Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gone: Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant begins with Sam Temple sitting in school and all of the sudden the teacher vanishes. Sam along with the other kids of Perdido Beach soon learn that everyone in their town over the age of fifteen has vanished from their town. Sam's best friend, Quinn, dubs these vanishings as the "Poof." The youths in Perdido Beach soon realize that there is no time for panic and worry about what has happened to their teachers, parents, and older siblings, and now they have to take responsibilities for the town. Sam is seen as a leader due to an act of heroism he instigated when he was younger and many of the kids look up to him. Kids are soon appointed as police officers, fire chiefs, daycare workers, and one girl even takes responsibility as a doctor.

In the midst of all of this, Sam and his group of friends have discovered that Perdido Beach is surrounded by a black indestructible barrier with no means of getting in or out. Along with the strange blockade, things are changing. Animals are doing things never thought possible and even a few kids are somehow evolving into super humans.

For a short time it seems that the youths will get along just fine, but when the kids from Coates Academy drive into their town one day things take a turn. The Coates kids are led by Caine, who appears to be a leader trying to help as best he can. Caine starts by appointing people jobs and making sure that everything is in owner. However, Sam soon finds out that Caine's intentions are not all what he said and that Caine is looking for total domination of Perdido Beach. The conflict soon begins between the bullies and everyone else. Now Sam and his friends have to retaliate and defeat Caine before Caine and his followers takes complete control and much worse, before Sam turns fifteen and vanishes just like the rest of them.

Discussion Questions:

1.) In the novel many older kids take on jobs that would need years of training without needing to be asked to. For example, Mary takes over the daycare an infants while Dahra manages to work at the hospital with only a book as her guide. Why do you think kids like them felt it was necessary to take on such huge responsibilities with almost little to none experience?

2.) Even though he's pressured into it Sam manages to become a leader as well as Caine. Sam and friends form a group to fight against Caine and his bullies for the greater good of everybody. Since Sam has developed powers, he has to do the majority of fighting against Caine and the bullies. When Sam turns fifteen and "poofs" what do you think Sam's followers will do?


Natesa W. 7-8 said...

When things become serious enough and a job is needed many people will step up and do the job that is needed. Under most circumstances these kids would never do these things or become leaders. But when it is necessary for survival, at least a small number of people will step up and take on the challenge.

Hopefully Sam's followers will be able to pick a new leader and continue on the battle against Caine. And then they will lead the society after they win it back.

Laura P 7-8 said...

I agree that when in need of something people will take on difficult tasks for the greater good of everyone.

Anna W. 1-2 said...

I. I think the children were old enough to realize the responsibilities of running facilities without adults. They had the logic to know that if all the other adults disappeared then they should step up and come in to protect the small amout of people left. All though they had no skill in any areas of job management, I think they realized that if they didn’t make quick changes then their society would become unstable.

2. I would like to hope that Sam’s followers will have the courage to fight off these antagonizing bullies. I also hope that Sam’s followers would have addressed an action plan against these bullies so they would have a guide when Sam couldn’t be with them anymore. This would help his followers still have a key link to Sam even if he wasn’t there. This would certainly help fight off the bullies that are taking over their community. They will elect a leader just like Sam who had all the leadership qualities to lead the victory over the bullies.

Laura P 7-8 said...

I also agree with Anna in hoping that even with Sam gone from their society, his group would still find the courage to stand up to the bullies that are plotting to take over the community.