The Activity Guide for SIRENS includes material suitable for book clubs, teachers, and librarians, with aspects of the 1920s relevant to discussions of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY. And I also have a list of book club questions for Sirens to be used with SIRENS in discussion.
A series of 10 blog posts on “The Roaring Twenties You May Not Know” starts here.
SIRENS: YA Historical Fiction
Speak/Penguin Group, 2012 / ISBN 978-0-14-242430-8 / Ages 12 +
Josephine Winter, seventeen, is sent to live with relatives in New York City after her bootlegging father receives a threat, but bookish Jo harbors her own secrets. She finds friendship with lively Louise O’Keefe and romance with sweet jazz musician Charlie. But haunted by the spirit of her missing brother, Jo uncovers a nest of family lies that threaten everyone she loves, and Lou, in the thrall of the dangerous, seductive gangster Daniel Connor, is both Jo’s best friend and potential enemy. As Jo unlocks dark mysteries and Lou’s eyes are opened, the girls’ treacherous paths intertwine. Jo and Lou together will have to stand up to Connor in order to find their hearts and hang onto their souls in the “decade of decadence.”
“”There you are. Hiding. It’s time we put you right,” she said as I stood up, and then she looked down at my old black shoes. “Good grief. First order of business is new shoes. And for pity’s sake take off those awful stockings before we leave the apartment.”
“I’m not a flapper,” I said.
“Yeah? Well, we can fix that.””
Kirkus: “Yes, there’s a mystery here. It involves Jo’s supposedly dead brother, Lou’s gangster boyfriend, bootlegging, a bombing, missing pages from a journal, and more than a few Dark Secrets. All of which was quite fun, though it’s not why Sirens was a stand-out for me….Sirens is a celebration of girl power, sisterhood, and hope for the future.”
A reviewer’s comment: “Readers will be enchanted by the brilliant 1920’s New York lifestyle and setting, captivated by the characters, and addicted to the ever twisting plot. Filled with love, loss, and loyalty and an impressive look into the worlds of “flappers” and “mobsters,” Fox weaves a fascinating coming of age tale that speaks to the ever changing role and rights of women during the early 1920’s.” (Baseballvalbooks.wordpress.com)