Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 20, 2008

Today’s Lit Circle: Boy Toy

Filed under: Lit Circle Picks — jexter1 @ 10:29 pm

Today’s lit circle discussion about Barry Lyga’s BOY TOY raised many good points and brought several relevant issues to the table. The novel begins with Josh as a 12 year-old 7th grader who is the “whole package”: good-looking, highly intelligent, athletic (i.e. has reached great achievements in baseball) and lives with both parents (until the very end when they divorce, but that is in the last few pages of the novel). We follow Josh through his teenage life, ending 5 years later. In this duration, we learn about his Mrs. Evelyn Sherman, his 7th grade history teacher and lover. With the use of vivid imagery and titillating language, Lyga takes a daring approach at portraying the lives of a child molester and child-victim. Focusing mostly on the affair and the emotional and psychological impact it had on Josh, BOY TOY is similar to a (fictional) memoir.

However close this topic relates to young adult readers, teachers must consider the graphic nature of this text. I insist on parental consent and would not recommend it for any grades below 11th, even 11th grade is risky. LOVE THE BOOK, and I hope everyone reads it at some point in their lives!

~Jessica

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