Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 26, 2008

SHATTERING GLASS

Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — jexter1 @ 12:29 pm

I read SHATTERING GLASS this week for Book Club. Each chapter foreshadows the following passage with a short anecdote by a character in the book. Without the anecdote, I would be able to say that this novel was highly unpredictable. Despite the foreshadowing, I found SHATTERING GLASS mildly suspenseful and an exaggeration (satire, if you will) of the impact cliques can have on the “outcasts” in high school. Simon Glass begins as an insignificant member in teenage society, but is quickly thrown into the gauntlet known as “popularity” when hot shot Rob takes Glass under his wing. From conforming to the style of the popular kids, to lying and betraying the trust of his teachers, to even worse and unfathomable wrongdoings, Glass portrays a teenager who gets caught up in being high on popularity.

The family dynamics between the boys and their parents are crucial in this novel. The parents are money/work-driven and emotionally void. They are virtually absent parents, just there to provide material things to their children. In one chapter, Glass’ new friend states, “Glass does live here alone,” as an observation of the division between Glass and his parents. Glass has his own wing in his parents’ house, allowing the parents to have minimal contact with him. How sad, but real to so many kids.

We deal with a high school caste system, neglect from parents, wealth that ruins a person(s), and question the integrity of certain friendships. How good is a good deed when it’s done with cruel intentions? And where does the line get drawn in forgiveness?

I look forward to discussing in class specific parts of the novel that I have bookmarked.

~Jessica

P.S. I spoke to a 16 year-old girl who has read SHATTERING GLASS, and she told me that she loved it. Like Simon Glass and his new (popular) friends, she is involved in after-school activities & comes from a family in which only the father has to work. She did not state that she related to the book, but perhaps she subconsciously connected with the characters?

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1 Comment »

  1. Jess: this sounds like a book I should pick up, because it resembles a situation that has become all too familiar in my host classroom. There is a clique of boys who are incredibly cruel to one other male student. Nobody comes to his aid or speaks in his defense (except for me) and other kids in the class actually jump on the bandwagon and harass this student constantly as well. Normally, I would think that cliques are totally over exaggerated in the media and whatnot, but what I am witnessing is astonishing. I would give this book out to some of the students to heighten their awareness of the impact of cruelty and cliques, but at the same time, my students have done no independent reading thus far along in my observation hours, so I don’t even know if many of these 7th graders can read. Nonetheless, I am going to find this book, and try to utilize it in some way. I am at a total loss of how to deal with this sad situation.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Mandy

    Comment by mandygrl101 — March 26, 2008 @ 8:29 pm


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