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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50 risposte a Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

  1. Erika Cerutti scrive:

    I think that Benjamin Zephaniah wrote “Talking turkeys” to raise children’s awareness about everyday life issues. He’s a rastafarian and a vegan, so if we look at the surface of the poem we certainly can say that he wanted to spread the beliefs of his religion, he wanted to children to grow aware that even animals have rights, just like us. But we can’t observe only the surface of the poem, we have to examine it and get what he’s really trying to communicate.
    Personally, I think that even if it looks like one, “Talking turkeys” isn’t just for kids, it is an important opus for everyone. In fact, he raises many issues with his playful poem: he talks about consumerism and capitalism (“Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be/ An business men mek loadsa cash”) and deforestation (“What happens to christmas trees?”).
    In the poem there are many spelling variations because he wants to communicate that he’s Jamaican and he’s proud of that, and even if Jamaica was forced to become part of the British Empire which tried to suppress the culture of the country, Benjamin incite the battle for people’s own identity.
    Through this poem I could learn that Zephaniah is a really thoughtfull person who cares about equality, who believes that everyone has a right to live a free life, to question things and don’t just adapt to what the powerful ones say, whether you’re a human being or an animal.
    Another animal who is exploited by humans is the pig.

    Breakfast in pink

    Did you ever think about poor little pigs?
    Like the ones you cook and offer to your kids?
    Because you know, they too have kin.
    They have a family who fear for their lives
    While you only consider your own appetite.

    Pigs are cute and enjoy playing with mud,
    They would like to swim and run in the sun
    And definitely, they like watching clouds scud.
    So why do you have to shed their blood?
    They’re just like us.

    In the morning you open carelessly the fridge
    Take a frying pan and begin to prepare eggs with bacon.
    Pigs want to protest but their rights had been abridge.
    Ladies and gentlemen, here it is what I really think:
    Eat pancakes or peanut butter and jam
    But save pigs and avoid breakfasts in pink.

  2. Andrea Dreon scrive:

    sorry I was wrong to write the song so i rewrite it
    PIG MY FRIEND
    Dear pig
    you’re so funny
    your towards makes LAUGH
    but we use the mouth
    men use you
    eat every part of your
    Your body is despised
    but you deserve to be loved
    gifts all over yourself
    for those who does not give you anything
    maybe one day
    will be gray
    and do not eat
    because they will have more
    who knows your little
    what will they think
    when they will be without a mother
    and a father
    and the same will happen
    in their
    and their piglets
    you should say stop
    and live your life to the top
    no human will eat you
    but all friends for you!

  3. Giovanni Basaglia scrive:

    I like the book review, it describe the story very well. It’s full of detail but, at the same moment, it doesn’t spoiler the end of the story, making the reader impatient to read the full story. The reviewer response it’s very interesting, too. It shows a viewpoint of the story different from mine, as I loved to read the book! The entire story was very actual and original for me! However, the video review wasn’t as interesting as the previous review; it was pretty boring, and that sequence of words and images shows you everything, even the end of the story. Instead of images and word I think a talking people would be better, as he can make his own discourse about the book, maybe with a script to read or something else.

  4. eleonora ruzza scrive:

    I don’t like the review I’ve just read.
    It is very objective while I review should show what you think about the most important parts of the book.
    The writer has just spoken about the names of the characters and the places which are not important at all.
    He hasn’t understood what the book is all about.
    First he wrote that Martin liked his face before the accident, but he didn’t understand that Martin has learnt to love his face just the way it is, also after the accident
    I book review should talk about what’s the message of the story: Martin won the competition, Martin has learnt to accept himself, Martin’s changed, these are the things the reviews writer should put in.
    I liked Face.
    I liked the way Martin’s changed, I liked that Martin hasn’t won the competition because it is not predictable, I liked how Benjamin Zephaniah has shown that people are not always kind and sweet with different ones, we have to choose who we want to stay with and accept differences because sometimes they help you, like the fact that Martin didn’t like jamaican sisters, but at last they ’ll become the only friends of him (apart from Anthony).
    The trailer isn’t really involving, i don’t like the images, the music is not interesting and the animations are absolutely boring. There must be something that focus the attention on the book.
    i don’t know how to explain it, this is something you just feel.

  5. Cristiano Celot scrive:

    I like the way the review was written because it describes in a simply and short way what the book is about so, the reader could understand quickly if the story could interest him/her. This review is very good for me also because it doesn’t spoil nothing.
    This review respects all the features of a typical book review: a summary in which the reviewer will shortly illustrate facts and at the end a personal comment where the reviewer write his/her personal opinion.
    I don’t agree at all with the reviewer’s response. I think the book deserves a better mark than four out ten because this book transmits emotions and has a good moral, also I don’t think the story seems fake, actually it give us tips to “face” life. I would mark it seven out ten because it doesn’t make me feel really involved in the story and because I feel so sad after reading it.
    I don’t like the book trailer so much. Images are badly chosen and generally the quality is low. It doesn’t make me interested about reading the book. The song in background is instead very appropriate and makes me feeling emotions and thinking about Martin’s sadly situation.
    I think that a good trailer has to involve the viewer and to make him/her feeling like part of the story. If I have to make a trailer I would choose some people to interpret some character and record short scenes about the book.

  6. Enrico Zonta scrive:

    I personally like the review of “Face” by Benjamin Zephaniah. Its introduction is interesting because it begins with a question: “Do you like your face?”. It involves the reader. Then the writer describes the story just as it happens. In my opinion it would have been better if he wrote more about Martin’s feelings than about the description of the whole situation. Anyway, this book review is clear and helps you to understand the meaning of the book, although I don’t agree with the writer’s response to the novel. He says that it isn’t realistic, but in my opinion it is, because people can and do change, especially after a serious event. I think that the atmosphere Zephaniah created isn’t absolutedly fake!
    Writing a book review means describing the story of the novel you’re talking about, getting from your critical point of view, and then explaining your personal opinion of the book. You can start saying what is the book about, the development of the story and then you should write what you liked and what you didn’t like about it. In the end, you can illustrate your thoughts and rate the book, for example with marks from one to ten.
    The book trailer of Face is quite good and quite not really good, in my opinion. I liked the music on the background, I think it is suitable for the context of the story. The summary of the plot is too detailed and it spoils the happy ending of the story.
    A book trailer should give information about the plot, involve somehow who watches it and say a reason why you can’t miss the book. If I prepared a book trailer, I would have used images with an higher quality than the ones of the video, then I wouldn’t have spoiled the conclusion of the novel and I would have suggested the viewers to read it to see how it ends.

  7. Giada Lunardelli scrive:

    In my opinion, this review is too shallow and synthetic. In fact the writer didn’t consider at all the “advantages” that Martin obtains from the accident. From my humble point of view, he should not have focussed so much on the loss of his old friends disregarding the new relationships that the protagonist has found thanks to the accident. Moreover an engaging book review should begin with an introduction where the author starts with a question that should arouse the readers’ curiosity. Another essential aspect not to overlook is the conclusion. The reviewer shouldn’t give the ending away, actually he/she may include a recommendation or an evaluation of the book in order to invite the public to read it or, on the other side, not.
    Personally I don’t agree with the reviewer’s opinion: not only have I found the book extremely touching, but I also share and appreciate the message that the author tried to communicate.
    The book trailer didn’t engage me a lot because, as the review does, it only reports the results of the competition, not all the work that Martin has done to arrive there. In addition, it does not concern about the new friends, the Jamaican sistas and Anthony, Alan and the PE teacher. I support the idea that a charming book trailer should tempts the audiences with some emblematic phrases drawn from the book. In this way the watcher understands what the book deals with and, most important, what is his message. If I had set the book trailer of Face, I would have used this features to make my video more captivating.

  8. Martina Fadel scrive:

    I don’t like this book review very much because the reviewer didn’t like the book as I do, so he wrote a negative comment and he also gave a bad mark to it. I found the start of this review interesting, but when I was going on reading I found some words which doesn’t exist, neither in the vocabulary, like ‘’pries’’. Some phrases were written in a bad way like this one: ‘’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’’ I couldn’t understand it before reading it at least ten times, he didn’t put the comas well. He should has written in that way: ‘’After that, Martin decides to go back to school for the beginning of the new term and he (not him) and his friends, including Natalie, drift apart’’. I also found interesting the metaphor he compared to Martin: ‘’You can’t judge a book by its cover’’, in fact the meaning is that you can’t judge a person by his face.
    This book review doesn’t catch the attention of a book reader at all because of his bad comment. He recommend the book to a younger audience because to him the novel isn’t so realistic and he thinks that younger people maybe find it real. I think that also older people can find it realistic, is that a stereotype?
    I like the book trailer more than the book review. The music was coherent to the argument of the video, but the photos should have been of a better quality so they can catch more the attention of a book reader. If I made this video, I should record my voice saying the same phrases because they are beautiful and full of meaning.

  9. Isacco Benedetto Tazzioli scrive:

    I really enjoyed the way the review was written because even if simple it grabbed my attention: I think that if somebody who has not read the book read the review could he be encouraged to read it.
    This should be the principal feature of a book review, it should attracts the reader’ s attention; a book review should explain the book’ s plot and talk about it from the reviewer point of view: it should say what the reviewer liked or not in the book, give information about the characters, speak about the reviewer’s favourite part of the book and explain why that is so beautiful for him. A good review should really stimulate the interest in reading the reviewed book.
    I personally disagree with the reviewer’ s response to the book where he writes “it just didn’t seem very realistic to me or pull me into the story” I was very involved in the story
    On the contrary I did not like the book trailer: in my opinion the images were grainy, the music was not appropriate and the way it was planned was definitely confusing.
    A book trailer effective in inviting the viewer to buy and read the book shouldn’ t necessary be perfect: it must avoid to spoil anything and to show any personal opinion but it should just give an idea of the general situation until the “spannung” (the moment of higher suspence); finally music shouldn’ t be too loud.
    In my ideal “Face” trailer someone should act as Martin Turner, talking quickly about his life until the car accident and simply saying that his life changed after it. The only way for the reader to know what happened next will therefore be to buy the book!

  10. Davide Tissino scrive:

    Personally i like the way the review was written because it describes the story; maybe it was done with few details, but the plot was cerrect. What i don’t like is the mark he gave to the book: i was involved in the story and i actually think it was really realistic, so i would give 9 to the book, also because i liked it a lot. A book review must tell about what happens in the book, without spoiling the story at all; there must be a personal judgement of the book; there has to be a part in wich we described the principal characters, with their features. Furthermore we must talk about the moral of the story highlighting what the author wants to suggest with the text. Personally i don’t like this book trailer because it used bud images and it didn’t describe exactly what happens into the book ,even if it told about important themes of life, that are also mentioned in the book.I think a book trailer should involve a person in the story of the book; we have to use images that have to be realistic,and they have to describe the theme of the book and we have to describe what happens, telling it with our voice or using phrases that flow in the video. There has to be a music in background, it doesn’t have to hold so much time for not boring the viewer and abviously, like in the book review, it doesn’t have to spoil all about the story. I really like the book, because it tells about the most important aspect of life i don’t judge a book by his cover, and because i felt involved in the story. I think that things like this can always happen.

  11. Nicolò Salvadori scrive:

    I like this review because the text is fluid, pleasant to read and clearly tells about the story and its moral. The reviewer has commented and it is clear the reason why the author disliked the book.
    I think that this review respects the standards: it tells briefly about the story, highlighting the most important events and then the reviewer tells what he thinks about the book and he also gives a rating.
    In some cases the review is spoiler-free and helps the reader to decide whether to buy it or not but the majority of the reviews have spoilers; in this case the reviews are an opportunity for discussions about the book with other readers.

    I agree with this review: the book seems too cheesy in some parts and the story is too “moral-driven”. In my opinion, it seems that the whole story is not a story but just a camouflage to express the moral “do not judge people for what they look like” (especially the finale), which even if it is very important it is too weak to make the book a classic, or anyway a book that everyone should read. The only thing that saves the book from oblivion is the way Benjamin Zephaniah tells the story, especially in some slow scenes like the hospital one. The way he flowing tells the events with a good rhythm, make the book pleasant to read. Finally, I don’t really agree with the rating of the reviewer : for me it is a 6/10.

    The book trailer looks awful. It’s utmost a cheaply made sideshow and most crucially it spoils the finale. For me a book trailer should use captions from the book and should focus on rapid scene changes (so for example showing for a few seconds a close-up of an object and then changing the scene with a landscape) trying to make the video fast and entertaining.
    Also the music must be catchy and must follow the “speed” of the video or the whole will seem too silly.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      You are definitely a careful reader. It is true that the novel emphasises the “moral” aspects of the story itself, yet we should bear in mind that it is a novel for teens. The aspect that I like about the novel is the use of the language.

  12. Grace Morici scrive:

    Yes, I do. Because I think that who wrote it did a nice job by putting the right things and using an easy and catching expression so that it is maybe easier for a teen public to read without getting bored.
    The features of a book review are to be as simple as possible so that the important parts of the book get obtained easier. And at the end maybe to give an own judgment of the book.
    Yes i do because I also think that ” You can’t judge a book by its cover ” is an excellent way to explaine why some people judge others by the way they look and not by the way they really are inside.
    I didn’t quite enjoy the book trailer because I did’t like the images that were chosen in it and because of the way of telling the story in a very easy and fast way.
    I think that the book trailer should have some suspense and that it should excite and catch the attention of who is watching it.
    My book trailer would be a very simple one, I would put in some parts of the book that catch the attention and that are interesting and make you reflect and I’d chose some better music and images.

  13. Francesco B scrive:

    I think that this review could be considered a good experimental text for such a young person. Personally, supposing this was one of his first serious projects he has done until that age, the job seems good, although, if I were him, I would have added a little introduction to the subject. I would have talked shortly about the author and the general info and I would have contained more the major part, even if it was the most important, in a lighter sum. On the other hand, I would say that he managed to organize pretty well the other aspects, respecting the chronological order of the fact and not spoiling any of suspenseful acts. The word used appear carefully chosen and they express in most of the cases the intendent peculiar meaning in the sentence. In my opinion, this project was well designed and prepared: in fact, the reader gets immediately the sense of the article. I have not had a grand and various experience in this subject, but from I have had the opportunities to do so far I could affirm that I enjoyed the writing techniques and the style. In addition, I would have appreciated more the article if the writer have underlined more the toughness and the shock caused in the protagonist by the accident.
    As mentioned before, the book review should follow the order in which facts are described in the novel, but not spoiling them. Next, book reviewers are used to focus on their thought and underline the possible things they did not like.
    I liked his honesty in his valuation of the book. Personally, I agree with him on the fact that the nouns of people, places and shops seemed unreal; Even if I am not a professional doctor, I think it is quite rare that a young boy, such as Martin, is able to go over a coma phase that easily and that fast. Anyways, because of the poem at the end of the book and because of Zephaniah’s ability to tell this story with that extremely deep theme, I will give the novel a judgment of 7+ out of 10.
    Going on, the book trailer I would like to talk about was produced by a boy of the some ages as the one above. He used a series of images and some short sentences. To me, it seemed that the pictures he used were not the best; this counts also when speaking about the text. Sometimes it slowed the rhythm of the song and the video, whereas in other moments it gave a sense of tension, which was great, like for example the three “Until” he disposed for the smallest to the biggest, adding also background variations. Personally, it was not brilliant (but at least good), though people could still understand. If I had to do my own video about it (I do not have that much competence with technology), I would try to play a little going around a particular character, trying to repeat some mottos or something similar. Ah! In addition, I would try to add some extra effects too!

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Dear Francesco, you do not need to be an expert in technology to have a go at videomaking. So go for it. If you use the applications I mentioned in class you should not encounter any difficulties. 🙂

  14. Leonardo Budai scrive:

    FACE
    I think this review is very easy and nice to read. It describe the intrigue of the book with exactitude and care, but I don’t agree with opinion of the reviewer. I think this book is realistic and touch upon very important stereotype like racism. I think the most important teaching which we can learn is “look with your heart, not with your eyes. It can’t fail”. Sometimes we judge people by how they dress or how they are look like and we lose sight the beauty of spirit. Martin pay an high prize to learn it but after the crash he become a new person, a better person. This review describe the intrigue of the boo and it express the opinion and the feelings of the reviewer. When I started to read FACE I wasn’t very excited ( I usually hate reading) but when I finished it I feel happy and I started love this story.
    I suggest this book at all teenagers. They must read 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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