Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 13, 2008

Boy Toy: (spoiler alert)

Filed under: Lit Circle Picks — Mandy @ 10:16 pm

I wanted to be sure to post because I am going away this weekend. Don’t read this if you haven’t finished the book yet!

I don’t know where to begin with discussion about Boy Toy, except to say that the direction this book went in was not was I was expecting at all. Based on the title and the inside description, I thought that this was going to be about an older high school male who had a consensual relationship with his teacher, and how he handled this situation. I was especially disgusted to learn that Josh was only 12 when his teacher molested him and that they engaged in a non-consensual relationship. Through Josh’s narration, I was reminded of how innocent some kids still are at this age, and it is distressing to know that people can easily take advantage of them: kids who will be in our classrooms everyday. I think we have some power to help them, through guaranteeing them the safety of our classrooms to discuss typically taboo subjects, without shame or embarrassment, through various texts, as Crutcher spoke about last week. Books give kids an outlet and a chance to relate to/ learn from characters who may be dealing with similar issues.


I think that the plot and story line come together wonderfully, and I enjoyed reading this text, despite the controversial topic. The set-up of the book was great, with the flashbacks between present and past. It was important for me that this book wasn’t just focused strictly on Josh and his relationship with Eve, but that it also revealed how this situation affected his family life, his personal life and his relationships with his peers. It is important to acknowledge that situations like these are not isolated, but that they reap everlasting consequences, as seen with Josh. However, I was glad to see Josh eventually evolve and learn from what happened to him, despite how troubled he was. Unfortunately, this is a topic that we may have to deal with in our careers as teachers, as sexual predators are everywhere, as seen with Eve, who initially appears to be a very friendly and innocent character. She is so cunning and manipulative that I hated her as a character, and I give tremendous credit to Lyga for evoking such strong emotions from me as a reader.

Has anyone else finished??



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