Review, Pages 12 (2977 words)
Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper is an updated version of the disaster Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Romiette has actually had another drowning dream.To relax herself, she begins to write in her journal. The next morning is Julio’s very first day at Romiette’s school. After having difficulty with gangs in Corpus Christi, Texas, Julio follows his dad’s new job to Cincinnati. On his first day of school, he hits a schoolmate, Ben, hard enough to make his nose bleed.
When Ben covers for Julio, informing the principal that he had actually tripped and fell, Julio and Ben become pals, after Ben calls Julio. When Julio gets house that afternoon, he logs into a chat room with the screen name “spanish enthusiast” and starts to chat anonymously with “afroqueen,” who he later on finds is Romiette, Romiette welcomes Fate over to her house to watch a motion picture. After the film is over, Romiette excitedly informs Destiny about her online chat with “spanishlover.
However, Fate warns Romiette about harmful individuals on the web. Later on at school, Julio is threatened by The Devildogs, a gang that assumes he belonged to a rival gang in Texas When home, Julio calls his good friend Diego to groan about just how much he hates Cincinnati. As soon as Diego hangs up, Ben calls and Julio asks him about The Household. Once again, Julio and Romiette chat online, but this time they arrange to fulfill at lunch. Julio informs Ben about the lunch date.
After school, Romiette writes in her journal about the lunch date, writing that the first thing she thought when she saw him was how great looking he was, that he hates Cincinnati and enjoys Texas, and concluding by vowing to call Fate about it. At that moment, Destiny calls Romiette and they speak about the lunch date. For fun, Romiette just states that she had lunch with the person she chatted with, leaving Fate to think she had lunch with a grown guy.
Romiette chats with Julio online, asking what sign he is for Destiny. At this point, Julio’s father Luis mentions that he disapproves of his son’s interactions with black classmates because of previous experiences with gang troubles. Unaware of the mounting family conflict, Romeitte continues to write in her journal about Julio, confessing that she is starting to like him more and more. When Julio talks to Ben, he, too, realizes how much he is beginning to like Romeitte. He says that she makes him feel alive. A couple of days later, at her mother’s store Romiette is threatened by Makala, a member of The Devil Dogs who disapprove of their relationship. Romiette and Julio face how to cope with the gang pressures, while continuing to fall deeply in love.Romiette had the same dream that she is drowning and, again, she hears a male voice at the end During lunch, Romi runs into Malaka, who warns Romiette again about the Devil Dogs and how they don’t like her hanging out with Julio. When Julio tells his parents about Romiette, his mother Maria approves, as long as he takes his time.
Luis, on the other hand, cannot accept that Romi is black, telling his son the story of how his first love was killed by African American gang members. When Destiny spends the night at Romiette’s, they try out the “Scientific Soul Mate System”,which is supposed to find the man of their dreams. On Sunday morning Romiette finds she has dreamed about Julio and looks forward to seeing him later that afternoon. After a relaxing afternoon at Romiette’s house, they walk to Julio’s home through London Woods. Soon, they see a car following them. The Devil Dogs pull up and threaten Romi and Julio at gunpoint to end their relationship. On Monday at lunch Ben, Julio, Romiette, and Destiny all sit at their lunch table and talk about what to do about the gang problem, eventually agreeing on a plan to stop them. On Monday evening at five o’clock, they put their plan in action and head towards London Woods At six o’ clock Romiette and Julio start kissing and hugging to draw attention to themselves, as Ben and Destiny follow in a car.
To their horror, the car breaks down, leaving them to push it the rest of the way. Now left vulnerable without backup, Romi and Julio are soon kidnapped by The Devil Dogs. This scared Destiny and Ben. When Romiette’s parents Lady and Cornell come home from work, they see that Romi is not home. Lady then calls Malaka and asks her if she knows where Romi is at. Malaka denies any knowledge of her whereabouts. Soon, Destiny and Ben arrive at the Cappelle home to explain what happened to Romi and Julio. Meanwhile, at the Montague’s, Luis thinks it is Romiette’s fault that his son is missing. Malaka finally tells the police something about where Romiette and Julio are, also getting charged for possession of a firearm, while Ben and Destiny help to find their missing friends.
Romi and Julio are stranded at the bottom of a boat in London Woods Lake. When lightning strikes, they are separated. Having fallen into the lake, unable to swim, Romi blacks out and experiences once again her recurring dream. When Julio finds her floating face down, he pulls her to land and finds she is not breathing. As Julio tries to wake her, Romi recognizes the voice in her dream as Julio’s. Meanwhile, Officer Blazar finds the minicam Julio had in his pocket and Destiny spots Romi’s shoe.
The officers and the parents decide to dredge the lake, as newscasters announce Romi and Julio’s disappearance.Soon, Nannette Norris, a local newscaster, arrives to interview people around the London Woods. Looking together at the other end of the lake, the Cappelle and Montague fathers find Romiette and Julio under a log.The news cameraman gets a shot of the fathers bringing back Romi and Julio, and follows them to the hospital for interviews. The entire Cappelle and Montague families go on air to tell the community what happened. The novel ends with Romiette and Julio calling each other to laugh at the whole thing.
Biography of the author
Sharon M. Draper (August 21, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a professional educator and award winning writer. She was the 1997 National Teacher of the Year, a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and is a New York Times best selling author. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she is best known for her novel, Darkness Before Dawn, as well as The Battle Of Jericho. Other books include Copper Sun, Double Dutch, Out of My Mind and the Jericho Trilogy.Her literary recognition began when, as a challenge from one of her students, she entered and won first prize in a literary contest, for which she was awarded $5000 and the publication of her short story, “One Small Torch.” She has published numerous poems, articles, and short stories in a variety of literary journals.
Actively involved in encouraging and motivating all teachers and their students as well, she has worked all over the United States, as well as in Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bermuda, and Guam, spreading the word about the power of accomplished teaching and excellence in education.Sharon Draper is an active participant in the activities of the YWCA of Cincinnati, a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, and Top Ladies of Distinction. Ms. Draper travels extensively and has been a guest on television and radio programs throughout the country, discussing issues of literature, reading, and education. She is an accomplished public speaker who addresses educational and literary groups of all ages, both nationally and internationally, with entertaining readings of her poetry and novels, as well as enlightening instructional presentations.
She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and a golden retriever named Honey. Draper was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year, and was chosen as a NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner. She is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner, and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, and is the recipient of the Dean’s Award from Howard University School of Education, the Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Marva Collins Education Excellence Award, and the Governor’s Educational Leadership Award. Last year she was named Ohio Pioneer in Education by the Ohio State Department of Education, received the Beacon of Light Humanitarian award, as well as the Doctor of Laws Degree from Pepperdine University.
In 2012, she received The 33rd annual Jeremiah Ludington Memorial Award by the Educational and Media Association.She has been honored at the White House six times, and was chosen as one of only four authors in the country to speak at the National Book Festival Gala in Washington, D.C, and to represent the United States in Moscow at their Book Festival. Her book Copper Sun has been selected by the US State Department and the International Reading Association as the United States novel for the international reading project called Reading Across Continents.
Students in the US, Nigeria, and Ghana are reading the book and sharing ideas. Romiette and Julio is also listed as an ALA Best Book and has been selected by the International Reading Association as a 2000 Notable Book for a Global Society, and by the New York Public Library in their Books for the Teen Age. Double Dutch was honored as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People by the Children’s Book Council as well as one of the top ten sports books for young adults for 2003 by the ALA, and Best of the Best for 2004, and received the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award for 2006. Sources -Wikipedia- Sharon M. Draper
How the Novel have impacted American culture
This novel have a huge impact on the American culture because of many reasons. There are many teens that aren’t allowed to date outside of their race. I think racism is a huge problem in our society so many teens can relate to the Novel Romiette and Julio. Romiette and Julio were in love, but were intimidated due to gang violence. But, Romiette and Julio didn’t let gang violence stop their love for one another. This Novel influences others to not only date who they want but it also teaches others how to deal their sexuality. This novel influences other to go after what makes them happy and disregard anyone that’s upset. This novel has made a huge impact on my life because of several reasons. From now on I really don’t care what my family or friends have to say about who I date because of this novel.
I would never stop seeing a person just because my family doesn’t think I should date that person. If a person makes me happy I am going to continue seeing that person disregarding what someone has to say. This novel is not only realistic but also interesting. I find it interesting that people wouldn’t allow two people to date just because of the color of their skin. I would never stop two people from dating who are happy together, I don’t think love have anything to do with skin color. I was taught how to love without seeing color. Since students usually groan when the subject of Shakespeare is introduced in class, Draper wanted to show that Shakespeare’s ideas were not old and outdated, but still fresh and vital. So she decided to modernize it once again (there are dozens of modernized and updated versions of the tale) and make it a contemporary retelling for today’s students. She did not claim it to be a word-for-word translation-it just takes the ideas and characters and makes them real for today’s students.
This novel impact was so huge on others one person even asked Sharon “Romiette and Julio was based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Are you going to do another book that’s based on a Shakespeare play?” Sharon response was, “I really enjoyed writing Romeo and Juliet. I suppose my second favorite Shakespearean play is Macbeth. I’d love to write a young adult version of it, but it’s a pretty violent story, so I’m not sure if I could pull that off. Another Shakespearean play that would be fun to modernize is Much Ado about Nothing. It’s all about love and romance and romantic confusion. I think that would be fun to make that one into a young adult story.”.
This novel is more than simply a carefully plotted teenage romance. Draper gives a realistic portrayal of the interactions among high school students as well as their relationships with their parents. The book also examines how gangs can gain power and take control. All of the characters have unique voices and the writing style shifts according to the action. Romiette and Julio would be a wonderful curriculum tie-in book, but it also stands alone as a first-rate novel about contemporary teens. School Library Journal September 1999. Draper has captured the voices of teens; the dialogue and the students’ attitudes about the gang situation are believable. The convincing exchanges between the characters and the descriptions move the plot, while the action keeps the reader in suspense. The title and cover will attract mostly girls interested in romance, but if others read the first few chapters, they will find gripping romantic adventure sure to keep them turning pages until the end.
Could it be a timeless American classic
Classic novels are celebrated by academics, critics and the publishing industry as being “must reads” for anyone who is serious about literature. They are used by English teachers across the world to teach textual analysis and appreciation. They are the dreaded texts of high school students, who don’t want to read some dusty old book which was written by someone long dead. They set the bar high for modern writers and their insights, use of language and morals are very much a part of our contemporary culture. A novel which is considered a classic must be a product of it’s time. Most writers are influenced by the world around them and use their novels to draw attention to, discuss and critique social and political issues facing their country and the world, during their time. Classic novels serve to teach the readers something about their world.
One good examples of this is Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley. Shelley used her classic tale of a science experiment wrong to comment on the issues facing the Industrial Revolution and The Age of Enlightenment. She used Frankenstein’s monster to comment on the problems with playing God and the issue of man versus nature. Another example is Pride and Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen. Although Austen’s novels did not comment on world events or political issues, they did study and critique social expectations and decorum of her time. Her novels are a good way for modern readers to understand exactly what it was like to be a woman in 19th century England. Not only do novels need to comment on their times to be considered classics, but they also need to be timeless.
This means that although they deal with social and political issues of the past, they have an overall message that is still considered relevant to the world today. This is usually achieved by the underlying theme of the novel still being something that humans are affected by, or still struggle with today. The universality of a novel also is important in helping it become a classic. This means that although the novel was written in a specific country or place, its messages and themes are not limited to that place. They can be understood worldwide. Anna Karenina (1877) by Russian author Leo Tolstoy, is a great example of a timeless and universal novel. It is still a popular novel today, despite that fact that it was written over one hundred years ago. Anna Karenina explores themes of jealousy, marriage, social expectations and passion, which are all issues that are timeless. All great classics deal with morals, human nature, simple emotions and desires in a way which transcends time and place. Novels which are considered classics have a great influence on literature.
They have had a lasting impression on our literary culture and future writers. Any good writer has read, reread and studied the classics before embarking on his own writing journey. This is why you often see mentions of classic texts in novels, as authors pay homage to the greats that came before them and shaped language into what it is today. There is also a distinction that can be made between a classic novel and a modern classic. Although, there are no set rules regarding this, it is generally accepted the classic novels were written in the 18th or 19th centuries. For a novel to be considered a modern classic, it also will have needed to stand the test of time. Modern classics are at least 40 years-old and written in the 20th century.
They must also encompass the above features, giving the reader a good insight into their time, possessing timelessness, universality and effective language. I honestly think that this novel could really become an American classic because of several reasons. This novel has influenced many people to date outside of their race. Many people could relate to this novel. Like I’ve mentioned earlier ,The novel Romiette and Julio have a huge impact on the American culture, this Novel influences others to not only date who they want but it also teaches others how to deal their sexuality. Ive read these book several times and I just feel this book is considered a Timeless American classic.