CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 17 . . . . April 25, 2003
Liberty is not an academic star; showing off hot new clothes, trolling for parties, and checking out hot guys are school's main attractions. The only subject that really interests her is band, taught by Mr. Henderson, "a total hunk." Used to getting what she wants from every man she meets, from her father to the entire male population of Clarence Cobb Regional Secondary, it doesn't take long for Liberty to act on her attraction to Mr. Henderson. She becomes every teacher's nightmare: the student who lodges a false accusation of sexual misconduct. As the story unfolds, it is Ryan who knows the truth behind Liberty's false accusation of rape and Val who confronts Liberty with it.
The Trouble with Liberty is from the Orca Soundings series - the books are short, and the characters are realistic, facing problems and situations that are current and credible. Everyone who has gone to high school has met a manipulator like Liberty, and everyone who has met a "Liberty" has been used and abused by her charm and self-centeredness. This book was an absolute page-turner, and although written for someone with a reading level of grade 5 or so, kept me completely engaged! For a young reader who is a non-reader, this is an excellent choice and should be purchased for libraries with readers from grades 9 through 12. There's just not enough really good Canadian fiction for students reading below grade level, and this one is excellent for reluctant readers, as well. It could also be used in a classroom setting, perhaps as part of a multi-novel unit.
Read The Trouble with Liberty. You'll like it, your students will like it, and you'll have something by a Canadian author to recommend to those kids who don't want to read, have a hard time reading, but need to read books like this because completing it will show them that they can read.
Joanne Peters is a teacher-librarian at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, MB.
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