Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Guest Blog Post: Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini
What if there was a pill you could buy that made you cool? This is the very question author Ned Vizzini asked himself as he set out to write the wonderfully engaging Be More Chill. In Vizzini’s novel chronicling the life of teenage outcast Jeremy Heere, the protagonist purchases a technologically advanced pill-sized super computer called a SQUIP, which offers young Jeremy direction and much needed guidance navigating the cruel hallways of high school. The SQUIP’s faulty technology places Jeremy in a number of outrageous, humbling, and ultimately meaningful situations.
Be More Chill is somewhat lengthy, weighing in at just under three hundred pages. Therefore an effective way to assist Passages’ students in successfully completing this novel is to incorporate the unabridged audio version into the daily lessons. Be More Chill also proved to be useful in teaching the many elements of literature, story arch, character development and the value of implied endings (which some of the students at Boys Town challenged Mr. Vizzini on, when he visited on October 27th, 2010).
L.A. Gabay teaches Creative Writing at Passages Academy’s Boys Town site. L.A. Gabay is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Education Program at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. His published works can be found in Teaching City Kids: Understanding and Appreciating Them and The Praeger Handbook of Education and Psychology.