Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple
 

Main Page
Author List
Title List
New This Month
Interest Level
Subject List
FAQ's
Contributors
Booktalking Tips
Book Review Sources
Reading lists
Awards
Nancy Keane's Children's Website
nancy@nancykeane.com
 

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Giles, Gail. 
SHATTERING GLASS
Brookfield, Conn. : Roaring Brook Press, 2002.
IL YA
ISBN 0761326014

(7 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

There is no mistaking how this book is going to end.  The very first paragraph on the very first page tells you exactly what is going to happen: (read from page one) "Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from.   I guess, really we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him."  You see, it all seemed like a good idea when it first started.  Even the principal was all for it.  The the most popular boy in school, Rob Haynes, had a plan to take the biggest geek in the school and make him popular.  Me, Coop and the Bobster were all in on it.  Some of us more reluctant than others.   I guess I never was quite sure why it was so important to Rob that his plan worked out.  At least not until it was too late.  How did it all get so out of hand?  How could one person have the power to change the course of so many lives?  All the way through this book, you will keep hoping that somehow it will end differently.  Now, when I look back, I wish it had too.  But it doesn't.  And that is the Shattering Part.  (Virginia Wright, wrightvi@oplin.lib.oh.us )

Booktalk #2

Simon Glass was easy to hate.  People hated him for different reasons.  Maybe they saw what they hated about themselves when they looked at him.  He was a textbook geek.  Mushy fat.  Pants too short.  Zipper never all the way up.  Shirt tucked into his tighty whities.  Pocket protector.  You know the type.  You've seen him around and probably joined others in making fun of him.  By why did Rob pick Simon as a pet project?  Rob who had everything.  Rob who was the most popular kid in school.  But Rob was determined to make Simon one of the popular kids.  It was sort of like a challenge.  But none of us could ever guess how it would turn out.  How could we?  How could we ever imagine that we would end up killing Simon Glass.

Booktalk #3

                    (Excerpt)

                    This is not a bad person. This is a person who made bad choices. Do I think he'll make those kinds of choices again? No. Do I think he's a danger to society? No. Do I think he has shown remorse? Let me put it this way. More than one boy died that day. The young man before the parole board is not the young man who stood in the high school equipment room. He has taken responsibility for his actions. He has worked here for five years paying his debt to society. He has worked as a teacher, helping inmates learn to read. Heís not only rehabilitated himself, he's helped rehabilitate others. Has he forgiven himself for what he did? No. Will he ever? I doubt it. Will he forget what he did? Never.
                                                                --Prison Chaplain Joseph Guzman

                    Have you ever done things your friends wanted to do, knowing inside that it is the wrong thing to do or at the very least, it could get you into trouble? Have you ever seen things start to go bad, but you can't seem to figure out why or how to stop it from happening? In Shattering Glass, Rob, the new guy at school, uses his charm and charisma as a master manipulator to root out the most popular guy at school taking his position and stealing his girlfriend. But even this does not satisfy Robís desire to rule the school. He decides to demonstrate his power by helping the class pencil pocket become cool.   Rob and his friends set out on the mission to make Simon Glass not only accepted but revered. What they donít expect is Simon to actually be intelligent, maybe even more than them. As things start to go terribly wrong, no one seems to be able to stop it before it goes too far ... or maybe they really didn't want to stop it. Shattering Glass by Gail Giles is full of lies and deception, false appearances and murder. Watch where you step or you might get cut.  (Stephanie Nichols, sfnichols1@yahoo.com, University of South Carolina)

Booktalk #4

"Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from. I guess, really we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him." ĖYoung Stewart

Gail Gilesí first young adult novel employs multiple points of view to unravel her mad-scientistís-monster-that-ultimately-must-be-destroyed-through-no-fault-of-its-own story. Much like the webbed cracks of a piece of glass, the different viewpoints of teachers, fellow students, police, and parents unfold the dramatic and suspenseful events.  They connect varying degrees of corroboration and dismissal of reasons for the violent failure of the boysí social experiment. Rob, the senior BMOC, and his henchmen decide to pull the male equivalent of My Fair Lady.   The guys turn Simon Glass, the butt of everyoneís jokes and target of derision, into one of the elite.  Itís amazing what a new haircut and the right clothes can do for a kid beyond the boundaries of the schoolís social map.  Unexpectedly, Simon affects each of Robís crew in different ways.  Through Simonís tutelage and cheating on a college entrance exam, the dumb jock, Coop, is transformed into a self-confident academic.  Robís original right-hand man, Young, is reduced to relinquishing his girlfriend to the newly crowned Prince Charming, and Rob, ultimately, finds himself and his gang being manipulated by their creation.  The power struggle takes a nasty turn in the end.  The boys all have reasons for disliking Simon before and after the transformation, but why does the dislike elicit such a violent response, who is really responsible, and who is punished for the final act?
 

Prepared by: Brian Glassman for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2005

Booktalk #5

                    "Simon Glass was easy to hate....I guess, really we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him."

                    Öand so begins a disturbing yet openly honest story of high school cliques and teen angst.

                    Young Steward is narrating this tale and he hates Simon.  He doesn't hate Simon for his looks, or his money, or his brains.  No, he hates Simon for his courage.  Step into the world of Young, Simon, and Rob Hayneís posse and see what lies beneath the beguiling exterior of the most popular boys in school.  They each possess something unique, whether it's charm, intelligence, athleticism, good looks, or money...but that's just on the surface.  Uncover their secrets but enjoy the narrative and foreshadowing as you read Shattering Glass by Gail Giles.  Don't stop until you reach the endÖ  (Michal Hope Brandon, hopeymb@yahoo.com, Intern, Blythewood Middle School, Blythewood, SC)

Booktalk #6

Iíve had a long time to think about it and still I ask myself this question. Why did we do whatever Rob asked us to do all the way to the end?

Coop, the Bobster, and I hung out with Rob and he was our leader. Simon Glass, on the other hand, was the geekest guy in school. A nobody we all hated. So why did we agree to help Rob with his plan to make Simon Glass the most popular guy in school?

Looking back on it now I see that Rob was using all of us. But back then he was the coolest guy in BíVale High. So we went right along with everything--the lies, the manipulation and deception.

At first it seemed like a game, harmless and fun. But it soon became clear that for Rob it was really about the power. And by being with him we got something only Rob could give usóhis approval.

In the end Robís creation had a mind of his own. But when things turned ugly we, at least Bob and I, turned our anger on the creation not the creator.

So we went along with Rob all the way to the endóthe bloody end!

by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Library System for Evergreen Young Adult Book Award

Booktalk #7

Simon is fat, ugly and nerdy. Rob is handsome, athletic, and charismatic.So when Rob decides to reinvent Simon by making him into one of the schoolís elite, he and the others are not prepared for the results. What Rob forgets is that Simon is smart-very smart and worse yet, he has learned Robís secret.A clash of wills is inevitable and the results are tragic.  Black-eyed Susan Award nominee 2005-2006
 

SUBJECTS:     Popularity -- Fiction.
                        High schools -- Fiction.
                       Schools -- Fiction.
                        Violence -- Fiction.

© 

Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.