News: Out in Gilbert, Arizona, English teacher and cheerleading coach Cristina Mallon appears to be facing another controversy. As you remember, she was put on 1-week administrative leave for performing her cheerleading routine in class (caught on video by a student and then posted on YouTube). Now, some parents are complaining about the novel she assigned to her freshman class, Jake Reinvented. (More)
Here’s a review of the book on Amazon: ” Gr. 9-12. High society meets high school in this retelling of The Great Gatsby, set at the class-conscious F. Scott Fitzgerald High. The stories correspond in many particulars: new kid Jake Garrett, “cool, mysterious, different,” has won over the “it” crowd with raucous parties at his subdivision McMansion. Popular opinion turns against Jake when alpha male Todd Buckley suspects the newcomer, rightly, of pursuing his best girl, Didi, and turns up an ugly secret: Jake was once (gasp!) a big nerd. So begins Garrett’s plunge to ignominy. The Nick Carraway character, Rick, offers a wry, comic voice, but constricting Fitzgerald’s plot to the narrow world of high school, and scaling back the major crises (there’s no death, murder, or suicide), leaves behind a drama that has more in common with a John Waters movie than a great American novel. Yet even as young adults feel insulted by the novel’s portrayal of teenagers as nerd haters, beer guzzlers, and herd followers, they’re also likely to read it with a wink and a smirk as they catch the sundry Gatsby allusions.”
Analysis: I haven’t read the book yet, but the description of it sounds fine. I wonder what is really going on in Gilbert, Arizona for this teacher –whom many of my readers defended and praised.
For more reports on the incident, visit here.