My book club is reading "What is the What" by Dave Eggers and I've already read too far for Wednesday's meeting. So you understand the predicament I was in on Thursday--something in my brain doesn't let me fall asleep until I've read for at least a half and hour before I go to bed. I didn't want to start another intricate book, fearing it would distract me from our book club choice. I decided to consult my classroom library and went in search of a Young Adult novel that could hold my attention for a few days. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer was recently recommended to me because it follows many of the same themes that are in Romeo and Juliet, which is the next unit I'm teaching. This book also incredibly popular with my students, so I thought I'd check it out. It's over 400 pages, so I thought it would hold me over for a while.
Hmm. Yeah, it didn't. I became completely engrossed in a Young Adult, Teenage Vampire Romance. A new genre for me, so I don't know if it stacks up to other vampire stories, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I was reading it while actively studying Romeo and Juliet, I was able to pick up on a few interesting themes--otherwise, the fast paced plot and new world of vampires would have distracted me entirely.
I'll just mention one, mostly because my literary conscience is laughing right now. The complication of forbidden love is what stood out to me most. Romeo and Juliet are star-crossed because they hail from feuding families. Edward and Bella are star crossed because he is a vampire and she isn't... just a small conflict of interests. Their relationship is quite thought provoking, as well as heart breaking.
But I have to say, that while I was reading this book I was in "the zone," (Michelle? Kate B?) a term coined by the master English educators, who claim this is the goal of teaching reading workshop: to get kids reading books that transport them somewhere else as they are turning the pages. So if nothing else, I have met the standards of a middle school reader over the past 2 days. Lucky for me it's a series, so the next time I want to lose myself for a while, I may have to pick up the next one.