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Knife’s Edge: Four Points, Book 2

Knife’s Edge: Four Points, Book 2
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Written by: Hope Larson
Illustrated by: Rebecca Mock
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 224 pages, $19.99
ISBN: 9780374300449

Review

Enchanting storyteller Hope Larson is back again. This time, in the second book of her latest series, Larson’s Knife’s Edge: Four Points delicately spins off Book 1 with a frame story that is swirling ever-larger on a relationship between a father and his young adult twins . . .

Teamed up with their father, the twins seek to find their secret family inheritance.  Here’s the catch: He’s not their biological father. And he’s sick.  The twins must rely on their own ingenuity to navigate their relationships with former and brand-new friends and foes.

Felix and Louisa prove to be perhaps more than the twins can handle, however. Felix looking for a ring, the twin convinced Felix knows where her biological mother might be, both set off in an unlikely partnership to find the family’s secret treasure.  To the girl’s surprise, Felix is actually going to kidnap the too-trusting young twin.      

It’s only a matter of time when both the good and the bad guys arrive at the island where the secret family treasure is actually buried.  Who will find the treasure first?  And why is Felix so fixated on finding a particular ring?

Language Arts Elements of Story

Plot: Twins Alex and Cleo are reunited with their father and learn that the knife and compass they have will lead to the family treasure, their inheritance. In the adventure that follows, they come across old friends and old enemies who ultimately call into question what really counts as treasure.

Major Characters: Dodge, Alexander (Alex), Cleopatra (Cleo), Captain Tarboro, Felix Worley, Louisa, Luther, Smith, Rilek, Hester, Brandel

Major Settings: Manhattan; The Pacific Ocean; Honolulu, Hawaii; Monono; Halifax, Novia Scotia

Themes: Identity, Loyalty, Family, Treasure Hunting, Friendship, Truth and Mystery, Searches

Lesson Plan Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards for Young Adult Readers

Common Core Standard(s)

Craft and Structure / CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.6
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

Lesson Idea for Young Adult Readers

Directions: In order to analyze how Larson (with words) and Mock (with images) develop the characters’ various points of view readers can fill out the following graphic organizer shaped like a picture frame.

Because this is a “frame story” (a story within a story) a picture frame graphic organizer can help students first understand each character’s point of view alone, and, then, how each character perceives the main plot of the story, for each character’s point of view or understanding of the plot is different.

For the outside of the frame, readers can ask: “What is this character’s unique perception or understanding of the frame story?  What words and images inform my answer?”

For the inside of the frame, readers can ask: “Built upon the frame story, what is this character’s unique perception or understanding of the main emphasis of the Knife’s Edge story?  What words and images inform my answer?”

Ask students to create at least 3 picture frame graphic organizers for Knife’s Edge.  Educators should feel free to: 1. Use the picture frame graphic organizers to assess student comprehension of point of view in Knife’s Edge, and/or, 2. Discuss the picture frame graphic organizers in order to compare and/or contrast various characters’ points of view. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2014); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.