Tuesday, January 20, 2015


     Initially I was hesitant about choosing Crank by Ellen Hopkins as one of my readings for this week. While flipping through the pages to get a general idea of what the text would be about, I was thrown off by the authors' style of writing. Although I love free-verse poetry, I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to comprehend a story based around this particular style. My fears quickly diminished! Crank is an extremely powerful story that, in my opinion, has a stronger message at hand-especially since it is loosely based on the the substance abuse that the authors' daughter endured. Drug abuse is definitely a sensitive topic to translate into a story. Yet, I feel as though Ellen Hopkins was able to not only shed light on an issue that effects so many individuals, but pay tribute to the demons that her daughter fought. 

As you can see, many of the lines and individual words are separated or placed in abnormal positions for a story. Although this is how all of her stories look, I wonder if the sense of separation and abnormality could be seen as a metaphor for how Kristina/Bree felt while battling her addiction. Just something to think about! 

     As I became more and more immersed into the story of Kristina/Bree (which by the way took me FOREVER to realize that these were not two separate characters), I found myself going back to the fact that this is a banned book in many school districts. I can certainly understand why such a story would not be appropriate for young adults to read in classroom setting. Yet, I wonder if simply suggesting it for outside reading would still constitute as wrong? Subjecting students to an issue that effects far too many individuals today, may be both educational and eye-opening for them. It is important that we provide students' with an opportunity to become aware of the social problems that our society is currently facing. 
    Alright, alright...I think it's time for me to step down from my soapbox and revert back to the literature at hand. After diving into Crank and become more comfortable with Ellen Hopkins' style of writing, I would like to give her other novels a try. Especially Trick, which Dr. Jones briefly mentioned during our first class. I commend Ellen Hopkins for creating young adult literature that touches on prevalent issues that hit close to home for many. Her fearlessness and desire to write about such issues as drug abuse and prostitution are what make her a respectable author, in my opinion. I hope my take on Crank changes your mind about placing this book back on the self after a quick glance. Trust me, stepping out of your comfort zone and diving into this book will be a decision you will not regret! :) 


  1. I was hesitant when I first started reading Crank as well! The author's style was intimidating at first, but after reading, I really appreciated the effort and talent that Ellen Hopkin's put into designing the style of her book. I am also relieved to know that I was not the only one who took a while to realize that Kristina and Bree were not two separate characters! I guess that goes to prove how important it is to slow down and reread (just like we tell our students. Ha!) I agree that Ellen Hopkin's book is something that we should recommend to our student's to read. Not only does it have a powerful message and talks about important societal issues, but it shows how easily it could happen to someone just like them or to someone they least expected to have major problems. I also feel like many teens could relate to Kristina because they too face the same pressures as she did to earn good grades and be the perfect child for her parents. For many, they want to be able to discover who they are and experiment as a way to become their own person. Crank is important because it shows the risks of the choices that people make when they want to do such experimentation.

    Did you know that Crank is a trilogy? Glass and Fallout are the other two books a part of the triolgy! I've added them to my reading list and I am really excited to see how Kristina's story plays out.

  2. Keara, I really like the points you make in this posting. As I was reading your response, I was wondering... if you were a 9th grader today, would you want to read this book in class? Do you think it holds literary merit?