2. Selection Principle

As soon as Freaky Green Eyes, J. C. Oates´ second young adult novel, was published in 2003 the book was praised by critics as a beautiful American rite-of-passage novel, a novel of adolescence. On the one hand, the book is a symbiosis of the "crime novel" and the "novel proper", for the author uses typical elements of "escape literature" in order to deal with a variety of serious subjects. On the other hand it is an excellent psychological portrayal of family violence, a portrait of an all-American family destroyed by one of its own members. In Germany the novel was shortlisted for the "Jugendliteraturpreis 2006" which is quite a reliable sign that the book is a good choice as a class reader.
However, Freaky Green Eyes meets the requirements of a modern school reader in more than one respect.

1. The book is written by a renowned and skilful American author.

2. Short sentences and a simple vocabulary make it easy to read and understand the novel, though it is with about 59,000 words relatively long as a school reader.

3. Both, ist clear structure -the division into three parts and 26 chapters – and the fact that it has a limited number of characters will certainly aid interpretation in class.

4. The suspense of a gripping mystery story will contribute to maintain the students´ motivation and interest until the last page.

5. The subjects and themes dealt with are of particular interest to young adolescents. These are on the one hand, the problems connected with growing up, above all the changing relationship between mothers and daughters or fathers and daughters, and on the other hand the consequences of family violence, physical and psychological abuse, murder and death. Moreover the novel sheds light on a number of other themes as there are the American Dream, and man´s attitude towards animals.


  Freaky Green Eyes Cover  

Joyce Carol Oates, Freaky Green Eyes


1. Plot (synopsis)

2. Selection Principle

3. Author and Works




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