Thursday, January 29, 2009

bbya, baby

Well, this is really exciting.

Yesterday morning I got the news from my editor that Ghost Medicine has been picked by the American Library Association as one of 2009's Best Books for Young Adults.

That was really nice. Thank you to all the people on the committee who read my book and honored it with inclusion on this list.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was working on a discussion guide for Ghost Medicine for the students at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School in Harmony, Pennsylvania. It's been completed, I sent it off to their teachers, and I will post the entire guide on the Ghost Medicine website in a couple days. I'll put notice here when it's available.

But here are the first two topics from the guide, just to give a taste:

• When you read Ghost Medicine, who do you imagine as the author’s intended audience? Is there an audience “change” between the prologue and the first chapters? Does the narrator’s voice change in that moment, and then again in the final chapter? If you perceive a change in audience or voice, what do you think is going on – on the other side of the page?

• Fire is one of the natural images and symbols occurring throughout the story. The book opens with Troy lying on his back and watching sparks in the air, the boys return frequently to their “firepit,” the wildfire frees all the horses on Rose’s property, and, in the end, Troy and Gabriel burn Gabriel’s rope. What other instances can you find of fire being used as a symbol or recurring image, and why do you think the author relies on this to shape the environment of Ghost Medicine? What about the other symbols and recurring images in the book? How do they contribute to a message, flow, or rhythm to the story?