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December 19, 2010

The Dark Side of Nowhere

Filed under: T — thebookreviews @ 11:16 pm
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The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman: Audio Book Cover

The Dark Side of Nowhere

 

Author: Neal Shusterman

 

Page Length: 185

 

Reading Level: 7

 

Genre: Fiction / Fantasy

PLOT SUMMARY: Jason’s anxious to shake the small town dust off his feet. Having everyone know everything about him just gets to be too much sometimes. Lately, everyone’s begun to act strangely — a weird encounter with the school janitor and now there’s a secret to protect. What’s going on in Jason’s town? Who’s involved in the cover up and what exactly are they hiding? Will Jason be able to save Paula in time?

REVIEW: This was an interesting book for teaching compositional risk (a great way to achieve a 4 on the TAKS writing). The story seems to be along the usual plot lines until Jason discovers the unthinkable — that everything isn’t what he thought it was; and, that even he isn’t who he thought he was. Once their true selves are revealed no one will ever be the same again. Paula, Jason’s crush, is in grave danger. Jason believes that change is possible, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it. The story is entertaining from a science fiction perspective. Great student responses of their own “what if” stories could occur after reading this novel. This book is good for whole or small group discussion.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: plot, sequence, journal response, character traits, making predictions, generalizations and conclusions

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: aliens

RELATED BOOKS: Everlost, Unwind, The Shadow Club, The Eyes of Kid Midas, Dread Locks, Red Rider’s Hood, Full Tilt, Scorpion Shards, Thief of Souls, Shattered Sky

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: War of the Worlds (2005), Men in Black (1997), Race to the Witch Mountain (2009), Return to Witch Mountain (1978)

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.storyman.com/books/

http://nancykeane.com/booktalks/shusterman_dark.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Nowhere-Neal-Shusterman/product-reviews/076534243X

REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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