on young adult literature, literacy, and teaching

Book Preview: Dread Locks

Dread Locks by Neal Shusterman (Amazon Link)

Dread Locks by Neal Shusterman

Published 2005 by Dutton
Paperback, 176 pages

The first YA lit book I’ve read in a while is Dread Locks, part of Neal Shusterman’s Dark Fusion series. In this particular novel, Shusterman fuses Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Baers) with the story of the gorgon Medusa.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwQwXAVnbxk&hl=en&fs=1]

So far, a bored teenager has befriended the kooky girl who just moved in next door, who has golden ringlets that often seem alive, and a thing for dark reflective sunglasses.

The meet-cute for the two main characters, Parker Baer (sound like ‘bear’ anyone?) and Tara whose last name is French and more than I can remember off the top of my head, is one that Tara describes as “memorable,” and I am inclined to agree with her. Chapter two, when Parker comes hom from riding around on his motorcross bike, his father is roaring something akin to “Who’s been sitting in my chair?” A chair that is designed and adjusted to support Mr. Baer’s back problems and has since been moved. Then, at breakfast, Parker’s younger sister Katrina cries about someone having eaten her cereal. Of course, since Parker is our main character, the climax of the scene comes when he runs out of his room, in search of his father because “someone’s been sleeping in my bed.” And clearly is still there.

For more adventures of Tara and Baby Baer, check out Dread Locks, Book #1 of the Dark Fusion series by Neal Shusterman. For more about Neal Shusterman, check out his website at http://www.storyman.com.

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