Module 9: Crank

6 08 2010

Book Cover

Summary: Written in free-form verse, Crank is the story of Kristina who visits her estranged father and discovers a life of drugs, boys, and irresponsibility. She also discovers her alter ego Bree who justifies flirting with boys and drugs, a.k.a “the monster”, and knows no limits. Back home Kristina struggles to keep Bree and the monster a secret from her family while falling deeper into their embrace.

Citation: Hopkins, Ellen. (2004) Crank. New York: Simon Pulse.

My Impressions: I have never read a novel in verse like this, but as a lifelong lover of poetry I really liked this book it! I think even a person who is not a lover of poetry would enjoy this book as it is written in a very realistic voice, is an easy read, and is something a number of young adults would be able to relate to. This is certainly a disturbing book, but only so because it is so realistic and could very easily be the story of a teen you know. Hopkins does a great job of getting into the character’s head and showing how a person enter into that type of life and justify her or his behavior. Definitely a book I’d recommend.

Reviews:

“Readers won’t soon forget smart, sardonic Kristina; her chilling descent into addiction; or the author’s note, which references her own daughter’s struggle with ‘the monster.'” –Gillian Engberg, Booklist Online review excerpt

“Hopkins writes in free-verse poems that paint painfully sharp images of Kristina/Bree and those around her, detailing how powerful the “monster” can be. The poems are masterpieces of word, shape, and pacing, compelling readers on to the next chapter in Kristina’s spiraling world. This is a topical page-turner and a stunning portrayal of a teen’s loss of direction and realistically uncertain future.” –Sharon Korbeck, School Library Journal review excerpt

Library Use Suggestion: This book is full of unique poems about Kristina’s experiences written simply and in her voice. It shows readers that poems are not abstract things that have to stick to a formula or rhyme scheme, but that poems can be personal, real, and informal. Based on this young adults could write a poem based on their own life experience.

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