There are larger social and community forces at work when it comes to the actions of men. Young people are introduced into these in this work. These things make the book a worthwhile read, apart from its artistic merits. This is an excellent novel for introducing young people into some hard to grasp gray areas when it comes to seeking the truth in human society (Avi, 2003; Holt, Rinehart and Winston, n.d.).
In terms of readability and suitability, the novel is perfect for students in the middle school grades. Moreover, the reading difficulty appropriateness is buttressed by the aspects of the novel that relate to truth seeking, and that relate to imparting lessons about how society works, and how human nature works when it comes to dealing with the truth. Truth is not something that is out there as black and white realities, but is something that is sometimes hard to surface, despite the best intentions. This lesson goes beyond the merely literary and goes beyond language. It has large implications for the understanding of young people of their place in their community, and the ways and motivations of people and of the institutions that impact their lives. Because the novel touches on a larger social reality, I chose it as an excellent material with many layers of meaning and lessons for my students. For these reasons too, I rate this 4 stars out of 5 (Avi, 2003; Holt, Rinehart and Winston, n.d.).
The obvious curricular connections are in social studies, especially as the novel touches on the interplay of many social institutions and how they influence the thinking and behavior of the different key characters in the story. The mainstream media as an important group in society is a focus of attention, as well as the larger social reality of the school system, and the political system as well. These are all explored with some depth as they relate to the issue at hand in the novel, and tie very well with related concepts in social studies (Avi, 2003; Holt, ...Show more