Monday, August 4, 2014

Canary

By: Rachele Alpine
Location: FIC ALP
Genre: Youth Fiction


Historically, canaries were sent down into mines and served as an early warning system to the presence of toxic gases. The canary would show signs of distress when exposed to these toxic gases and the miners would be alerted, and if the canary stopped singing- you were in big trouble. I had canaries as a kid in my aviary, you could hear them for miles singing away, a silent canary is a dead one.

This is a great metaphor for this book.
Over the years I have heard stories of date rape, I have had a bit to do with American teenagers and have heard the stories, seen the scares, and observed the long aftermath.
This story is about date rape, it is about the life of teenagers forging their way in a school where popularity, prestige and being in the cool group is all that matters. It is about the entitlement attitude of sports heroes and the girls that fall at there feet in the hope it delivers them into popularity. It is about a family suffering the dysfunction of a mother who has died from cancer, it is about loss.
But it is also about the guts and courage of a young woman who stands and fights the quest of popularity in exchange for the loneliness of fighting for justice and doing what is right.
The other great thing about this book at times , is that it is told in blog format in poetry and it speaks so loudly! I wrote poetry as a teenager in angst, many do, and using this technique allows the themes to be explored from the inner soul.
Not easy to read- not a comfortable topic, but a story that needs to be told, made open, exposed and allow the girls caught up in the bitchy hype of teenage worlds to have a voice. If you think this story does not fit in New Zealand High schools- you are wrong- it does!


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