Thursday, March 3, 2016

Exit Point vs Far Far Away

Exit Point by Laura Langston is a short and simple read. This quasi-short story is an easy yet thought provoking piece of literature. Particularly well suited for our students who are reluctant readers or who are struggling academically.

Far Far Away, while an well written piece, is very predictable and vanilla. I personally disliked the protagonist and was unable to connect with him or his struggles. As a fantasy reader enthusiast, McNeal's piece fell flat for me. This may be a good novel for junior high students, it would not be something a high school student would gravitate towards. While a small book, this novel is packed full of emotional thematic discussions that would definitely provide numerous opportunities for many learning experiences. 

Langston's Exit Point however is more universally relatable piece of literature for both Junior and Senior High Students. Part of the draw with this book is the numerous themes presented that would speak to a wide variety of readers. 


  1. Predictable and vanilla? Curtis Martin, Veinot has gotten to you. It's a modern version of Grimm so of course you'd find it predictable; you're recognizing the fairy tale structure. Vanilla - well, that I might give you as I was expecting Grimm level of violent pay back and it just never got there.

  2. I really enjoyed Martine Leavitt's 180 pages book Calvin. It is a relatively quick read because of the quirky (schizophrenic) key character. Calvin,when born (named after the theory of Calvinism, studied by his father), is given a tiger named Hobbes from his grandfather who would prefer he be named after a cartoon/fictional character. Calvin's struggle to regain control of his own mind (and wrest it from his own internal Hobbes) takes him on a quest to discover that "If I can't control you, you can't control me either. That's all I need to know." (p. 161).
    I really appreciated how Leavitt took this grade 12 student and made his schizophrenia relatable. I was able to understand that there is no such thing as a normal person -- which is excellent news for me. I really enjoyed the subtle Canadian overtones (set in Ontario, more specifically Lake Erie and author resides in High River).
    Calvin's self-deprecating humor is refreshing. I particularly liked when he asked his psychiatrist, "Can't you just, you know, open up my skull and adjust the dials a bit?" (p. 38) With the doctor's continuing silence, Calvin then blurted out "Grammar did it to me." This is a sentiment that all English teachers can share and appreciate especially since dialogue is not expressed in the traditional quotation marks but as
    Doctor:People can't be divided into happy people and depressed people.
    Even though we shouldn't label or group people based on their mental health, I definitely consider this book a must-read!