Sunday, January 22, 2017

Teaching Resources and Readers' Guide: Rebel Of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Viking, 2016) is one of the books that Zoe and I read last year that really got us so excited that we can't wait for the next book. The good news is, Traitor to the Throne, the second book in the series will be out in March 2017. I have placed my advance order on Amazon!

While I wait for its release and launching, here are resources for readers, young and old, that may help bridge the long wait for book 2. The curated list of links may also serve as teaching resources for upper middle grades to high school levels. May these materials be of assistance to book discussion groups, school librarians, teachers and parents who are developing units for the classroom or in a homeschooling learning environment.

Book Reviews

The Guradian: Linda Buckley-Archer's Review
My Review of Rebel of the Sands This has spoilers, so think before you click.
Kirkus Review of Rebel of the Sands
Nice Gearls Read Books: Review of Rebel of the Sands

Recommended Writing Activity

After reading the book, ask the reader to write his or her own thoughts and feelings about it. The write up doesn't need to be a long  book report or review. Start simply with two questions: what you liked and what you didn't like about the book. If these questions are too broad, make a handout that identifies the character, plot, theme, setting, problem and solution. Have the reader fill this out. Save this up in a journal. This can be used as a guide for the reader during book talks or book discussion sessions.

Building and Developing Context

Check these links out for context building. These short readings, infographics and images may help in comprehension before reading, during reading and after reading the book.

The world building in Rebel of the Sands is akin to that of Middle Eastern geography and history. Review maps, a sultanate's hierarchy and middle eastern mythology.

Middle East Geography 
Middle East and Islamic Photographs
Infographic: Sultanate of Oman
Arabian Mythology: Jinn
Mythology of Rebel of the Sands

Themes: Freedom and Revolutions

Two themes that Zoe and I talked about after reading the book were freedom and revolution. Amani wishes to be free from her uncle's cruelty while Jin dreams of sailing away from the desert and turn his back on the revolution. And so we asked ourselves:

What does it mean to be free? Are revolutions worth dying for? To what extent is a revolution relevant, personally and collectively? When do you fight and defend the self and the motherland?

Where we found some answers, but reading them prompted us to ask for more questions.

The Philosophy of Freedom Groundwork for the reader to explore ideas on freedom and its many aspects and consqeuences.
History Today: Waves of Revolution A historical perspective that leads the reader to see patterns and cycles in humanity's social struggles to be free and its quest for power.
Inside Revolution: Why do revolutions happen? This is my favorite, so far, because this was made by a grade 10 student as a Personal Project. Being a school project, the author notes his references and provides a background on his interest about the Syrian crisis. Revolutions, real or fictionalized, have an impact in the lives of young people.
BBC News looks at Freedom's many forms and manifestations  an interesting video that can spark deeper and more comprehensive discussions on freedom.

Suggested activities to expand and extend the experience of the themes freedom and revolution

* Poetry - write poems that celebrate freedom or lament the lack of it
* Picture Collage or Photo Exhibit - create a collage or a photo exhibit on the effects and consequences of revolutions
* Music and movement - stage concerts where kids can sing or dance to express one's freedom; watch a play or musical that touches on these themes
* Curate articles and commentary discussing current events that affect our freedom
* Long term writing project: Choose a revolution that happened in the Philippines and investigate its success or failure.

Recommended Readings 

A Tale of Two Cities / by Dickens, Charles   New York : Pocket Books, 2004

Kangkong 1896 / by Alabado, Ceres S.C.   Quezon City Philippines : New Day Publisher, 2006

Doctor Zhivago / by Ponti, Carlo,|d1912-2007   Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2010

The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation : The Pox Party, Volume 1 / by Anderson, M. T.   Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, c2006-2008

In the shadow of the banyan / by Ratner, Vaddey.   New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012  

Animal farm / by Orwell, George,   New York : A Signet Classic, 1996 

All woman and springtime : To survive the journey to freedom, all they have is each other / by Jones, B.W.   London : Phoenix, 2013 

The silver dream / by Gaiman, Neil.   New York, NY : Harper Teen, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2013 

Anthem / by Rand, Ayn.   New York : Dutton, 2005

All woman and springtime : To survive the journey to freedom, all they have is each other / by Jones, B.W.   London : Phoenix, 2013  


Tales from EDSA : Stories of the Revolution / by Cruz, Neni Sta. Romana   Pasig Philippines : Anvil Publishing Inc, 2009

Silent Spring : The classic that launched the environmental movement / by Carson, Rachel   Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002, c1962   

How Apple Inc. changed the world : Revolutionary Companies / by O Grady, Jason D.   Fort Mumbai India : Jaico Publishing House, 2010

The Evils of Revolution : What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? / by Burke, Edmund   London : Penguin Books, 2008

The Great Political Theories, from French revolution to modern times : from French revolution to modern times   New York USA : Harperperennial Modernclassics, 2008   

Air power : the men, machines, and ideas that revolutionized war, from Kitty Hawk to Iraq / by Budiansky, Stephen.   New York, N.Y. : Penguin Books, 2005

Inside WikiLeaks : my time with Julian Assange at the world`s most dangerous website / by Domscheit-Berg, Daniel.   New York : Crown, c2011

Escape from camp 14 : one man`s remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West / by Harden, Blaine.   New York : Penguin Books, 2013, c2012
Long walk to freedom, the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. : the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. / by Mandela, Nelson,   Boston : Back Bay Books, 2008 

Freedom from fear / by Kennedy, David M.   New York : Oxford University Press, c2005  

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