I picked up Rebecca Stead’s “First Light” a few days ago, after reading reviews on a few other blogs. One of my goals this year is to have read the Newbery winner (or an honor book) before it is chosen this year. It got rave reviews all over, so I grabbed it on one of my many trips to Barnes and Noble.
When I first read the flap description, I thought I might use this novel as a read-aloud during our survival unit this fall. However, after reading it I may move it to our ecology unit. Honestly, it would do well in either place.
“First Light” is actually two stories in one. This made me wary at first, because I wanted to skip ahead. However, I trusted that Rebecca Stead would not lead me astray and that the two stories would intersect. Thankfully, I was right!
Peter is a young boy living in NYC. His parents are both academics, which leads to his “vacation” of sorts in Greenland. his father studies glaciers and mom is writing a book about mitochondrial DNA. What a great concept! What kid would turn down a trip to Greenland during the school year? It sounds exciting, fun, and definitely not school-related. Of course, Peter has a lot to learn- about Greenland, his parents, and the wider world.
Thea is the second protagonist in the book. She and her family live in another world of sorts, below the earth’s surface. Both stories intersect brilliantly by the middle of the book. By the end, I was cheering on all of the characters!
I enjoyed this book a lot and look forward to using it with my students this fall. It is exciting, full of action, and still packs a punch in regards to global warming (without preaching!). It will make a great conversation starter.
Filed under: environmental