Monday, September 30, 2013
Module 5: Jellicoe Road
Module 5: Other Award Winners
Author: Melina Marchetta
This book follows Taylor Markham and her friends through the territory wars. The wars are between the “townies,” “cadets,” and the students at the Jellicoe boarding school. Taylor is the leader of the students, and the readers follow her thoughts through the wars and other various happenings in her life. Taylor doesn’t know much about her past or her family, but she spends a lot of time with Hannah who lives right next to the school. Hannah is also writing a book (that is featured as a sub- story, so the readers get to meet Hannah’s characters as well). Taylor soon begins to realize though, when Hannah disappears to be with a “friend,” that the characters in Hannah’s story are real. Taylor, with the help of her friends, eventually pieces together her past and her connection to those “characters.”
APA Book Reference:
Marchetta, M. (2006). Jellicoe road. New York, NY: HarperTeen.
I loved the prose in this book. Marchetta is a great writer, and I look forward to reading more of her books when I have the free time. I will admit thought that when I first starting reading, I was a little bit confused with the back and forth of the story. The use of italics really helped me though, and as the story went on it became easier to follow. Also as the story went on, it was easier to see how the stories connected to one another. The main character was very troubled yet relatable, and I really enjoyed following her narration through the story. I found myself not wanting it to end. And according to Marchetta’s Wikipedia page, she is supposedly writing a screenplay adaptation of the book. I really hope, if it’s true, that the movie comes to America and doesn’t just play in Australia.
Stevenson, D. (2008). Jellicoe road (review). Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 62(3), 124-125. DOI: 10.1353/bcc.0.0492
“Jellicoe Road is where Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother years ago, and since then she’s been living at the Jellicoe School and with Hannah, who works at the school and who has taken a special interest in Taylor. Now Hannah has suddenly disappeared, leaving Taylor feeling abandoned all over again, and the timing couldn’t be worse: the military Cadets have returned for their annual local camping stint, making it time for the resumption of the long-running and secret territorial war between the Cadets, the Townies, and the School, with Taylor this year the leader of the School—and trying to forget her history with Jonah, the leader of the Cadets. Into this already intense and elaborate plot intertwine segments of another story about similar teenagers, a quintet of friends drawn from School, Cadets, and Townies and linked together by tragedy, and as the interpolated passages accumulate to make a clearer narrative, it becomes apparent that these segments of what was initially supposed to be Hannah’s unfinished novel is actually her true life story, which hides the mystery of Taylor’s own past. The book uncompromisingly starts with the fragments unconnected, leaving readers teased by a mystery they can’t even begin to piece together even as they’re enticed by the taut intensity of the atmosphere and Australian author Marchetta’s impeccable, long-striding style. Though the elements are melodramatic, they serve to heighten the intensity of emotion rather than the drama itself, steeping the book in loss and longing. Yet the solution to these griefs is subtly constructed before Taylor’s eyes as the people around her demonstrate that she matters deeply to them, and it’s clear that her circle is, in its own way, recreating the bonds of the previous generation and offering a happy ending that their predecessors were largely unable to find. Even readers with boringly normal lives will recognize the strains of Taylor’s individuation (about Hannah, she says, “I hate her for not working out what I need from her”), and they’ll be relieved to see her and her collection of surprising yet staunch friends finding their way at last.”
Jellicoe Road would be a good book to feature in a book talk to high school students. It features some mature themes, but the major of theme of the book is family whether that family is blood related or friends that become like family. This book could also open up discussion s about feelings of loss, abandonment, and dealing with suicide.