Thursday, March 8, 2007

Getting inside someone else's skin


My sixteen year old son and I both enjoyed "Zack" by William Bell. We probably got different things out of it because of the difference in our ages and life perspectives. I'm sure he related to the main character - a teenage boy just starting to stretch his wings and crave independence. The historical aspect of the novel was significant, with a lot of research having gone into it. Basically, this is the story of a young black youth coming to terms with his ancestry - his father a Jew and his mother African/American. I felt it gave me a better understanding of the race issue especially comparing Canadian to American outlooks. This is definitely a young adult book - there are girl/boy episodes that younger children shouldn't be exposed to. And there is a little bit of "language". All in all, though, this is a book well worth reading for the development of the concept and even for the poetic language he includes. Bell paints many mental images through his use of words that certainly add to the depth of the book.

2 comments:

aneta said...

You do find the most interesting books! I have a really hard time letting my kids read books with 'coming of age' stuff (depending what it is), though. So, I don't know if I'd read this one. :)

Maureen said...

You're wise to be leery of some of "coming of age" books. In this case it's more his need to be making his own decisions, that kind of thing. But the boy/girl aspect is definitely there - nothing graphic though. And they don't get into the "stuff you should save till marriage stuff". :)