Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Mass, Wendy. 
Boston : Little, Brown, 2003.
IL 5-8, RL 6.8
ISBN 0316523887

(4 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Mia remembers a time in third grade when she tried to talk about her colors.  The kids called her a freak.  So she hasn't talked about them since.  You see, Mia sees things differently from most people.  All the letters of the alphabet are a different color.  Numbers, too.  Words are a blend of the colors of the letters that spell them.  This confuses her but she also finds comfort in it.  Having numbers associated with colors makes math just about impossible for her.  And forget about Spanish class.  Just when things seem to be getting out of control, she finds that she is not alone.  Other people see things in color as well.  There is even a scientific name for it.  Synesthesia.

Booktalk #2

What's in a name? For 13 year old Mia Winchel, her best friend Jenna's name is "a shimmering shade of green with yellow highlights".  For Mia, words, letters, and sounds have colors.  Mia has had this gift all her life but when she takes algebra and Spanish in school "seeing colors" becomes a real problem.  "Mango" is Mia's cat and the sound of her purring and breathing is a mango shade of orange.  Is Mia the only one who can see letters, words and sounds like this?  Read A Mango-Shaped Space and see for yourself.   (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee, 2004-05)

Booktalk #3

In A Mango-Shaped Space we meet 13-year-old Mia who has a unique condition. Different letters, numbers and sounds produce different colors for her. She’s kept her condition a secret since elementary school, but now with boys, school, and family starting to overwhelm her, she can’t keep it a secret any longer. She finds out she’s not the only one who sees the world as she does and learns to embrace her uniqueness. (Prepared by: Janet Kenney , SCASL Young Adult Book Awards)

Booktalk #4

I would give two-thumbs up for A Mango Shaped Space! It is a realistic fiction, about a thirteen-year-old named Mia.
Mia lives in a small town with her best friend Jenna, her cat Mango, and her crazy family. She believes Mango has a part of her grandpa in him, since she found him at her grandpa's funeral. Her younger brother Zach, keeps a chart of how many McDonald's cheeseburgers he's eaten on his wall, and her older sister Beth dyes her hair a different color every week. Even though she figures she's probably the most normal member of her family, Mia knows she's not like everyone else. She's been keeping something from everyone since an embarrassing incident in the third grade. And she feels anything but normal when she has to reveal her big secret so she doesn't flunk math. For Mia, sounds, letters, and numbers have a color for her. Will she recover? Well, she finds a group of people just like her and, by the time she realizes that she's isolated herself from all the people who love her, it might be too late. And she just might have to lose something very special to her in order to find herself again.  (Mariah C., student)

SUBJECTS:     Synesthesia -- Fiction.
                        Senses and sensation -- Fiction.
                        Cats -- Fiction.
                        Friendship Fiction.
                        Death -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Fiction.


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