Friday, October 22, 2010

Fallout: Ellen Hopkins

Written through continuous poetry, Fallout, by Ellen Hopkins, revolves around the lives of three teens; Hunter, Autumn, and Summer. All three of them share the same mother (Kristina), a predisposotion for addiction, different fathers, different guardians, and different lives. Hunter is ninteen years old, a radio personality, and lives with Kristina's mother and step-father. Out of all three, he is the only one with both a mother and father figure. He is a product of date-rape, due to the fact that Kristina is and was addicted to crystal meth. Throughout the book Hopkins depicts the problems he is faced with everyday caused by Kristina. He has spent his entire life not knowing who his father is and by the end creates a new relationship with him. Autumn seems to have her life together the most out of the three, at least in the begining. She maintains good grades and lives with her Aunt and her Grandfather (on her father's side). She grew up without a father, because he was in jail, and without a mother, because she doesnt even know who she is (or that she has a half brother and sister), untill the end when her father is released and takes her to see Kristina. At the end of the book she turns out slightly alcoholic and probably pregnant. Finally, Summer. Summer definately seems to be the worst off and was the only one fully aware of who both of her parents where, not that it helped her any. She has bounced around from foster home, her fathers, to more foster homes. She has suffered many sessions of abuse from her foster-parents to her father's girlfriends. Now that shes older, fifteen, she lives with her father because the last foster home she was in had a sexual offender situation. When her alcoholic father was detained for yet another DUI, she is sent to another foster home. This home she runs away from with her boyfriend, Kyle. In the end, they all somehow end up at Kristina's mother and step-father's house for Christmas dinner. For the most part, everyone is meeting each other for the first time, with the exception of Summer, who is just being reunited. Throughout the book the theme is definately how one person's addiction does not only effect them, but everyone around them faces the consequences.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you believe that it is right for a child not to know who his or her parents are? Even if their parents are drug addicts and rapists? Does a child deserve to know he or she was a product of crystal meth addiction or date-rape?

2. Have you any examples in your life or in the lives of friends (please exclude names) who are effected daily by the actions of others? An example from this book would be the kids effected by their mother's poor choices and addiction.


Avi D. 7/8 said...

1. I believe that if the child is above 18 he or she has the right to know. However, if he or she is under-aged, then it would be smart to let them live their normal lives and not bring up such an unfortunate past.

Garret Edward Patrick Graehling 1/2 said...

i believe when the child comes into maturity whether it be at 18 like Avi suggested or 15 or 22 i think they should know or they will go on feeling incomplete for the rest of their lives.

Mitch W 1-2 said...

1. Personally, if my mom was that bad of a person, I'd rather never know. Although in Summer's case, it might be a huge relief.

2. I'm affected every day by the actions of others. I'm affected by other people's attitudes, which can change mine (Subconsciously of course).

mike f. 1-2 said...

well, mia, i think you chose a great book. ellen hopkins is amazing. but i think its terrible how autumn was brought into the bad side of life when she had everything going for her.