Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Meyer, Marissa. New York, Scholastic, 2012.  978054556743

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile 790

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
I would rate this as Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Literary Text”.  The structure is very straightforward and conventional.  Although the story is set in the future there are not too many elements in the language or setting that would make it hard for a teenage reader to understand.  The story is an alternate version of Cinderella but that is such a common fairy tale that it does not require more literary knowledge than most readers would have.

Cinder is a cyborg but she has no recollection of her life before the surgery.  Now she works as a mechanic and brings in money for her stepmother.  Meanwhile, there is a plague threatening the people of earth and the prince is being pressured to marry the Queen of Luna.  Cinder soon finds that not only is she immune to the plague but she is also a Lunar.  How did she get to earth in the first place?  Who is she really? This retelling of Cinderella features cyborgs, plagues, and androids but still maintains stepmothers, a ball, and a missing shoe.  This time though the missing shoe is attached to a robotic foot.

Content Area: Reading/ELA

Content area standard:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Curriculum Suggestions:
This would be a great book to use as a compare and contrast of classic fairy tales and modern versions.

Personal Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this Cinderella version.  I am a big fan of alternate versions of fairy tales and I like a good science fiction novel.  There were enough elements of the classic Cinderella to make it recognizable but had enough differences to make it intriguing.  I am looking forward to reading the sequel.  This is a nominee on our Maine Student Book Award list for this year.  It is considered a YA novel so I won’t be purchasing it for my grade 1-5 school but I have my own copy that I could loan to some students.

Subjects/Themes:  Desire to Escape, Good vs Bad, Love and Sacrifice

Series Information: This is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles series.

Awards: This book is on many state book award nominee lists.

High Interest Annotation:  If you like alternate versions of fairy tales then you’ll love this science fiction cyborg Cinderella.

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