Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Kiss

Sharratt, Nick (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2008. 314 pages
First published: 2007
ISBN: 9780552554411 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, point of view, setting

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:

Sylvie and Carl have been inseparable since childhood. When they attend different high schools, the imperatives of adolescence shift everything. They refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend, but Carl doesn’t want to kiss Sylvie “properly” (“we might get all inflamed and risk our beautiful friendship”, he jokes). Sylvie still believes that they will last forever: “Carl’s my best friend and my boyfriend and we’re going to get married,” she tells her mother. But between school and his new friend Paul, Carl is getting too busy to hang out together. When Carl comes out to Sylvie, and after his attempt to kiss Paul goes badly awry, their friendship grows stronger.

Sylvie negotiates the new social world of high school with uncertainty—she misses her old friend, Lucy; a manipulative new girl, Miranda, wants to be her friend; yet Miranda rigs a game of spin-the-bottle so that Carl is her “snogging victim.” Emotional and relationship change is all around, too: Sylvie’s mother starts dating a new man, Gerry, though Sylvie is reluctant to meet him until she’s sure it will last. Sylvie and Carl’s entry into adolescence and high school are characterized by change and by the barrage of new challenges and boundaries, such as sex, sexting, Sylvie’s first period and the disturbing homophobic behaviour that Carl endures.

Ink drawings preface each chapter, providing a thematic visual anchor for each section. Beer cans and a bottle of Scotch for a chapter in which Carl and Sylvie have their first taste of alcohol at a party.

  •  

    Sylvie and Carl are long-time best friends. Sylvie believes they will get married one day and stay best friends forever. Is this realistic? How much do people change through their teen years?

  •  

    Through the course of the book, Sylvie comes to realize that she and Carl will not have a romantic relationship. In small groups, discuss the clues that help Sylvie come to this realization and to accept and appreciate their relationship for what it is.

  •  

    If you (or someone you know) had a special collection of objects that reflect who you are (or who that person is), what would it be and how would you display it? Explain its importance.

  •  

    Do you believe that two kids growing up together have a greater chance of falling in love with each other than do people who meet after childhood? Why? Discuss your opinion in a small group.

  •  As you read, look for clues that indicate Sylvie’s, Carl’s, Miranda’s, Paul’s and Jake’s romantic interests.
  •  

    How do you think things will end up in a few years for Sylvie, Carl and Jake? Write an epilogue explaining the direction their romantic and platonic relationships take five years into the future.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To solve problems
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences