This module was over poetry and short stories. I choose to take a look at Crank, a novel in verse.
Kristina Snow is a well-rounded girl who makes good grades and is well behaved. When she comes back from a visit to her estranged father, however her personality changes. She insists on being called ‘Bree’ and is wild and outgoing. Bree gets involved with a boy who is bad news and he introduces her to the drug crank. Bree then goes on a downward spiral of addiction.
Once I read that the story is based on the author’s daughter, I couldn’t help but feel respect for this book. It takes a lot to confront this difficult issues head on like this. I found the book deeply disturbing and visceral. I think that this book would act as a great deterrent for anyone thinking of doing serious drugs.
“A few overreaching lines seem out of step with character voices: a boyfriend, for example, tells Kristina that he’d like to wait for sex until she is “free from dreams of yesterday.” But Hopkins uses the spare, fragmented style to powerful effect, heightening the emotional impact of dialogues, inner monologues, and devastating scenes, including a brutal date rape. Readers won’t soon forget smart, sardonic Kristina; her chilling descent into addiction; or the author’s note, which references her own daughter’s struggle with ‘the monster'” (Engberg 2004).
I would use this book as a part of promoting National Poetry Month. A good program to pair it with would be a poetry slam. Shy poets can read portions from famous authors before reading their own work. A particularly powerful section of this book could help give teens the courage to read and write poetry over the troubling things in their own lives.
Hopkins, E. (2004). Crank. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Engberg, G. (15 Nov 2004). Crank. Booklist.101(6), 595. Retrieved from EbscoHost.