Thursday, February 25, 2010


I just finished Candor by Pam Bachorz, and it is the first book of the year that I can't wait to read with students. What a book--what a story--what an idea. Wow. A perfect complement to Feed and The Giver, Candor adds an element that is terrifying: it could really happen.

Oscar Banks lives with his father in a perfect community--a community his father has created by controlling the thoughts of the people who live there. The parents in Candor, Florida all know what's going on: tired of fighting with their out-of-control teens, they have chosen to move to Candor, where subliminal messages transform their troubled children into model citizens.

Oscar knows what is happening, and he fights against it. But in the end, it's not a story of fighting or mind control or being the perfect citizen. It's a story about what we do for love. Will Oscar make the ultimate sacrifice?

I am still haunted by the looming questions that this book raises. How far will parents go to "protect" their children? How far will any of us go to believe what we wish could be true? We've all been indoctrinated with the idea that "it's our differences that make us special." But are there people who would work to stamp out those differences, and if there are, to what lengths will they go? Troubling stuff, and Bachorz explores it brilliantly in this book.

It's a snowday! Hooray! I'm in the middle of three other books...I'm sure I'll finish at least one of them by the end of the day. Maybe two? Or--dare I hope--all three?

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