Hello everybody! Today, I’m really excited to be part of the FCBGCBA blog tour for the third year in a row, this time with my post focusing on Becoming Dinah by Kit de Waal. Onto the post!
About the book:
A YA coming-of-age road trip novel about obsession, self-discovery, female power, and the people we meet along the way – by Costa Award shortlisted author Kit de Waal. The perfect read for anyone who’s ever wondered where they came from and where they might be going next.
In her first YA novel, Costa-shortlisted Kit de Waal responds to classic Moby Dick by tearing the power away from obsessive Captain Ahab and giving it to a teenage girl.
Dinah’s whole world is upside down, dead things and angry men and cuts all over her head that are beginning to sting….
Seventeen-year-old Dinah needs to leave her home, the weird commune where she grew up. She needs a whole new identity, starting with how she looks, starting with shaving off her hair, her ‘crowning glory’. She has to do it quickly, because she has to go now.
Dinah was going to go alone and hitch a ride down south. Except, she ends up being persuaded to illegally drive a VW campervan for hundreds of miles, accompanied by a grumpy man with one leg. This wasn’t the plan.
But while she’s driving, Dinah will be forced to confront everything that led her here, everything that will finally show her which direction to turn…
Discussion Questions about the Book:
• Kit de Waal wrote Becoming Dinah as a response to Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick.
• If you’ve read Moby Dick, what would you say are the key similarities and differences between the two books?
• There are no female central characters in Moby Dick. What do you think is gained by switching the perspective to that of a young woman?
• What is the purpose of the opening scene? What impact did it have on you? • How do you feel about the character of Ahab?
• How much sympathy do you have for him?
• Why do you think Dinah chose to rename herself Ishmael? What is the effect of alternating the chapter titles between the two names?
• How do you think Dinah’s upbringing at the New Bedford Fellowship affects her choices throughout the story?
• How much of Dinah’s decision to run away do you think is linked to Queenie and how much to do with the breakdown of her family?
• What do you think your own response would be under a similar set of circumstances?
• What do you think comes next for Dinah?
How Kit feels about her nomination:
“It’s such a privilege to be shortlisted for this award knowing that it’s voted for by real readers, by children who have fallen in love with the book. It means a great deal to have your seal of approval. And Dinah is overjoyed that you’ve taken her into your hearts.’
Check out the website here so you can vote: http://fcbg.org.uk/childrens-book-award/
Thank you so much for reading! Are you planning to read this? Which book are you planning to vote for, or which would you vote for? I’d love to hear in the comments!