Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If You Are Interested in Eyes Like Stars, You May Also like...

So, Eyes Like Stars only came out yesterday and your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble may not have arrived yet, you may want to check out some of these other books that include similar themes or structures.  

And for those of you who stayed up late finishing Eyes Like Stars last night, here's a way to continue reading as you await Acts II and III.

(Special note to teachers--some of the following books would be excellent book pairs)

Like Mantchev, Block includes elements of fantasy mixed with stirring accounts of reality.  Both Block and Mantchev incorporate a sense of the creative spirit battling against tradition or the majority.  Plus, Block's poetry in Psyche in a Dress includes many references to Greek mythology in a similar way to how Mantchev incorporates famous plays.

Plus both have written about fairies.  True that.

If students like the play format that is intermixed with the narrative of Eyes Like Stars they may also like the structure of Monster by Walter Dean Myers.  While in terms of content these books are very different (Monster is realistic fiction and shares the story of a teenager on trial for assisting with a robbery, his journal incorporates scenes of a screenplay sharing aspects of his life).

Despite the differences in content a teacher could use both of these books with a class or writing club to show how to structure a screenplay or learn playwriting.

Paul Fleischman's Seek, in the format of a radio play shares the story of a boy who is looking for his estranged father, a former radio personality, among the many radio stations.  This work of realistic fiction could be a good recommendation for students who are interested in drama.

Plus, this book would lend itself to have students record their own voices using the script.

Going in a more old-school direction, Eyes Like Stars could be paired with the movie, musical or book The Phantom of the Opera.  

As with the Bertie, the phantom lives in the opera.  But where the phantom is a sneaky squatter, Bertie is an accepted orphan who is looking for her place in the theatre.  And where the scarred phantom hides behind a mask, Bertie dyes her hair bright blue and is accompanied by fairies.  PotaTO, PoTAto.

The most natural of pairings would be to Shakespeare's works.  Several high school teachers that I've spoken with have provided a preference for the Shakespeare Made Easy series, since it includes both the original text and a modernized version side-by-side.  This helps to ease students into the plays.  Since 
">Hamlet figures largely into the plot, this play would be a natural beginning place.

To find out more about Eyes Like Stars and its author, follow the rest of the book tour:

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