Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dread Locks


There are two different times that Dread Locks will be really enjoyable to young readers. The first is right before a unit on mythology; the second is right after.

As soon as I saw the cover and learned that Neal Shusterman would be taking on mythology and fairy tales in his Dark Fusion series, I knew that this remake of the Medusa myth would be a treat for my students. If a reader is unfamiliar with mythology, they will be genuinely confused by what is different about Tara Herpecheveaux (I guess unless they speak French), rich boy Parker's new friend. Once a student has read The Lightning Thief or learned about Greek myths, he or she will feel so excited to have figured out the plot. I love having my students come to me feeling smart, using their background knowledge.

My students would read anything with the words 'dread locks' in it; they are obsessed with rastafarians. This book is held proudly as they walk between classes, it is coveted by others. I breezed through it, there was nothing very surprising to me and I doubt that it will hold the attention of older readers who have discovered genuine thrillers like The Hunger Games. Still, it's a fun introduction to mythology and re-emphasis that myths are a part of our common culture.

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