Chasing Yesterday: Awakening

cover image for AwakeningWasserman, Robin. (2007). Awakening. New York, NY: Scholastic

Plot Summary:

JD’s earliest memory is of waking up in pain, on the ground, unable to move.  She doesn’t know what happened, how it happened, or why she was there.  She doesn’t know where she came from or where she belongs.  She can’t even remember her own name – that’s why the hospital calls her Jane Doe.  After a short, terrifying time in group home, suddenly a stranger arrives.  She seems to have all the answers – and she claims to be JD’s mother.  But is she? Or is JD involved in something more sinister and mysterious than she ever suspected?

Critical Evaluation:

Short and fairly uncomplicated, especially for a story about amnesia and superpowers, Awakening feels more like the first act in a longer novel than a story all by itself. It’s a quick and entertaining read, but the lack of depth makes it less than memorable and more appropriate to middle grade readers than high schoolers.

Reader’s Annotation:

D’s earliest memory is of waking up in pain, on the ground, unable to move.

Genre:

Adventure

Booktalking Ideas:

Booktalking this novel alone – as opposed to the series – would be a bit of a challenge, as the part I think is most interesting (JD has being taken to live with the woman claiming to be her mother) happens halfway through the book and is a pretty big spoiler.

Reading Level/Target Age:

4th grade/9-14

Possible Controversy:

This book is really too childish for older teens for it to really provoke much controversy.

Reasons for Choosing This Title:

This was suggested by one of our textbooks, or else I never would have chosen it for this class.  (And now, having read it, I am wondering if misread the suggested age.)

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