Friday, April 28, 2017
A Separate Peace
Lexile = 1110
A Separate Peace is considered a classic; it is often assigned reading in high school. That is actually why I read it the first time, and this time. I'm preparing to present selections for students to pick as assigned reading.
First, I am surprised by the "high" Lexile number of 1110. I imagine that is because of sentence length because I don't recall having my vocabulary challenged here.
Knowles' classic was published in 1959. It's a World War II story, but not not really. Set at an exclusive boys prep school in the East, the students are grappling with the coming war and the fear that they will be drafted. Gene and Phinneas are best friends, at least that is what Phinneas tells Gene often. Gene is quiet and studious. Phinneas is a boisterous class clown who is always organizing a game or challenge of some sort. The whole book is pretty much a study in the contrasting characters of the two boys. The biggest criticism I have heard about A Separate Peace is that "nothing really happens". Others claim it is the "best book ever".
The review online calls it "harrowing and luminous". Huh.... I would NOT call this harrowing.