Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Jason’s Why

Goobie, Beth (Author)
Red Deer Press 2012. 80 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780889954847 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

character, point of view, setting

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Express Award Nominee – 2014

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

When nine-year old Jason’s mother sends him to a group home, he hates it. Everything’s strange: the other kids, the caseworkers, the house rules and a new school. Jason soon learns that the people there care about him, even when the “bubble of mad” inside him explodes in the schoolyard and at home. When he begins to trust, expressing his hidden pain and fear, he begins to heal.

Told simply and candidly through Jason’s thoughts and words, the story expresses stark and powerful emotions: love for his sister, intense fear, insecurity, sadness and rage. “Look at me! I think. I want you to look at me! But Mom doesn’t.… I get so sad then, sad and mad.… She doesn’t love me, I think. She’ll never love me. My arms come up and I smash them hard onto the piano. I smash again and again.”

The characters are portrayed with compassion, as when Jason reveals his mother’s physical abuse. “Then she looks at me and I see it in her eyes. She’s scared like I’m scared. She doesn’t know what to do either.” The story delivers hope, through Jason and his mother’s reticent willingness to work toward answers. As Jason realizes, “I can’t make the answers happen right now. I’ll have to wait.”

A short plot, lean setting and descriptive text are the perfect vehicle for characters to display the depth and wide range of human emotions, and the negative and positive ways they can be expressed.

  •  Discuss reasons why children get angry. How do they express their anger? Are some ways healthier than others?
  •  

    How is Jason’s group home different from his family home?

  •  

    Jason’s anger is fuelled by his fears. Make a chart of the ways that Jason expresses his anger and identify which fear(s) drive(s) his outbursts.

  •  

    Both the adults and the children respond to Jason’s anger in different ways. Write to explain how you could be a friend to a child in a similar situation in your school.

  •  

    Discuss reasons children might feel angry. How might they express it?

  •  

    Compare and contrast Jason’s situation at his family home and in the group home.

  •  Discuss why Jason is angry and how he has trouble functioning at home and school.
  •  

    Explore how the adults and children in the story deal with the children’s anger. How could you be a friend to a child in a similar situation? In your reader-writer’s notebook, explain what you could do to help.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Ethics and Religious Culture