Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

benjamin-zephaniah

Get to know the writer by watching this introductory video first:

What are the questions you would like to ask the writer?

Born and raised in Birmingham, England.  Rejecting the appointment as an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2003, Zephaniah wrote:

Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word “empire”; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. It is because of this concept of empire that my British education led me to believe that the history of black people started with slavery and that we were born slaves, and should therefore be grateful that we were given freedom by our caring white masters. It is because of this idea of empire that black people like myself don’t even know our true names or our true historical culture. I am not one of those who are obsessed with their roots, and I’m certainly not suffering from a crisis of identity; my obsession is about the future and the political rights of all people. Benjamin Zephaniah OBE — no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire.

We are going to analyse some poems by Benjamin Zephaniah. Before we do, have a look at his webpage and browse it freely. What are the things that struck you because you did not know them before?

What do we need most in life? He thinks we need people. What do you think he means by this?

Let’s deal with the poem presented in the introductory video to Benjamin Zephaniah: “Talking Turkeys”.  Listen to the poet recite the poem and follow from the text.  Underline all the spelling variations you can spot.

Talking Turkeys

  •  Why do you think the poet wrote this poem?
  • What are the issues he raises?  Find evidence in the poem.
  • Why are there so many spelling variations? (Remember what he said about “colonialism” in the introductory video?)
  • What extra information do you learn about the writer from this poem?
  • Creative activity: choose another animal human beings eat and write yoru poem as if you were Benjamzin Zephaniah.  OR  choose another animal eaten by human beings or exploited by human beings and write a poem through the eyes of the animal itself.  Have fun.  Remember what Benjamin Zephaniah says about poetry and why he wishes young people would write it?

Now read another poem “People will always need people” and watch the video.

People need people,
To walk to
To talk to
To cry and rely on,
People will always need people.
To love and to miss
To hug and to kiss,
It’s useful to have other people.
To whom to moan
If you’re all alone,
It’s so hard to share
When no one is there.
There’s not much to do
When there’s no one but you.
People will always need people.

To please
To tease
To put you at ease,
People will always need people.
To make life appealing
And give life some meaning,
It’s useful to have other people.
It you need a change
To whom will you turn.
If you need a lesson
From whom will you learn.
If you need to play
You’ll know why I say
People will always need people.

As girlfriends
As boyfriends
From Bombay
To Ostend,
People will always need people-
To have friendly fights with
And share tasty bites with,
It’s useful to have other people.
People live in families
Gangs, posses and packs,
Its seems we need company
Before we relax,
So stop making enemies
And let’s face the facts,
People will always need people,
Yes
People will always need people.

–Benjamin Zephaniah

Now watch the performance of the poem “Money”, included in City Psalms (1992). It would help if you printed it.

Have you evern wondered about your national identity?  What does being Italian mean?  What does being British mean?  How do you think Italians are different from Brits? What are the stereotypes of an Italian?  of a Brit?

Now let’s proceed with another poem, entitled “The British”.

  • Why do you think Benjamin Zephaniah used the extended metaphor of cooking to describe the British?
  • What does the poet invite the reader to think of?
  • What are the ingredients for a ‘cool’ nation/dish?  What are the features of a ‘cool’ dish/nation?
  • What are the ingrediatents that make a nation/dish unpleasant?

The British

The poet discusses the issue of racism and multiculturalism. Watch the video and take notes. He also recites and mentions some poems we will analyse at a later stage.

Now you will have some fun watching the following video written by the poet himself. Why do you think he decided to shoot it? The analysis of some of his poems has certainly given you the necessary means to go beyond the face value of the video. It tackles … it is rich in intertextual references, such as….. because he wants to emphasise that…

Look at the two covers of the novel “Face”.  Which one do you like better? Why?

Face2

FaceRead the following review written by a teen student, just like you.  It is taken from www.teenink.com

Do you like your face? Well, I like mine and so did Martin until he was walking home from a club with his three friends–The Group of Three. They were walking home through a bad part of west London and Martin and his friend Matt accepted a ride from two drug dealers who had been shooting up on heroine. They get in a crash and one of the dealers is killed and the other is arrested. Matt pries himself out of the car with a few broken ribs, but Martin is not so lucky. The car explodes in a big ball of fire, and Martin’s body is severely burned, but mainly it’s his face that is the problem. Martin blacks out and wakes up in the hospital a few days later. He can barely feel his face and he has troubles moving. In fact, he can barely move at all at first except for his fingers. His parents come to visit him in the hospital, and as soon as he wakes up his mom breaks down in tears and starts crying her eyes out. His dad on the other hand, who is normally very quiet, seems to be now completely lost for words, except for the occasional muttering to say he’s sorry. He sees therapists and doctors as well. A few days later his friends and girlfriend Natalie come to visit him. It’s his two best friends and his girlfriend, and Martin still describes it as one of the most awkward times he has ever had. He then gets facial reconstruction surgery, and although his face looks better, it will never look as it did before. So, after that Martin decides to go back to school for the beginning of the new term, and him and his friends drift apart, and him and Natalie just break up. He also gets in a couple fights and has a hard time adjusting to things at first. Then, at the end he realizes he can be who he is, regardless of how he looks. So I would say the moral of the story was a restatement of the phrase “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Overall I would give the book four out of ten, because it just didn’t seem very realistic to me or pull me into the story. In the section of reality the names in the story just seemed fake to me, whether it was the ridiculous names of the music and the clubs and raves, or if it was just Martin, the whole thing just seemed way to sugarcoated and cheesy. I would recommend the book to a younger audience, then, because maybe it would seem more real to them.
Do you like the way the review was written? Why (not)?
What are the features of a book review?
Do you agree with the reviewer’s response to the book? Why (not)?
Watch the book trailer and say whether you like it or not.
Then think of what a book trailer should have to invite the viewer to buy and read the book.
What would your booktrailer be like?

Benjamin Zephaniah has been interviewed by different people in different parts of the world.  I read manifold interviews and some questions struck me for their depth and for the purport of Benjamin Zephaniah’s answers.

What role do creative pursuits like poetry and art have to play in the current climate of global poverty, conflict and economic hardship?
When people ask me, ‘Are creativity and art and poetry relevant in political struggles?’, I used to say, ‘Go and ask Mandela. He knows the importance of poetry and arts in the struggle against apartheid.’ I’ve seen lots of liberation struggles where poets have said, ‘I don’t want to write anymore; I want to go and fight.’ And the revolutionaries have said: ‘No, keep writing, because we need you! We need our poets.’ People need somebody to articulate what the struggle is about. Politicians can get on a soapbox and say that we dream of a better land and all that stuff, but poets can visualize it better and put it into words and into the imagination of the people in a much better way than politicians can.
One of the political issues you’re most passionate about is racial equality. Are you encouraged by the level of progress that has been made in your lifetime?
I always get worried that if we say ‘nothing’s changed!’, people will go: ‘you’ve got a black president!’ And if we say ‘we’ve got a black president!’, then they’ll say: ‘but somebody’s just died!’ So you see what I’m getting at? There is a black president in the US, but you’ve still got racist people.
But things have moved on, there has been progress in some ways. I remember the days when in Britain you never saw black people in the media; now you do. And now we have a black British person [Steve McQueen] making a film – 12 Years A Slave – that’s mainstream, that Hollywood has recognized. So that’s progress.
But for a 16-year-old black kid in London, who’s walking around with baggy trousers, who may just want to hang out on the streets because that’s where the girls are… when he is stopped by a cop and asked: ‘What are you doing here?’, and he says: ‘I’m just looking for girls, why do you want to search me?’ – that’s when the tension starts. You can’t go up to that kid and say ‘well, Barack Obama is president!’
We’ve talked a lot about human rights. But are animal rights equally important to you?
One of the things that frustrate me is that in the human rights world, I know some people that are not really into animal rights, and vice versa. They say they are, but you know they’re not really active. I think you make a better case when you’re active, especially now when it comes to the environment and how important the environment is to us. And that means animals and land and humans. But yeah, I’m as passionate about animal rights as I am about human rights and I do think they overlap and connect.
Are you optimistic about the future of humanity?
Yes. This is something that I can’t really explain, and maybe it’s the spiritual part of me. I do think in the end that good will overcome evil. And if I didn’t, I would just give up. I would make a lot of money, I’d take my poetry and I’d concentrate on doing rap or something like that and get lots of girlfriends and just have a good time. But I want to contribute to good in the world.
I do really believe that good will overcome evil. And it’s so nice when you see good. Sometimes I’m amazed at some of these people that go to war zones and do medical work. I’m not talking about the political people; I’m talking about the people that just do humanitarian work helping people. So there are all these evil forces out there, but there are good ones, too, and I think the good ones will win in the end.

Identify the poems we analyzed that touch on the aspects he mentions in the interview. Which question do you like most?Why? What is the most important teaching by Benjamin Zephaniah you are going to take on board and investigate by yourself? I would really love to know. Obviously do not mention anything if the poet has not inspired you in any way whatsoever. Introducing and analyzing a poet in class does not imply that you must love that poet!

120928BenZeph_6721836I introduced this writer to my students many years ago, when his first novel was released.  I was told by an English teacher back in England that his writing would appeal to ESL students as much as it appeals to English mother tongue students.  I found his prose “real”, “full of life”, I found the issues dealt with in “Face” close to young people’s interests.  I love his social commitment and his urge to raise people’s consciousness and awareness to themes dear to me too.  I hope you have enjoyed this short journey into Zephniah’s world.  It was just a starter, so you can go on with other dishes if you wish.  You can read his poems, novels, plays or listen to his music.

I would like you to have fun with the subject-matter of the novel.  You know the themes, we discussed the characters.  Now be creative and be inspired by one of the following prompts:

  1. Create a Book Trailer (https://spark.adobe.com/) or Bookreview
  2. Page of a Blog (write a review of the book and invite other bookworms to read it)
  3. Interview Benjamin Zephaniah (http://www.spreaker.com/)
  4. Write a Poem as if you were Martin Turner (1 before the accident, 1 at the end of the novel)
  5. Interview Martin Turner
  6. Write one of the pages of Martin’s diary (you choose what stage of the book to focus on)
  7. Write a different end to the novel

 

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74 risposte a Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

  1. Santini Lorenzo scrive:

    Face
    As soon as I looked at its cover I said: “What type of book is this? Maybe a detective story or a spy story!”
    It made me come desire to read it even if I’m not a great lover of books. I have immediately been taken by the care of the details with which it was written, but at the same time from its simple and fluid language. In a nuttshell it is a very involving book, given by Martin’s adventures spaced by moments of reflections.
    But I have to say that having read a lot of books of this kind I would be expected to read the usual boring one, load of very heavy reflections but it was not. Instead the reflections were treating very important matters like racism or in general the open-mindedness.
    In fact Martin was a racist but after the accident his life changed. In the hospital he had a lot to think about: how could his life cange after the accident and will be he still accepted after what appened?
    Benjamin wanted to make us reason on this aspect of the life: the acceptance. Teenagers exclude our own ages for as they are dressed or for their aspect. He wants us to demolish these barriers and these methods of thought.
    I would finally want to recommend this book to all the people of all the ages. These behaviors often can be find also in adults.

  2. Santini Lorenzo scrive:

    Face
    Looking on its cover I said: “What type of book is this? Maybe a detective story or a spy story!”
    It made me come desire to read it even if I’m not a great lover of books. I have immediately been taken by the care of the details with which it was written, but at the same time from its simple and fluid language. In a nuttshell it is a very involving book given by Martin’s adventures spaced by moments of reflections.
    Having read books of this kind I would be expected to read the usual boring book load of very heavy reflections but it was not. Instead them were treating very important matters like racism or in general the open-mindedness.
    In fact Martin was a racist but after the accident his life changed. In the hospital he had a lot to think about: how could his life cange after the accident and will be he still accepted after what appened?
    Benjamin wanted to make us reason on this aspect of the life: the acceptance. Teenagers exclude our own ages for as they are dressed or for their aspect. He wants us to demolish these barriers and these methods of thought.
    I would finally want to recommend this book to all the people of all the ages. These behaviors often can be find also in adults.

    Book trailer
    1) I must say that I did not liked it at all. if I had been a possible reader I would never have read it because it spoiler you all the book and because If it can be said I have not found the humanity of the book, that something in more than makes you partecipe of Martin’s life.

    2) A book trailer should be full of action but above all involving.

    3) My book trailer would be full of emotions that catch you, maybe some adrenalinic scenes and put some suspance on the video that makes you to buy it to know how it finishes.

    Book cover
    I sincerely prefer the cover in black and white.
    I believe in fact that it is more suggestive and its colors, or better, its don’t color gives a feeling of unknown, as if in the book something unexpected happened. This feeling is also given us by the image on the cover: a man without a face, that could mean a change of personality or even of life.
    Sincerely I don’t like the other because it doesn’t focus the attention on Martin but on the colors and on the buildings.

  3. Chiara Perin scrive:

    I better like the second cover, because it represents the change, the pain that you feel. You don’t recognise you anymore, you have to know yourself deeply to accept you and to be aceepted by others.
    This cover expresses the way that Martin did before arriving where he was at the end of the book.

    -No, I didn’t like the review. He stopped at the “peel” of the book and he didn’t write about the feelings of the characters.
    I’d mention Antony and the Jamaican friends, who helped him to get up, and the gymnastics competition which made him understand that winning is not count, the important thing is the love and the commitment that you employ.
    -A book review has have the fundamental events with the feelings and the thoughts of the characters.
    It has also have a moral that describes in little words the entire book.
    -I completely disagree with the reviewer’s response because the story isn’t absolutely fake…is a likely story that happened to many people.
    I think that it’s a fantastic book because it represent me. Sometimes I feel invisible or useless ,I don’t like myself and it hurts me, but thanks to this book I understood that if you worry too much about something, you don’t enjoy your life.
    -I really like the booktrailer, but I would have put some videos too or some phrases of Martin.
    -A booktrailer should have some videos to explain what happens, accompanied by a few phrases but they have to be full of meaning.
    -My booktrailer would be like something interesting and engaging.
    My booktrailer should have one or two little videos and a lot of certain phrases and phrases of Martin that I liked.
    The music has to be full of meaning and a little bit sad at the beginning, but the more the booktrailer goes on, the more the rhythm presses.

  4. Luca Fabbro scrive:

    1) Do you like the way the review was written? Why (not)?

    Yes,I did ,because it sums up the story of the book pretty well, but, even if it makes some good points in the conclusion, i don’t agree with who wrote the review because a four out of ten is just too low of a grade,I would give it at least a seven out of ten.

    2) What are the features of a book review?

    A good book review has to have a short and clear summary of the story, personal thoughts about it and about what the moral or the lesson that the book is trying to teach us is.

    3) Do you agree with the reviewer’s response to the book? Why (not)?

    I agree with him/her in some parts of it, for example i think that some sections were cheesy too, but overall the book was good and it made me think a lot about how hard the life of a person with injuries like Martin’s is like. As I said before a four out of ten, in my opinion, is too low for this book.

    4) Watch the book trailer and say whether you like it or not.

    I liked the song in the background but i think that the trailer missed one of the most important parts of the novel, Martin’s friends and girlfriend leaving him, the fact that people in life come and go.

    5) What would your book trailer be like?

    My book trailer would feature images of real people that got their face injured in a car crash or in a fire while a voice in the background talks about the story of the book and about the characters in it.

    6) Look at the two covers of the novel “Face”. Which one do you like better? Why?

    I like the second one better because it makes you focus on the main word of the novel: face, not only referring to Martin’s but to the fact that in life you have to FACE problems too.

  5. Alberto Magris scrive:

    Book Cover:

    I prefer the second one, the most summary, because I find it more suitable and more attractive for the reader in search for a puzzling message. In the second cover this message is shown by an empty male face with any details on it and the book title at the bottom. So you will never know what is the novel talking about before reading it.
    I also like the first cover, even if I reputate it a little bit old-fashioned, because it gives you a little more about the story that the reader is going to read: it shows a guy who is wearing a hood that is covering his face and a urban not specified place. So the first cover gives the reader more hints about the story than the second. So someone would choose the first one for this reason, but I would choose the second one because I love puzzling messages and images and I think that the second cpver suits perfectly for the story.

    Comment about the book review and the trailer:

    I enjoyed the structure of the review because I liked how the reviewer started the review and how he highlighted Martin’s situation when he got up in the hospital, right after the crash. I also liked the comments and the critics about the novel even if I do not agree with him.
    I think that the situation could be true and I think that the main purpose of the novel was not about to describe a real situation but about to teach to the reader that he can be a winner in life even if he is not good looking to other people’s eyes.
    The review respects all the features that I think are essential: quick presentation of the story with a zoom in particular sides that the reviewer enjoyed most, and the personal opinion about how the book is written.
    Otherwise, I did not enjoyed the trailer at all. Firstly the video spoilers all the novel and the message that the writer is trying to teach to the readers. I also did not like the video for the inappropriate music and for low quality images and templates.
    My own booktrailer would be made with a voice-over and some effective videos about Martin’s life before the crush and some about the crush, but my booktrailer would never spoiler the end.

  6. Alberto Magris scrive:

    Book Cover:

    I prefer the second one, the most summary, because I find it more suitable and more attractive for the reader in search for a puzzling message. In the second cover this message is shown by an empty male face with any details on it and the book title at the bottom. So you will never know what is the novel talking about before reading it.
    I also like the first cover, even if I reputate it a little bit old-fashioned, because it gives you a little more about the story that the reader is going to read: it shows a guy who is wearing a hood that is covering his face and a urban not specified place. So the first cover gives the reader more hints about the story than the second. So someone would choose the first one for this reason, but I would choose the second one because I love puzzling messages and images and I think that the second cpver suits perfectly for the story.

    Comment about the book review and the trailer:

    I enjoyed the structure of the review because I liked how the reviewer started the review and how he highlighted Martin’s situation when he got up in the hospital, right after the crash. I also liked the comments and the critics about the novel even if I do not agree with him.
    I think that the situation could be true and I think that the main purpose of the novel was not about to describe a real situation but about to teach to the reader that he can be a winner in life even if he is not good looking to other people’s eyes.
    The review respects all the features that I think are essential: quick presentation of the story with a zoom in particular sides that the reviewer enjoyed most, and the personal opinion about how the book is written.
    Otherwise, I did not enjoyed the trailer at all. Firstly the video spoilers all the novel and the message that the writer is trying to teach to the readers. I also did not like the video for the inappropriate music and for low quality images and templates.
    My own booktrailer would be made with a voice-over and some effective videos about Martin’s life before the crush and some about the crush, but my booktrailer would never spoiler the end.

  7. Vanessa Santarossa scrive:

    Questions about “Face”
    I quiet like the way the review was written. If I were the person that wrote the review I would write more details about what happened after the car crash. I don’t agree with some concepts that he had wrote, for example the fact that he did not like the book and the fact that he thinks the protagonist’s name are surreal.
    The features of a book review are that you have to do a small description about the main charters explaining their life, what are their problems, their feelings. Then you have to summarize plot without giving away too much information about the end of the book. After you can say what you like and dislike about the read that you have done and you can allude the moral lesson that you have learnt.
    I don’t agree with the reviewer’s response because I think that the book was beautiful and I was fascinated by it. The book pulled me inside the story and I couldn’t stop to read it, I had always to go on. The names for me were near the reality and the story was realistic.
    About the book trailer I can say that I almost like it. The first part, until the imagine of the car crash, was good but then the video doesn’t say a lot things that can be important to know the plot of the story.
    My book trailer would be with a slowly music in background, with some imegens that represent some part of the story and I would write some important concepts for understand the plot of the book. I would also want to create some suspense for the end of the book.
    I prefer the cover that was in the book which we have read because I think that can set off in your mind some questions about the story that you’re going to read. I believe that can be interesting and useful to use your imagination to image martin’s face and what is he look like.

  8. Ambroset Roberta scrive:

    I like better the second one( the white cover with only the hair and the ears of a boy) because in my opinion it reflects the title and the teaching of the novel: not to look on the outside ( the face and appearance) but it’s what is on the inside and the inner beauty that truly counts, in fact if you don’t see the face of someone doesn’t matter that he can be iscriminate or not be your friend but he should be the best person that you have ever known until now.
    I like this review because it is written with original terms and it doesn’t give away the ending but in my opinion the reviewer takes too many particulars that they aren’t so important.
    In one hand I like it because the reviewer expresses his opinion and what he thinks much better but in the other hand I don’t like it very much because
    The features of a book review are:
    – you have to try to get people interested in the book in order that people buy and read it;
    -it doesn’t give away the ending;
    – you have to be honest of what you think of the book and write down it;
    -it is better to use a suitable language, so don’t use gross or dialect words;
    – you have to write a subjective review using personal opinions
    I don’t agree with the reviewer.
    In my opinion the book teaches you important concepts that are useful from teenager to everyone and not only to young people, like the review says because what is happened to Martin could happen to a teenager or adult too.
    I like the book trailer because it shows only the important things that happened in the novel and the backdrop music is suitable and nice.
    the book trailer should present and describe briefly the main themes of the novel by using photos, imagines and music that should be able to attract the curiosity and the attention of the viewer.

  9. Marco Piccinin scrive:

    1) I like better the first cover, the one with the boy with the covered face. I like this better, because seeing the guy helps me imagine better the character in the story, so I can enjoy the book more. The other one is almost plane and doesn’t raise any emotion to me.
    2) I don’t like the review very much, even if it isn’t so bad. I think that the writer introduced it well, with a good sentence that was pertinent. Nevertheless, I think that this review is a bit shallow, because, for example, the writer switched Mark and Matthew, or wrote The Group of Three, instead of The Gang of Three. In these things, in my opinion, you have to be accurate. Then, he described a lot the first part, until Martin got the facial reconstruction surgery, but, after that, the text was too synthetic, and the writer became shallower and didn’t write anything about important parts, for example, the one about the gymnastics team. Because of these things, I think that the review is a bit unbalanced. I explain: or you write the whole text with a lot of description, like the first part, or you write the whole text with only the necessary informations, like the second part. In this case, I would have described a bit less the first part, without some details, like the mom that cries a lot, or the father that speaks a little.
    3) The features of a book review are: talking about the book without spoiler the ending; writing the positive aspects and the negative ones, and, at the end, writing a personal opinion and giving a rating.
    4) I don’t agree with the reviewer’s response, because, in my opinion, he didn’t caught very well the message of the book. He’s just lingered on the details like the names of the characters, or the music and he omitted the real meaning of the book. I enjoyed “Face”. I liked the story, which was not banal and very near to a teenager’s reality. I liked Martin’s change from an irresponsible guy to a responsible one. In my opinion, names weren’t very important, because you have to understand the message that the book wants to give you: that you don’t have to judge a book by its cover, that you have to face life problems and that teenagers must be more responsible.
    5) I watched the booktrailer and I liked it. It was more balanced than the review and reported the essential informations in both the two parts of the story. In my opinion makes you want to read the book, because, like I said before, it gives you the essential informations and you want to know the details of the story. But there were also some things that could be better: for example, Martin, at the beginning, was a racist and in the video there’s an image of three friends representing Martin and his friends, and one of them is black, so it is not coherent to the story. Then, some important details, such as the psychologist or Anthony, were omitted, and the ending was said in the video, even if it was without the meaning. The song and the other images were appropriate even if the pictures were a bit blurry.
    6) In my ideal booktrailer of “Face”, there would be a first introducing question, to catch the attention of the hypothetical reader and then I would put the sentences like in the video, but with someone reading them. After that I would put some pictures of the situations described in the sentences and a music like the one in the booktrailer. At the end, I wouldn’t reveal the ending to create some suspense and to tempt who is watching the video to read the book.

  10. Valentina Nachira scrive:

    I prefer the second one; as the matter of fact the first one makes me think that the book talkes about something else, not the story of a disfigured boy who understands the real meaning of the life. Instaed, the second one rapresent half of the forehead of a male figure, leaving to the reader the dubt of how his real face is, letting him guessing how he really looks like after the accident.

    I don’t know what to say about the rewiewer response to the book because we have very different point of view.
    He talked about the plot of the book just describing it, without spoiling anything to the reader, but I think that he misunderstood the real meaning of the novel. As I see it, it was about a beautiful and realistic growth path of the main charachter, marked by some strong and conflicting emotions, but he didn’t talk about emotions at all!
    As a good rewiewer should do, he pointed out the most important scenes, but he did it in a shallow way; a well-written rewiew has to mark the main themes of the rewiewed book (and he didn’t) but also, like he fortunately did, give a personal advice about the novel, encouraging who reads it to go on.
    I don’t agree with the precedent rewiew: I really liked “Face”.
    Initially it didn’t involve me, and I read the first fifty pages in a lot of time; then, after the accident, I started being involved in the story, I really enjoied the novel and I finished it in, like, two days. I really liked the way Benjamin Zephaniah describes every single scene, and I loved how he characterised Martin, making him change page after page.
    On the contrary, I didn’t appreciate the book trailer; the quality is low, as if it has been maked by a disinterested teenager. A good book trailer must be involving, focalising on the first, or most important, scenes the novel, showing what happens just for an half, letting the viewer wonder how it ends. I would use real person for my book trailer, not images but some videos togheter, a piano symphony in the background that goes faster and faster, until the video ends.
    I would reccomand this book to anyone, especially to some friends of mine who thinks, as Martin do, that they are immortal. I would also reccomand at the rewiewer to read that wonderful book again, just for making sure he really understood its meaning (I’m not sure that he did).

  11. Chiara Perin scrive:

    I better like the second cover, because it represents the change, the pain that you feel. You don’t recognise you anymore, you have to know yourself deeply to accept you and to be aceepted by others.
    This cover expresses the route that Martin did before arriving where he was at the end of the book.

    -No, I didn’t like the review. He stopped at the “peel” of the story and he didn’t write about the feelings of the characters.
    I’d mention Antony and the Jamaican friends, who helped him to get up, and the gymnastics competition which made him understand that winning is not count, the important thing is the love and the commitment that you employ.
    -A book review has have the fundamental events with the feelings and the thoughts of the characters.
    It has also have a moral that describes in little words the entire book.
    -I completely disagree with the reviewer’s response because the story isn’t absolutely fake…is a likely story that happened to many people.
    I think that it’s a fantastic book because it represent me. Sometimes I feel invisible or useless ,I don’t like myself and it hurts me, but thanks to this book I understood that if you worry too much about something, you don’t enjoy your life.
    -I really like the booktrailer, but I would have put some videos too or some phrases of Martin.
    -A booktrailer should have some videos to explain what happens, accompanied by a few phrases but they have to be full of meaning.
    -My booktrailer would be like something interesting and engaging.
    My booktrailer should have one or two little videos and a lot of certain phrases and phrases of Martin that I liked.
    The music has to be full of meaning and a little bit sad at the beginning, but the more the booktrailer goes on, the more the rhythm presses.

  12. Camilla Cordenos scrive:

    I prefer the second cover of Face because I think that it reminds of not judjing people from their face because we can’t see the face of the boy. So the second cover symbolizes the meaning of the book better than the first one.
    I don’t like the way the review was written because the summary of the story was a bit shallow and it didn’t mentioned importants characters, for exemple Anthony.
    In a book review there should be a short summary ( without telling how the story ends), a description of the protagonist and how he/she changes throughout the novel, a description of the way the book was written and a personal opinion of the novel and the meaning of it.
    I don’t agree with the reviewer’s response to the book because I think that the novel pulls the readers into the story because the reading is flowing. I go along with the reviwer’s response about the meaning of the book.
    I don’t like the book trailer because it gives the ending of the book so it don’t encourages you to read it.
    My book trailer would be made with animation, in this way everybody can imagine their own characters while they are reading.

  13. REVIEW OF THE REVIEW
    Well… when I read this review for the first time I said to me : “this review isn’t so bad”, but there was something strange that induced me to re-analize the review word by word. So I understood that It was too much objective, and in some instances it was unnecessary or obvious, personally I think that the reviews are different points of view on something, behind reviews there are people, which one has different opinions. In this review the writer expresses his feelings and opinions only at the end, in just 6 lines, it looks more like a summary because it is too short. However I have to congratulate to the author for the fluency of the text, in fact it is really well written, the summary seems to be full of sadness, because there aren’t feelings, probably if the writer would have added sadness in some sentences it would have sounded too much depressing so it would have been unrealistic. I really appreciate this, also because when you describe sad facts you should let them express their feeling. I agree totally with the reviewer’s idea, in some parts of the book it was mushy, i really hate it, i think that it could be interpreted in a bad way ( in some dialogues it seemed that Zephaniah makes fun of unlucky people, because he try to describe some scenes in an unreal way ). However i really love the dialogues and it makes me appreciate the main story ( that for me it is awesome ) and its considerations. In my opinion the book trailer is absolutely awful, because first it spoilers the final, a trailer should only give you an idea of the story or just let you see a frame of the final to make you becoming curious, secondi it is graphically banal, i risk to have some epileptic crisis during the vision (31 st second ), I can even do something better (and i am not a videomaker), finally i think that what the author wrote was quite inappropriate. It looks like the videomaker hasn’t read the book, because he didn’t associated good photos to the text.

    FACE COVERS
    I prefer the second cover because it lets you imagine what does face mean in the book, in fact in the first cover you can see a boy and behind him there is the outskirts that doesn’t look really safe. So it gives you more informations, that could be interpreted differently and
    perhaps in a wrong way. I like the second cover more than the one because i love minimalistic design, even in the covers.

  14. Maureen Salifu scrive:

    I prefer the second cover because I think it gives us the chance to use our imagination and think about how Martin’s disfigured face could be like, without depending on the books cover.
    I liked reading the book review. The first part of it was objective and described the story very well without making a spoiler of the end of the book and the reader could easily understand if the story could interest him/her.
    I do not agree with the reviewer’s opinion: not only have I found the book extremely touching, I also share and appreciate the message that the author tried to communicate, the book is really eye opening, helps young ones to appreciate their selves for who they are and to not judge a person just by his/her looks (judging a book by its cover).
    The book trailer was awful, low quality and a lot has spoilers in it. How can a person enjoy a book when he/she knows how it ends.
    At least the music was not bad.
    If I had to make a book trailer for “Face” by Benjamin Zephaniah, I would put less spoilers, make it in a higher quality and put phrases that Martin said in the book.
    I wold also put real actors maybe it can also lead the book towards a film producer who would make a film about the book.
    The music would have to be deep with different and powerful meanings in it.

  15. Fahima Chowdhury scrive:

    I like the second cover more than the first one. Because in this cover there isn’t a real face. You aren’t able to recognize if it’s a man’s face or of a woman face; if it’s a face of a black people or of a white people; if it’s an ugly face or a beautiful face etc. So you can only imagine how this face looks like. It also helps you to not to judge someone by his face but by his character. In fact there is a famous sentence which tells the same thing. It’s ”Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Another reason for what I prefer this cover is the invisibility or transparency. Sometimes we ignore somebody continuously and it may be offensive for him. So he considers himself invisible or transparent and imagines himself without a face. In fact the face of the second cover hasn’t got any contour. The third reason of choosing this cover is the curiosity to read the book. In fact when you see this cover you may want to know that what’s the book deals with. Because the face without eyes, nose, mouth makes you more interested to read more the book. So, these are the reasons for what I prefer the second cover.

    I like the way the review was written. It describes the readers in short the main themes of the story without spoiling anything. But I don’t agree with the writer that the story isn’t realistic. Even better, I would say that nowadays it happens everywhere! And so people like Martin makes changes on himself.
    A book review has to contain the title, the author, the main characters of the book. Then it may also have the summery of the book without spoiling the ending, so the reader can be more interested to read the hole book. Later the writer of the book review can also write if he enjoyed the book or not and also the reason of his preference. He can also specify which part he liked the most or the lest. At last he can value the book.
    I didn’t like the book trailer at all. Because it spoiled everything about the book. In fact the summery tells you all the story. But it missed to tell about the people who helped Martin to change himself like: The PE teacher, Mr Green, The Jamaican Sistas, Anthony etc. I think a book trailer should have a summery of the book less detailed and a ending more mysterious. So the reader can be more interested to buy the book and to finish it. It can also have some fascinating images and a suitable music.
    If I were in the book trailer maker, I would have made my one more interesting without spoiling the end of the novel. I would have used some more involved image on it and a music which tells the audience the moral of the book.

  16. Francesca Meneghel scrive:

    1/3. There are a lot of things of this review that I don’t like really much. First of all, I cannot understand why he or she has written the summary of the book; if I want to buy a new book I don’t want someone how revels me the plot before I have read it. Then, I don’t agree so much with the author of this review: I think the book is very realistic and it is not important if the nouns of the locals and of the characters don’t seem real, the most important things are the plot and the meaning of this story. The only thing in witch I agree with the writer of the review is about the moral: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
    2. A good review for me has to be synthetic, short and clear. It has to explain why do you like and sometimes why you don’t like the book, and it has to invite people who hasn’t still read that book to buy it. But also I think that a good review shouldn’t anticipate a lot of things about the story, because it could ruin the book at the eyes of a person who has not read it yet.
    4. Overall, I really like this book trailer: I think the music is fantastic, and also the video is good, however I don’t like really much the photo of the boy with a burn face: in my opinion we could imagine the face of Martin without a photo like that
    5. I don’t know, I have never done a book trailer, but I think that it would be like the video I have just seen, simple but really impressive, with a lot of words and a few of imagines.

  17. Tommaso Piccin scrive:

    Honestly, I prefer the second one. It’s more modern, tidier, more direct.
    I think the first it’s too full of details, and the squares on it distruct me from the rest of the cover. Moreover, a thing that made me feel confused, is that in the second image the face is in the foreground while in the first one Martin’s face appears less importan, reduced by the buildings behind him.
    Other than that, I guess that if someone showed me the covers, and I didn’t know the plot ,I’d say that the first is a narrative book about a city, while I’d say that the second is a book about discrimination.
    At the end, if I judged the book by its cover, I’d take the second.

    Yes, I do. I’ve liked it almost in every particular, starting from the introduction of the book’s story, and concluding with the critique. I’ve liked especially the way he used a question that can seem banal to start his review.
    I think he could say that when Martin returned to school he’s been bullied, but it isn’t a big problem. Instead, I think that he’s concluded a little bit too fast, and I didn’t like it very much, beause I wanted to read his critique!

    For me, on the basis of passed experiences, a book review must be a short test where you write first the test’s carapteristics, and a little biography of the writer. Then, you must write the plot of the book, but without writing the final! At the end you put the critique, where you say what you liked about the book or not, and you can say to the readers if you raccomend the reading.

    I think that my impressions and the impressions of the author of the review were similar. Personally I haven’t noticed the fact of the names of the characters and locals, but I share the fact that the book didn’t hit me much. I think that 4/10 is a too less mark, because to write well a tragic accident you need real talent. That’s why I put 6/10, and I suggest it to everybody who wants to become sensitized about respect.

    I’ve liked the video, I think it made impact. I didn’t like when it appeared the sentence “but it still looked somewhat like this” followed with a picture of a disfigured man, it’s seemed disrispectful to disfigured people. Although, the music and the rhythm were adact for a sad story like this, and the words of the background song were suitable with the test(I didn’t expected this).

    It must be short, with beautiful images and a nice music( I think music is one of the most important things). On the video there mus be short sentences that describes the initial parts of the book.
    For me the booktrailer must be mysterious, so who sees it becames curios and wants to buy it.
    I think the way to do this changes book by book: for an adventure book I’d put fantastic scenarios, with an epic background music, while for a horror images would be darker, and the principal colors would be red and black, and the music would be dstressing.

    So that’s the way I’d do my booktrailer: short, inviting, with great music and with effect sentences

  18. Gaia Santarossa scrive:

    Well ,i think that this review was fantastically written :full of very “high” words and also synthetic but I don’t really like concepts that it highlight ,I mean ,for me this book is about people who “are different “in every way :for example for the color of the skin or for the way they look (like in the book ).
    This themes are completely absent in this review ,in fact it mainly talk about facts like :the accident ,reactions of his friends in front of his new face ecc…
    Things that,we can say ,everyone can see but for me Benjamin just wanted to built a good story for explaining the problem of discrimination obviously Martin’s story is not realistic in every single word but 90% of books and films have a little bit of falseness in them so that can’t be a real problem for the book which is perfect for , I think,everyone to read .
    I was very interested in reading it and also involved while I was and also my classmates were so ,we can say it was an involving book.
    I’m quite sure that this review has all the features that a review should have because as i just told before it’s very well written and structured .
    Let’s talk bout the two covers ,I mostly like the second ,even if ,the first was initially much more inspiring ,I consider the second one kind of elegant and classy ,then in the first one you can see Martin’s face but in the second even if Matin’s face is the Main subject you can’t see it at all In fact only martins hair are represented .
    For the book trailer I would like to do something but unfortunately I’m not fantastic using computers so I’m not very expert in building book trailers I think that mine wouldn’t be very different from the one that I have seen ,which was well built ,maybe whit other photos maybe more related one to the others

  19. Dall'Ora Giuseppe scrive:

    • Look at the two covers of the novel “Face”. Which one do you like better? Why?

    I prefer the second picture because it is not complete, so you can imagine in your mind the face of the subject on the cover, depending on your fantasy. The first image instead is too rich in details and the overlap of the boy in the background is not very well done. It also gives me the idea of a shabby book, while the other has the cover of a more commercial book.
    • Do you like the way the review was written? Why (not)?
    I don’t really like how the boy has written, because he spent the major part of the review making the plot, without worrying about enticing people reading the book. Furthermore, in the summary he spoil the entire story included the end.
    • What are the features of a book review?
    To write a good book review you should:
    Summarize plot description without giving away too much information.
    Tell the genre and give some technical information like the price, the number of pages…
    Provide relevant information about the author
    Give a personal opinion and suggest the age range who the reading of the book might be interesting.
    • Do you agree with the reviewer’s response to the book? Why (not)?
    I don’t totally agree with him because he said that the story is unrealistic and fake. On the contrary I guess that this happening could happen to everyone, in fact we listen everyday news that talk about men or women disfigured by the acid or people left disabled after an accident. I agree with him on the fact of the age range of the book
    • Watch the book trailer and say whether you like it or not
    Personally, I don’t like the videos made with only a series of photos and texts because often they had a slow rhythm, so they cannot entertain the viewer. Especially for this short video, the text the texts that should illustrate the images are too long and in two cases you cannot finish reading them. The creators of the video could also do a better research for the images.
    • What would your booktrailer be like?
    In my booktrailer I would use real actor or at least people who can act.
    I think that the best way I could explain the story, without spoil it, is to recording short scenes match with a good song.

  20. Marta Fabris scrive:

    1) I like better the second cover, because the first one shows us Martin’s face and Martin’s body, so it lets understand the imagine of Martin. Instead, even if the second one is easier than the first one, the second cover allows the possibility to change and choose Martin’s look like, whatever is our immagination.

    2) I don’t like very much the way the review was written, because the writer skipped some important themes that are in the novel, e.g. the changing of Martin inside out and that razism and discriminations aren’t the way that you have to follow; but anyway, the review synthesizes the story and if somebody didn’t read the book, it incites to read it because the story is exciting an interesting.
    The features of a book review are: at first the introduction, that incites the reader to read the following; then there’s a summary about the story; then the writer writes about the themes of the novel and at the end there’s the conclusion, that makes it clear to whom the book is recommended.

  21. Matteo Del Col scrive:

    – Look at the two covers of the novel “Face”. Which one do you like better? Why?

    I think that the best cover of the book Face is the second one. This cover explains well what the book is going to talk about by an image of a faceless head. The other cover instead has not a bond with the story. In fact, the first cover shows a hooded boy, pretty big and dressed in white. The boy, that could be Martin, appears like a street boy good for nothing but in my opinion the main character of the book is not like that. In the book, Martin wants to change his life and to become a good person. The second cover instead leaves to the reader the possibility to think how the character is, so I prefer this one.

    – Read the following review written by a teen student, just like you. Do you like the way the review was written? Why (not)?

    I like it enough how this review is written. I enjoy the first part when the author of the review describes the story. He briefly narrates the story but without revealing the ending. Instead, in the second part he tells his opinion that is wrong according to me. He examines only one aspect of the story. I think that the book has more than a moral, there are many themes in the story: the value of friendship, the antiracism and the courage to change life. On one point the review is right: in certain parts, the novel moves around the sentence “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, without evolving the story and without making it interesting. I would evaluate the book with the mark 7.5/10.

    – Watch the book trailer and say whether you like it or not.

    I think that the book trailer cannot convince a boy to read this novel. It reveals immediately the ending of the book and does not leave suspense to the viewer. Furthermore, images and music do not convince me, because they do not strike me.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Matteo, thanks for writing relevant ideas as to the themes of the novel and to the booktrailer. Your considerations reveal insight. Well done.

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