I’ve got a great in-person event coming up at the Avon Public Library on June 30 at 7:00 pm. Steven Parlato, Cindy Rodriguez, Anissa Pesce Zucker, and I will be discussing the “Reader Experience” and offering our books for sale at the Teen/YA Author Night. It’s shaping up to be a really fun program. And today, I have Anissa, author of THE TRUE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS, with some thoughts about FEED by M.T. Anderson. Welcome, Anissa!
by Anissa Pesce Zucker
What if our brains were constantly connected to the internet via a micro-chip implant? This satire depicts the nature of humanity and its ominous connection with technology. Have we become too close? Here is a story that interweaves concepts from Huxley’s “Brave New World”, with coming of age novels like “Star Girl” and “Catcher in the Rye.” The pacing of this novel is quick and engaging. The dumbed down language of the teenagers can be confusing at first, but after the first few chapters, you being to understand all the made up slang words. This novel is STARKINGLY close to a not too distance future. This prophetic story exposes a dark undertone of what society would look like if we become too dependent on the internet and what truths could be exposed by those that rebel against THE FEED…
This book has become a hit at Canton High School. Student’s love reading this book and I believe it should be incorporated into the English Curriculum. It’s a modern day coming of age novel following one boy, Titus, and his attraction to a girl who is fighting THE FEED. Violet, is a smart, sassy, beautiful girl who challenges Titus to try to think for himself. He doesn’t change much throughout the story, which I liked because it made it more believable for the time period, rather than have the cheesy “girl saves boy” kind of ending. The kids enjoy this because the language veers closely to text language and the pacing of the story is engaging and captivates the reader. The satire style along with the prophetic and political undertones make the story exciting to even the most reluctant reader!
Every child has indulged in a fantasy world. It’s part of our human development. But there comes a time in one’s life where we begin to question everything and that fantasy slowly fades away, leaving us with only ripples of confusion between what is real and what is “make believe”. Darlene is getting older and starting to wonder about the mystery behind Santa Claus. She wonders, “How on earth can one man travel around the world on one night and deliver all those presents?” and “do reindeer really fly?” and “do elves really make toys in the north pole?” When she confronts her mother with some of these questions, her mother decides it’s time for her to hear the real story of Santa Claus, passed down from generation to generation. The story of how the “Santa Tree Organization” began fascinates Darlene and her curiosity only grows stronger every night her mother reads to her and she asks more and more questions. As the truth slowly unravels, she feels a sense of pride knowing she now knows the truth and it’s not as grim as what her classmates tried convincing her, which was that there was no Santa Claus. But what will she do with this knowledge? One thing is known for sure, Santa will not leave her alone with her pride. She will be assigned a special mission just like her mother was when she was coming of age. Where will that mission take her and what will she learn along the way? This story within a story captures the innocence of childhood and the magic of Santa, in a way never revealed before! Shh! the secret is out, only to those ready to hear the message. True magic and the spirit of giving come together in the heart of an adolescent girl searching for the meaning of Christmas.
Anissa Pesce Zucker, M.ed. resides in New Hartford, Connecticut with her husband, David, their daughter, Melody Anne, and their coon hound mix, Reece. She holds a master’s degree in Literacy Education and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology / Counseling. She works as a Language Arts Consultant at Canton High School. Her first solo publication was a poetry book titled, “Fearless Expressions: A Time for Us” (2011). Her hobbies include outdoor adventure/traveling, tennis, yoga, knitting, reading, writing poetry & the practice and teachings of the martial arts- Mu-Shin-Do.
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