(Orca Currents series) Publisher: Orca Book Publishers Pub Date: March/01/2010. : 112pp
Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level: R
Having met and spoken with Canadian author Eric Walters over the past few years, I am always keen to see what his latest book will be about.
In Branded , three characters that were introduced in Mr. Walters’ book In a Flash are once again at the centre of controversy. Ian, Oswald and Julia, friends since elementary school are part of a social issues class introduced by the new Principal. Within these four walls, Mr. Roberts challenges his students to think on a variety of global social issues, from the passive resistence shown by Gandhi, to child slave labour and human rights. During a weekly assembly, the Principal announces that to help with school security issues, a new policy of school uniforms would be implemented …this not only brings groans and jeers from the student body, but also raises the ire of school president Julia. Once again Ian’s relationship with Julia is put to the test as she continually badgers him for ideas to stop this new policy. Ian is reluctant to commit to anything so avoids Julia. As the date draws near, Ian’s casual searching on the internet reveals that the supplier of the new uniforms is also on an international list of human rights violations…..this revelation spurs Ian to follow his conscience and thrusts him once again into the limelight of controversy!
Once again Mr. Walters has produced a thought-provoking book that will surely engage classroom discussions on social issues that face all of us in this age of information technology! Highly Recommended!
Reading ability: Grade 6,7,8,9 (Hi/Lo vocabulary)
Genre: Realistic fiction
Theme: Courage; Social Justice issues; Human Rights; Integrity; Law; Determination
Orca Reading/Teaching Guide for Teachers: http://www.orcabook.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=475