Purple Daze [NOOK Book]

Overview


Purple Daze is a young adult novel set in suburban Los Angeles in 1965. Six high school students share their experiences and feelings in interconnected free verse and traditional poems about war, feminism, riots, love, racism, rock 'n' roll, high school, and friendship.

Although there have been verse novels published recently, none explore the changing and volatile 1960's in America-- a time when young people drove a cultural and political revolution. With themes like the costs...

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Purple Daze

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Overview


Purple Daze is a young adult novel set in suburban Los Angeles in 1965. Six high school students share their experiences and feelings in interconnected free verse and traditional poems about war, feminism, riots, love, racism, rock 'n' roll, high school, and friendship.

Although there have been verse novels published recently, none explore the changing and volatile 1960's in America-- a time when young people drove a cultural and political revolution. With themes like the costs and casualties of war, the consequences of sex, and the complex relationships between teens, their peers, and their parents, this story is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shahan's (Death Mountain) novel in verse is packed with the experiences and emotions of six suburban Los Angeles high school students during the tumultuous year of 1965, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War draft, political assassinations, racism, the advent of LSD and Napalm, and rock 'n' roll. More than anything it's a story of innocence lost: Nancy unhappily works in a diner after her boyfriend Phil is drafted; Cheryl is attacked by her "sex pervert" neighbor, and her relationship with Don is on the rocks; and Ziggy runs wild with sex and drugs after her boyfriend, Mickey, joins the Navy ("Think I'll drop out and enlist./ It'd be a blast to blow stuff up"). Telling her story largely through the characters' journal entries, notes, and letters, Shahan also offers interludes about period events, speeches, and culture, further contextualizing the setting and helping illuminate each teen's circumstances and their shared feelings of abandonment, resentment, and betrayal. Shahan's writing pulls no punches as she offers a poignant mosaic that functions on personal and universal levels. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"A cutting-edge novel, strategically written to keep you wanting more as you delve deeper into the love and conflict of the rocky 1960s. Sure to please both young adult and adult audiences."—New York Journal of Books

"Shahan's writing pulls no punches as she offers a poignant mosaic that functions on personal and universal levels."—Publishers Weekly

"Captures the tension and desperation of 1960s young people who were caught up in the events while highlighting the chaos with song lyrics. Will enable young adults to identify on a personal level with The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, which is often included in curriculum lists."—VOYA

"Features snapshots of the turbulence of 1965 as caught in both a wide angle and telephoto lens. Perfect for short attention spans. Reluctant readers may be the best audience to enjoy this fast ride through the period."—School Library Journal

"Puts us on the front lines of funky times, from Los Angeles to Da-Nang. A far out, implosive, psychedelic trip that ends in indictment. This is spectacular."—Rita Williams-Garcia, author of One Crazy Summer, National Book Award finalist, and Newbery Honor, Scott O'Dell Historical Award, and Coretta Scott King Award winner

"A raw and stunning portrait of the '60s. For those who lived them, Purple Daze will bring your past to life. For those who didn't, this story will make you feel as though you did."—Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward

"Part history, part teen survival, Shahan drops you into the Vietnam era with compelling authenticity and emotional force."—Wendelin Van Draanen, author of The Running Dream

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
It is 1965 and a group of friends are preparing for life beyond high school. Their stories are told in letters. Some are sent to each other and others are written as assignments for the teacher. Each letter reveals sentiments and feelings expected of teenagers living in the turbulent and changing times of 1965. Interspersed throughout the letters are short reports that tell of the events happening at the time. Many young men were burning their draft cards, Dr. King was marching for civil rights, and drugs such as LSD were being made in makeshift laboratories. Readers will better understand the friends' feelings and actions as they see how they are affected by these unsettling times. Readers will also get to know each of the six friends and will empathize with every one of them, especially as they lose their innocence and are forced into a chaotic and confusing society. This compelling novel is moving and evocative. The characters will live with the reader long after the book is finished. Reviewer: Denise Daley
VOYA - Judith A. Hayn
Six teens attend a Los Angeles suburban high school in 1965. Their stories interweave through poetic prose, free writing, and free verse. The Vietnam war, riots, civil rights battles, and protests combine with teen angst, young love, and rock and roll. Don's hippie parents tune in and out, while Cheryl, his college-bound girlfriend, tries to bond with her single mom. Mickey ditches his alcoholic dad for the Navy, and his discarded girlfriend, Ziggy, seeks comfort in meaningless sex and drugs. Phil is drafted and sent to 'Nam, while his girl, Nancy, moves on to feminist stances and independence. Letters from Phil and Mickey to Cheryl provide powerful, realistic images of the war that dominated the decade and ripped apart their friendships. A brief time line begins and ends the book, along with a historical chronology. Shahan captures the tension and desperation of 1960s young people who were caught up in the events while highlighting the chaos with song lyrics. Purple Daze will enable young adults to identity on a personal level with The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Houghton Mifflin, 1990), which is often included in curriculum lists. Reviewer: Judith A. Hayn
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This novel-in-verse features snapshots of the turbulence of 1965 as caught in both a wide angle and telephoto lens. It not only follows the lives of several southern California teenagers through the young folks' own poetry, journal entries, and letters, but it also focuses on the bigger picture: Vietnam, Civil Rights, Malcolm X, LSD, pot, war protest, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and feminism. History lessons in third-person prose are sprinkled throughout the more human scale of poetry depicting teen musings and angst, but no segment fills more than a page, making the book perfect for short attention spans. From the three dating couples who populate and pen the poems, some central characters emerge. Ziggy, the easy chick who sleeps with her boyfriend, Mickey, barely survives his absence when he joins the Navy. Cheryl won't put out for her stateside guy, Don, and is actually the perfect wartime pen pal for the other two military teens: Mickey aboard the USS Hermitage and especially Phil, who is drafted to soldier in Nam and whose letters will evoke sympathy. Infidelity, abortion, friendship, grief, personal growth, and forgiveness are just some of the issues involved. While the poetry is neither particularly lyrical nor deft, it does manage to communicate story. Reluctant readers may be the best audience to enjoy this fast ride through the period.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762442478
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,185,017
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 469 KB

Meet the Author

Sherry Shahan is both an author and a photo illustrator. She has written more than 30 children's and YA books in her lifetime, including the bestselling Alaskan-based adventure, Frozen Stiff. Sherry loves to travel which has been an inspiration for many of her books. When she isn't riding through Africa on horseback or on dogsleds in Alaska, you will probably find her dancing whether it be on ice-capped mountains or in dance contests.
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Read an Excerpt

Purple Daze


By Sherry Shahan

Running Press Kids

Copyright © 2012 Sherry Shahan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780762446094

Ziggy

Ms. Hawkes asks us to come up
with ideas we'd like to research,
because she thinks we should spend
more time in the library.

"It doesn't have to be long," she says.
"Any ideas?"

Cheryl raises her hand. "How about
interesting quotes?"

Don nods. "Yeah, about war?"

Today we're peeling and eating roasted
chestnuts because we're reading Hemingway's
memoir A Moveable Feast.

Ms. Hawkes talks with her mouth full.
"Can you be more specific?"

Nancy folds up in her chair.
"Is old guys dreaming up wars so
our brothers and boyfriends get shot
specific enough?"

Phil

Dear Cheryl,

5th Week in Hell

Thanks, doll
for the pics of roses—
I can almost smell them.

I'm lying on an army cot at my outpost.
Every breath, I suck in a battalion of bugs.
Damn insects. It's raining and they decided
to come in here where it's dry.

Last night I about got plugged writing
a letter using this same flashlight.

A sniper saw it.

That would be a helluva way to sign off—
with a big glob of guts.

Your friend, Phil

P.S. I got a nasty paper cut licking
the flap of Nancy's envelope.
Only one letter so far.
What's up?

Continues...

Excerpted from Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan Copyright © 2012 by Sherry Shahan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    Take me back in time baby and give me the ride of my life! This book is super easy, super fast to read. It is told from six different point of views. It was either in a poem form, letter, or just thoughts. There was lots of information about what is going on in there time. There was president's speeches, war drafts, civil rights laws, birth's and death's of important people who played an important role in our history.

    The whole drama of these six people made for a great story. All of their lives intertwined with the war, music, and laws, made you feel like you were really in the sixties. The reader got to see a great insight to how things really were back then. All of the six people stories were amazingly told with good writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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