Authors: High, Linda Oatman
Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing
Synopsis: Themes: Realistic Fiction, Poetry, Verse, Gender Equality, Sexuality, Coming of Age, Teen, Young Adult, Hi-Lo, Hi-Lo Books, Hi-Lo Solutions, High-Low Books, Hi-Low Books, ELL, EL, ESL, Struggling Learner, Struggling Reader, Special Education, SPED, Newcomers, Reading, Learning, Education, Educational, Educational Books. A law has been passed. There will be no more genders. Everyone must appear gender neutral. No more boys. No more girls. Just … Otherwise. Same bland clothes. Same fuzzy heads. “Spark” dreads the countdown leading up to the finality of the new law’s passage. Her parents are for it. They’re tired of conforming to society’s standards. But they allow her to take off for a quick camping trip to gather her thoughts. At the campsite, she meets “Whistler.” And the attraction is instant and mutual. But who is Whistler? And what is Whistler? Boy? Or girl? This gender-bending story in verse will make readers question everything they thought they knew about love, chemistry, and cultural norms. Just like prose, a novel in verse tells a story. But verse is unique because readers access the text through short “chapters,” or poems. The varying lengths of the chapters are ideal for a struggling reader, giving them breaks to collect their thoughts, to imagine the characters in their mind’s eye, and to set the scene—like a frame in a movie. The structure of poetry makes the books appear less intimidating, with plenty of airy white space. Moreover, the depth and substance conveyed in verse is every bit as deep and real as in a Gravel Road prose novel.