Wednesday, July 1, 2009

REVIEW: Pitch Black: Don't Be Skerd

Landowne, Y., & Horton A.  (2008).  Pitch Black:  Don’t Be Skerd.  El Paso, TX:  Cinco Puntos Press.




Set in an underground subway system of New York City, Pitch Black shares the story of a conversation between two artists.  The unnamed older artist, shares the account of his youth, during which he went from living on the streets to being sent to a shelter called ‘The Center,’ that the character likens to Hell.  The narrator eventually finds his way into the darkness of the subway tunnels where he lives and follows various rules to stay safe and comfortable.


In response, students could have discussions of various groups of people who have left a society to establish their own.  (This could contribute to or trigger a social studies unit on historic outsiders)


Since there are mentions of drug addiction and prostitution, this book probably could only be used safely with young adults.


Activities to do with the book:


This graphic novel examines race, class, art, social justice and communication that a teacher could use to open up discussion and personal accounts of students' own stories (told in prose, pictures or some other medium). 


A teacher could emphasize the use of space in the graphic novel:    

Students could discuss the strange spaces of subway cars, buses, elevators cars, etc. where all sorts of people interact and share a confined space.


Since the book is shared completely in black and white, students could discuss how that contributes to the themes presented in the graphic novel.



Favorite Quotes:


“Just cause you can’t see don’t mean aint nothing there.”


“I like how people change things and put their own messages out there…”


“People don’t see me.  As far as they’re concerned…I don’t exist.”


“Remember me.”

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