tough, because a lot of the knowledge that this genre draws upon is esoteric, and could slow down (or even stump) an unfamiliar reader. Dwarves, for instance, do not like dragons. Elves, for instance, create very nice weapons with magic. Multiply this by an arsenal of fantasy history, and you get a whole lot of telling.

However, once I got into the book, I enjoyed it very much. I especially liked the attention to language as important. At one point the protagonist is taught how to read (at 15 years old) and it opens up a powerful world to him. This is great inspiration for struggling readers, and perhaps this learning how to read passage (and following passages of empowerment) could be read out loud in class to that effect.

For more, you’ll just have to read it yourself.

(I’m trying very hard not to be a spoiler!)   



1 Comment »

  1. Joyce,
    When I read Eragon a few years ago a had a lot of trouble getting through it. It may have been for some of the reasons you described. There is an awful lot of telling, and I just didn’t love it. However, I got through the whole thing because so many of my kids loved the book and kept telling me I had to read it. This will definitely be a book that some your future students will have read and will be glad to be able to talk about it with you.

    Comment by katefrazer — February 19, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

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