This book has now become part of my foundation and is an extension of the very essence of me...I laughed, I cried [or some other emotion] and am sad this reading is over...gush, gush, gush...
There are two sexual situations, neither is graphic, the first, however, is described in realistic and honest terms, some examples include talking about ripping the condom out of its wrapper, and "It doesn't hurt exactly--it's just kind of--strange." The second act involves the same couple and is describe with the same kind of realistic language, but does not actually describe the sex act. No adults find out about the sex and neither of the under age participants are scarred or troubled afterwards. This 'lack of remorse', has caused this book to be banned.
To quote the school board in Missouri that banned this book from its curriculum, there's 'questionable language' used to describe boys and sexual situations. This language may be inappropriate in a classroom setting or for church, but its definitely a norm among teenagers.
Substance Abuses 3/5
One girl talks about past exploits while drunk, and we find out that these prove to be a lie, the drinking was real. The two main characters go to one big party where there is drinking and one girl proceeds to get drunk, while the other one does drink. There is a drinking game at the party. Beer is consumed on a regular basis by people who are underage.
Arguments, yelling, walking off in anger. One girl lashes out at the other by destroying property.
Be prepared to have an honest conversation about death and dying and what it means when a friend or boy/girlfriend dies. Be prepared to cry like a little baby.
It's important to understand the lying and scheming in this book in context. I think it is also important to note the reasons why Anna and Frankie lie and how they atone for this, even if they aren't punished. Does a child really need to be punished to learn a lesson? Can't students read this book and understand the lessons learned without all the questions answered and the ending wrapped up in a little neat unrealistic bow?
Like I said, I'd like my daughter to talk to me. I understand why Annie and Frankie did not. I also think it's important to note that these girls are making adult decisions, but they are also quite mature. If anything there is a lesson to be learned here, teenagers who act like adults should be treated like adults and should be spoken to like the mature people they are.
How this book is used in the classroom
1] Independent Read option