Benjamin Zephaniah

We will be investigating the author Benjamin Zephaniah.


We read and analysed his novel “Face” and not it is time to tickle your curiousity and wet your appetite. We want you to love this author as much as we do. So let’s get started. In the following padlet we are going to post the questions we wrote in class, questions addressed to the writer himself. Since it is impossible to interview him, we are not that famous to have him here in Italy, we decided to come up with a solution. One of us will play the part of the writer (the interviewee) and the other will be the interviewer. Benjamin, if you happen to read these questions and you feel like answering one of them, please do! Do not feel offended if we play your role, we know we are not writers, but we love your novels and so we are sure you will “accept” our attempt to be YOU!

These are the letters we would like Benjamin Zephaniah to read. We do not expect any reply, we know he is a busy writer.

These are the book reviews we wrote of “Face”. Some more will follow, since we have decided to read all his novels! What an accomplishment.

These are two presentations created by some students: really worth watching.

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Do you want to listen to an interesting interview of Benjamin Zephaniah? Well, we do not want to cheat any of you. We are not lucky enough to have the chance of interviewing Benjamin at Grigoletti. For this very reason our teacher asked Marco and Michele to pretend to be the interviewer and interviewee, YES, a FAKE INTERVIEW, but still, it is cool, so listen to it, or read it. We are attaching both the audio and the scripts 😉

1: Welcome to radio M&M; today we are with Benjamin Zephaniah; hi Benjamin.
2: Hello.
1: Benjamin is a novelist, a poet, a musician and a playwright.
He is the author of many books and today we will especially talk about his novel Face.
Well Benjamin, can you tell us something about your novel Face?

2: Yeah, Face is a novel that I wrote in 1999 and it’s about a teenager called Martin who had facial injuries after a car accident.
I think it’s a book that give people pause for thought; it isn’t only about injuries, it’s also about our society and the prejudices that we are subjected to every day.
1: What tip would you give to young people for fighting against prejudices?
2: I have a poem to recite to young people…
1: Yes
2: Life is a knife,
a double-edged sword,
that permits us to live in this world.
You are babe in arms,
with many dreams,
that depend on the colour of your skin;
every day we fight against prejudices,
and we have to make choices,
because of people’s voices.
As in our society as in nature,
there are preys and predators,
we have to mature,
because both make errors.
1: How fantastic it is! When did you start writing poems?
2: I started writing poems, my mother said, when I was 4-5 years old.
1: Have you ever been changed by one of your books?
2: All my books changed me and, I hope, the readers. When I wrote my novels I have never thought that I would consider certain aspects of life.
1: What character do you identify with in Face?
2: I identify myself with Martin, because I am a victim of prejudices. All people are victims of prejudices. Martin isn’t only a normal guy: he is a hero. After the car accident society was against him. It’s very hard, mostly for a teenagers, to fight against prejudice and discrimination fed by the community.
1: Are you satisfied with the novel Face itself?
2: Yes, of course. I think our generation is too focused on appearance, therefore I wrote Face. I wanted to spread my thoughts through the world that is getting worse.
I want to say that the characteristics of a person have nothing to do with his intelligence or his lovability, and we have always to look beyond the face to see the person true.
1: Thank you Benjamin.
Face is the book of the month according to the audience of radio M&M.

2: Thank you. I like radio M&M.
1: Thank you for listening radio M&M and we will see next Monday.

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