Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Juvie Three

The Juvie Three
by Gordon Korman
About the book:
All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chace at life thanks to Douglas Healy. A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City, where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.
Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys. Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away. But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or of the halfway house. Afraid of being sent back to juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if their group leader never left. They will got to school, do their community service, attend therapy, and act like model citizens until Healy’s memory returns and he can resume his place with them.
But life keeps getting in the way…like when Gecko finds romance. Or Arjay gets famous. Or Terence starts reverting to his old ways. If the boys are discovered, their second chance will be their last.
About the author:
Gordon Korman is the author of more than fifty popular young adult and middle-grade novels, including Schooled; Born to Rock; Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle; Jake, Reinvented; No More Dead Dogs; The 6th Grade Nickname Game; and Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America.
            Gordon lives with his family on Long Island.
When kids turn into delinquents who do you think is to blame? Are some kids born naughty or is it always an acquired skill? Once a kid has a reputation for trouble do you think they can ever discard it?       
Discussion Guide:
1. How does the novel open? Have you ever been influenced by someone to do something that you know is wrong but you feel powerless to object?
2. Describe Arley, Terence and Gecko. How did they end up in the system? Do they deserve to be there?
3. Who is Douglas Healy? What does he offer these boys? What conditions apply? Would you hesitate to take his offer?
4. Explain the routine and expectations that the boys are required to perform. Do you think any of these things will help rehabilitate them into society? What do you think is the best thing to do with young offenders?
5. How has music helped Arjay survive his incarceration? What would you turn to if you somehow lost your freedom? How does Arjay’s talent nearly compromise their cover? How does he handle it?
6. Why is Terence the biggest threat to the halfway house program? If you were Gecko or Arjay how would you handle him?
7. Who are the nemeses of the program? How do the boys eventually convince both Ms. Vaughn and Mrs. Leibowitz that they deserve this chance? Who knows them best?
8.  What happens to Mr. Healy? What consequences could it have for the boys? What do they decide to do? How does their plan work? What would you have done?
9.  Why does Gecko volunteer at the hospital? What does he learn about Healy and himself? Have you ever volunteered? What did you learn?
10.  Why does Terence try to impress DeAndre? How does he get more than he bargained for? How is Terence not what he seems? How does he prove that he really isn’t a thug after all?
11.  How does Roxanne expand Gecko’s worldview? Is it all positive? How does she become a key player with Mr. Healy’s escape? Would you like to be friends with (or date) Roxanne? What happens between them?
12.  In the end, what happens to Healy and his program? Predict what you think each boy will be doing five years after the novel closes.

Fill out the following character chart as you read the novel. Use it for class discussion or to prepare for a quiz.
Quote that best represents them:
In the end….
Mr. Healy




Language Arts:
Write one of the following:
A letter from Arley to his parents
An apology from one boy to Mr. Healy
A love note from Gecko to Roxanne (or the reverse)
A scene which was cut from the novel but makes perfect sense
A scene with two of these characters five years into the future.
A reader’s theater script that would inspire someone to want to read the novel.

Name your own band (inspired by the ones Arley hears at the Green Zone). Make a list of songs your band would likely play. Or, create a playlist of tunes that must be memorized before admission to your band could even be considered.

Create three pieces of art which represent each of the boys in the story. You can use any media you prefer but make an informed decision about why you chose the style/color/media/content and explain it in a brief journal entry that must be turned in with the art pieces.

Health/Social Studies:
Research the juvenile criminal justice system in your state. Find out what are the most common offenses and possible sentences. When are juveniles considered for adult court? How high is the recidivism rate in your state for offenders? What are the most effective programs for success?