Tuesday 22 August 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Pairs For Classroom Classics [Part II].

Well here we are again, 'Top Ten Tuesday' is back in town and this week's theme is 'Back To School'. As soon as I saw it, I remembered a TTT list I did ages ago pairing modern books (mostly YA) with beloved classics generally found on the school curriculum. Well, I thought it would be fun to do that again so I've created a 'Part II'! Part I is available here for you to read, if you wish to see more pairings like this!

1) 'One Of Us Is Lying' by Karen M. McManus.

Classic Pair: 'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton.

So seeing as McManus herself has said that she drew a lot of inspiration from the film The Breakfast Club while writing this book, I really wanted a classic book with the same sort of camaraderie between children/teens trying to solve a murder. My first thought was Enid Blyton's 'The Famous Five' series but it needed to be grittier than ginger beer and lashings of hard-boiled eggs. 'The Outsiders' contains the necessary 'school stereotypes' needed to be compared with a book like 'One Of Us Is Lying'. It also contains danger, rivalries and death so seemed like a good fit.

 ...paired with... 

2) 'Noteworthy' by Riley Redgate.

Classic Pair: 'Twelfth Night' by William Shakespeare.

So in my list I had popular Shakespeare play 'Romeo & Juliet' paired with Malorie Blackman's modern day interpretation 'Noughts & Crosses'. I really wanted to go back to Shakespeare but this time I picked my favourite comedy of his - 'Twelfth Night'. Like the play, 'Noteworthy' is all about a girl who, in order to fit in better, disguises herself as a boy. There's plenty of mistaken identity, romance, confusion and laughs to be found in this contemporary read.

 ...paired with... 

3) 'Heartless' by Marissa Meyer.

Classic Pair: 'Alice In Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.

This is more of a direct re-imagining of Wonderland before the rise of the Queen Of Hearts, but it is a really good story and one I highly recommend who want a taste of the Wonderland they know and love. Meyer does a great job of injecting the right amount of craziness into the setting without letting it stump the plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and though you know where it is going, it's a fun read all the same!

 ...paired with... 

4) 'The Sun Is Also A Star' by Nicola Yoon.

Classic Pair: 'The Catcher In The Rye' by J.D. Salinger.

'The Catcher In The Rye' is probably the original 'teenage angst' book. I really wanted to find a book about teens placed in terrible situations that dream of a 'better life' and have plenty of modern philosophical discussions about love, life and the universe. Enter Natasha and Daniel from my latest read, 'The Sun Is Also A Star' who seem a little like Holden and Phoebe. Making a connection in an alienating world.

 ...paired with... 

5) 'The Final Empire' by Brandon Sanderson.

Classic Pair: 'The Three Musketeers' by Alexandre Dumas.

This might seem a little bit of a weird connection but this book really gave me the same feeling that any interpretation of 'The Three Musketeers' has. Companionship is a big thing in this book: Vin was a newcomer in a pre-established 'gang' of men who were getting involved in bigger things (revolutions and rebellions) in order to do their bit for a better world. The humorous banter between the characters really gave me a 'The Three Musketeers' feel too!

 ...paired with... 

6) 'The Life Of Pi' by Yann Martel.

Classic Pairing: 'Robinson Crusoe' by Daniel Defoe.

This might be a bit of an obvious choice, but I'll mention it all the same! 'Robinson Crusoe' is about a man who becomes stranded on a desert island, while 'The Life Of Pi' is about a boy who becomes a castaway on a boat in the middle of the sea after the ship he was boarding with his family sinks. As if his problems couldn't get any worse, the ship was transporting zoo animals, and the tiger is also on board. I feel like 'The Life Of Pi' may be slightly more harrowing and realistic, but it's difficult to deny the similarities between these two tales.

 ...paired with... 

7) 'A Thousand Nights' by E.K. Johnston.

Classic Pairing: 'One Thousand And One Nights' by Hanan Al-Shaykh.

This is probably going to seem like a bit of an obvious choice, as 'A Thousand Nights' is clearly a retelling of 'The Thousand And One Nights'. But if you're a fan of the over-arching story in the classic collection of tales, then this might be a good book for you to read because it gives a little more insight into that, and focuses less on the short stories themselves. This interpretation gives real feminist vibes too and it has a lot going for it!

 ...paired with... 

8) 'Good Kings, Bad Kings' by Susan Nussbaum.

Classic Pairing: 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey.

Funnily enough, I actually read 'Good Kings, Bad Kings' a long time before I read 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' but thanks to the film, I knew the basic premise. 'Good Kings, Bad Kings' focuses on children and teenagers in comparison but they are both good books for looking at the mental health system and it's terrifying to realise that while Nurse Ratchet can no longer lobotomise people left, right and centre, there is still so much abuse and horror for those placed in mental health institutions.

 ...paired with... 

9) 'What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours' by Helen Oyeyemi.

Classic Pairing: 'One Hundred Years Of Solitude' by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez.

I read 'What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours' recently and became a big fan of the way that Oyeyemi handled the magical realism. I didn't find 'One Hundred Years Of Solitude' quite so charming myself (mostly confusing actually) but I know it has a lot of fans and the bizarre happenings are what draw people in. I think if you liked the vibe in 'One Hundred Years Of Solitude', you'll find Oyeyemi's book a delightful read with a bit more clarity.

 ...paired with... 

10) 'The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry' by Gabrielle Zevin.

Classic Pairing: 'If On A Winter's Night A Traveller' by Italo Calvino.

This last pairing has one recurring theme: books. I found 'If On A Winter's Night A Traveller' a clever (if frustrating) read because of it's constant need to begin stories without ending them. That was of course the main plot, but it drove me round the bend and intrigued me at the same time. 'The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry' is also great because it's about people who love and adore books, and use them to relate to the outside world.Every chapter begins with a great book quote too!

 ...paired with... 

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