Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Spalding, Amy (Author)
Little, Brown 2016. 312 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780316371537 (paperback)
9780316371513 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, figurative language, multigenre, 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:

The self-conscious tribulations of teenage attraction are brilliantly conveyed in this hilarious tale of high school junior Riley’s search for a love life: “‘Thanks for the ride.’ He gets out of the car. Swiftly. Too swiftly? Is he afraid I’ll lob more word fits at him? Ted, come back! Ted, I’ll learn to be normal!”

Band-mates and best friends, Riley and Reid decide to help each other find love—or at least dates—while keeping a notebook to record their thoughts and progress. As a story device, the notebook offers an entertaining variety of language and expression through lists, instructions, strategies and reports on their dating adventures. Offering another perspective to Riley’s voice are Reid’s entries: “Jane is firstly really pretty. She has good taste in music.… Once last year I made a joke about Macbeth, and she said, ‘That was really funny, Reeve!’ It’s more important that she thinks I’m funny than that she gets my name right.”

Social interplay among the four band members depicts the shifts and balances within platonic friendships, as Riley’s drumming and her passion for music provide a strong foundation for romantic storylines: “I’ve just found the reissue of the Sandwiches’ Getting it, and I’m not about to hand it over. But when I glance up … Cute guy, record shop, CD in common, hello and welcome to the best moment ever.” Relationship values of honesty and vulnerability are emphasized when Riley and Reid are forced to come clean about their notebook machinations. Altogether, this book combines entertainment with substance—and plenty of heart.

  •  

    The novel explores some big ideas related to agency and self-esteem in romantic relationships, as well as the role of consent in sexual encounters.

  •  

    The book’s prologue reads: “Sound is the love between me and you.” In small groups, discuss the way this quotation reflects Riley and Reid’s experiences with romance.

  •  Include the novel in a literature circle text set. Discuss the benefits associated with romantic relationships based on mutuality as well as the importance of managing a sexual relationship in a healthy way.
  •  

    What would inspire a teenager to ask someone out on a date? In small groups, discuss the reasons why teens develop crushes and go out on dates.

  •  As you read, pay attention to how Reid and Riley’s Passenger Manifest ties in with the chapters that precede and follow each entry. Are they being honest with each other (and themselves) in the Manifest?
  •  Fast forward to the future. Write a new chapter describing what has happened with Ted and Riley, the Gold Diggers and who Reid is dating.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences