Middle School Staff

Forged By Fire by Sharon M. Draper
Forged By Fire by Sharon M. Draper
The main character, Gerald, is pictured on the front cover.
Beginning in the first marking period, all English 7 classes will begin reading and examining this extraordinary novel.  We will be working with comprehension, discussion, literary devices, writing assignments, and projects associated with reading this novel both together in class, in small groups, and individually. 
Introduction to Forged by Fire:

Will Gerald find the courage to stand up to his stepfather?

When his loving aunt dies, Gerald suddenly is thrust into a new home filled with anger and abuse. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes Gerald miserable, and the only light in his grim life is Angel, his young stepsister. Gerald and Angel grow close as he strives to protect her from Jordan, his abusive stepfather, and from their substance-addicted mother. But Gerald learns, painfully, that his post can't be extinguished, and that he must be strong enough to face Jordan in a final confrontation, once and for all...

When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the family together.

Forged By Fire is an extremely powerful novel that our young readers will really dive into.  It is the excellent second novel in the Hazelwood High Trilogy by Sharon Draper.  We deal with many strong subject matter including tragedy; physical, mental, and some sexual abuse; drug addiction; poverty; and death.  If you have any questions about the content of this novel or are interested in reading it yourself, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Learn more about the author: http://sharondraper.com/
Other titles in the Hazelwood High Trilogy we will be working with later in the year:
As in Forged By Fire, the last two books in the series, Draper's Tears of a Tiger and Darkness Before Dawn deal with many tough issues that, unfortunately, many of our teenagers today deal with or may be faced with in the future.  Draper deals with these issues on a 7th grade level, and gives students real characters to relate to and learn from throughout the trilogy.  In Tears of a Tiger, we will be discussing the complicated issues of suicide, depression, friendship, grief, family, and relationships. In Darkness Before Dawn, we will be discussing the themes of the importance of abstinance, rape/abuse, positive relationships, growing up, parental relationships, abusive relationships, and the effects of age differences in junior high, high school, and beyond
Tears of a Tiger by Sharon M. Draper
(Second Marking Period)
Tigers don't cry, or do they? After the death of his longtime friend and fellow Hazelwood Tiger, Andy, the driver of the car, blames himself and cannot get past his guilt and pain. While his other friends have managed to work through their grief and move on, Andy allows death to become the focus of his life. In the months that follow the accident, the lives of Andy and his friends are traced through a series of letters, articles, homework assignments, and dialogues, and it becomes clear that Tigers do indeed need to cry.
Darkness Before Dawn by Sharon M. Draper
(Third Marking Period)
Darkness Before Dawn, the long-awaited end to the trilogy that began with Tears of a Tiger, and continued with Forged by Fire is here!

Sharon M. Draper says that the reason she wrote the third book was because of the hundreds of letters she received from young readers who had embraced the characters in Tears of a Tiger and Forged by Fire. "What happened to Keisha?" they asked. "Did she ever find happiness? And what about Gerald and Angel? How did they cope after the fire? Did Rhonda and Tyrone stay together or break up?"

Darkness Before Dawn answers all of these questions and more. Keisha, Rhonda, Tyrone, Gerald, and BJ are all seniors this year. Gerald's little sister Angel and Rob's younger sister Kiara are both ninth-graders, excited to be in the first year of high school. Rhonda and Tyrone are still together and trying to deal with the closeness of their relationship. Keisha, lonely and still trying to cope with the loss of Andy, envies what they have.

Several new characters add mystery, excitement, and humor to the school year. Jalani, a transfer student, is tall, lovely, and drives her own bright red BMW. Gerald admires her from afar. Leon, the class clown, hides a secret, and Jonathan Hathaway, the principal's son and the new student teacher, becomes much more than the track coach.

Darkness Before Dawn promises to be a strong and satisfying conclusion to the story of a group of characters who have become too real to forget.



Last Modified on December 20, 2011