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Cashay

cover

TeachPeaceNow book review by Joan Koster

Author Margaret McMullan 2009 Houghton Mifflin

Meets anti-bias criteria yes.

This title fits these categories

Acceptable grade levels: High School

Classification: Young Adult Fiction

Concepts/ Topics covered in book:

In this story, told from the viewpoint of a young middle school black student living in Chicago's Cabrini Green housing project, the power of adult role models is illustrated. Cashay struggles to deal with the terrible events that have happened to her. A younger sister has just been killed in a drive by shooting, and her pregnant mother addresses her grief by going back on drugs. Eventually she is paired up with a volunteer tutor who is as different from her as can be - a white, wealthy stock broker with issues of her own.Together they help each other come to see themselves in new ways.

Margaret McMullen is a well-established white author of young adult fiction, and the book reads as if she has had personal experience in a tutoring program such as is described here. However, in some parts the characters seem almost stereotypic of poor black teenagers.

Questions

Pre-Reading Activity: Visit the website http://www.cabrini-green.com and research the demolition of the project. In particular, read the student written stories under teen life and look at the photographs and artwork. Llook at the causes of poverty and how it afects peoples lives. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/poverty.html.

Post-Reading:

 

Activities

Research the author http://www.margaretmcmullan.com/aboutmargaret.html Write letters to her through her website.

Write a letters to Cashay telling what most impressed them about her.

Set up a tutoring program in the school if there isn't one.

Compare a newspaper article about a drive by shooting with the book. Which format best captures the tragedy of this happening? (find current news articles by searching on drive by shooting)

Research newspaper articles

 

Awards

* Nominated an American Library Association 2009 Best Book for Young Adults
* A Spring 2009 Teen Book Pick for the Chicago Public Library
* A Flamingnet TOP CHOICE book

 

 


 

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