Thursday, January 31, 2013
Arlene the Rebel Queen belongs on every youngster's reading list and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval
Arlene the Rebel Queen is the story of a girl who decides to make her school a more eco-friendly place. It doesn't take long though before she realizes how challenging it can be to incite change. As she learns in her social studies class, people throughout history have taken daring risks to get their message out. When Arlene and her friends put on a peaceful protest in front of the school they only get into trouble. Discouraged, but unwilling to back down, they maintain a steady course of action until a resolution can be reached. Along the way, they come to realize that sometimes one must take risks and make sacrifices to do what is right. But as the story progresses, they also learn there are right and wrong ways to bring awareness to their cause.
This book is powerful on so many levels. There is the story of Arlene's struggle to make positive change at her school. But moreover, Arlene is not just any girl, she's a girl with a story of her own. Her disability, CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth) disease, which she battles every day, seems to be creating more problems than just her weakening motor skills. There is the matter of Lauren, Arlene's best friend, whose friendship seems to be waning. And sadly, it appears the reason for this is, in part, due to Arlene's disease. It seems Lauren no longer wishes to feel responsible for helping Arlene whenever her friend is unable to do something for herself. This underlying, but equally powerful, subplot is a big part of what brings real emotion to this story.
Carol Liu has masterfully woven a message of empowerment with lessons in honor, respect, responsibility and compassion. She skillfully creates vivid imagery while teaching valuable life lessons. Liu addresses some very difficult subjects while speaking to kids on a level they will find interesting and entertaining.
Arlene the Rebel Queen belongs on every youngsters reading list and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
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