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Twisted

Penguin Random House 2013. 262 pages
First published: 2007
ISBN: 9780142411841 (paperback)
9781101200667 (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:

Topics familiar to adolescents—feeling outcast and unheard, suffering unreasonable social and parental pressure, the thrill of first love and the need to find one’s own path—are explored through the point of view of a teen in transition.

The incisive voice of nearly-18-year-old Tyler exhibits a harsh wit: “It was a fifteen-minute ride in Mr. Pirelli’s pickup to Evergreen Haven, the nursing home where we sent my grandparents to die.” And, “Hannah was about to burst with excitement … she would have sprayed blood, guts and glitter in every direction.” Tyler’s loving nature is reflected in his warm relationship with his younger sister, attempts to mediate between his parents, defence of his bullied friend and sensitivity to others, including love interest Bethany. “We were eight miles away from home, she was barefoot, and even with my jacket over her sweatshirt, she was shivering.”

The plot moves at a speedy clip, as themes emerge on sexuality, adolescent cruelties and developing mature relationships with adult authorities. Despite extreme adversity—Dad’s unrealistic demands, false accusations of sexual misconduct, removal from his school classes—Tyler shows ingenuity and restraint, transforming from bossed child to self-determining young adult: “I was a boy on a bus going somewhere, for a change.”

  •  

    Bethany, Hannah, Jared and Yoda represent different stereotypes of North American adolescents. Use the characters to initiate discussion and analysis of adolescent representation in realistic novels for teens.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss the way(s) diverse characters adhere to or deviate from the stereotypes they might initially appear to represent.

  •  

    Use this text and others that explore adolescent stereotypes and tropes to produce expository texts that explore and explain the topics and issues presented.

  •  

    Adolescence is full of change, discovery and reinvention. What might cause a quiet, introverted and isolated teen to become popular and even audacious in just a few months? What impact might this have on the teen? Is it a positive or negative transformation? Discuss your answers in small groups.

  •  

    As you read, pay attention to Tyler and Bethany’s behaviours and actions, and decide if they embody gender stereotypes.

  •  

    At the end of the story, Tyler also makes it to the end of the video game he has been playing: “I could become the new Lord of Darkness myself, or I could take a gamble and be reincarnated. I chose wisely.” What does that choice allude to in Tyler’s real life? What choice do you think he made? Write a short essay, supporting your opinion with passages and events from the text.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences