I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson is a poignant, multi-faceted approach to many issues facing young people today; a coming of age story that examines both the female and male experience through the voices of twins, Jude and Noah.
Not surprisingly, this novel has won many awards (click on link above for listing). I, as usual, listened to the audio version, read by Julia Whelan and Jesse Bernstein, which is very well done. Although the novel is written for a younger audience, I found myself glued to the narrative, as the characters are interesting, and the topics universal in appeal.
Nelson examines sexual orientation, paranormal phenomena, parent/child relationships, and divorce, as well as highlighting the dangers of trying to resolve life problems without the help of others.
The hook for me is Nelson’s exquisite examination of the creative process – it makes me want to discover the inner artist in myself.
I would definitely introduce this story to a class and while I haven’t actually seen a paper copy yet, can imagine that the printed version is highly appealing to reluctant readers. The teacher in me can imagine many ways to expand on the material, as the novel lends nicely to discussion and spin-off activities.