Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Peace, Love and Baby Ducks

Myracle, Lauren (Author)
Penguin Random House 2010. 294 pages
First published: 2009
ISBN: 9780142415276 (paperback)
9780525477433 (hardcover)
9781101057155 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, figurative language, 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:

Sophomore Carly looks forward to her sister Anna joining her in high school as a freshman, until Anna’s blossoming body makes her instantly famous. Other things that bother Carly are the attitudes of her wealthy parents and the privileged students at her Christian private prep school. As Carly examines her spirituality, values, changing friendships and feelings, Anna encounters her own problems. But their sisterly bond is stretching thin. A house party of uninvited guests and a dive off the high board in PE class bring them close again, while opening Carly’s eyes to some of her own insensitivities.

This lively novel explores profound topics, such as Christianity and spirituality, the social and economic class divide, disrespect for women’s bodies and sexuality, and the complicated bonds among family members.

Carly’s sense of alienation is conveyed with wit and style: “‘Yes, thanks for that,’” I say to Chelsea, who’s the third person to make the you-must-have-wanted-to-kill-your-stylist remark. ‘And my stylist has a degenerative nerve disease. It’s very sad.’” The narrative pinpoints social hypocrisies with the relish of an astute teen: “When guys ogle [Anna] they’re thinking, Dude. Sexilicious. When girls ogle her, they’re thinking, Slut.”

Convincing supporting characters add depth and dimension to Carly’s perspective, including new friend Vonzelle (one of the few black kids at school), status-crazed Dad (whose custom shoes take weeks to make) and the steady Roger—all of whom help Carly turn her piercing gaze on her own foibles and imperfections, for a nuanced finish that is enjoyably heartwarming.

  •  

    The text explores issues such as social and economic disparity, labelling and stereotypes, through Carly and her sister Anna. The novel opens with Carly’s letter, which hints at some of the topics the novel undertakes and can be used to make predictions about the story.

  •  

    Carly wonders why people care so much about assigning labels and worries that she might end up “drowning in all this fakeness.” Discuss the role that labels play in Carly and Anna’s world and in real life.

  •  

    The text may be one of a set used for literature circles or book clubs that consider pertinent issues. Groups might work with a common focus question that asks them to consider the impact of environment and peers on identity construction.

  •  

    Examine the book title and cover, read the one-page prologue (“Thank God for Sisters”) and note the chapter titles. With a partner, discuss what you think this book will be about.

  •  Carly and Anna’s relationship changes as the story progresses. As you read, look for the defining moments of change in their relationship and what brought those changes about.
  •  

    Which character in this story most reminds you of yourself? Do a character analysis of that individual and identify your similarities. Include examples of things they said or did that remind you of yourself. If no character fits that bill, analyze the character who is least like you and explain why.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences
  • One (S. Crossan) (Topic)