Are your students or patrons reading Great Expectations? Consider adding Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones to your program. The book has been recently selected by Queens University of Charlotte for common reading. It is also the 2008 winner of the ALEX and Best Book for Young Adults awards given by Young Adult Library Services Association and was a Booker Prize finalist and a Commonwealth Writer’s Award winner.
The novel is set on a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.
Dorothy McGavran, professor of English and director of the Core Program in Liberal Arts at Queens University of Charlotte ,recently shared some of her thoughts on Mister Pip and why it has been selected the university’s summer read:
[Mister Pip] is a book about the value of education. Referred to in reviews as a fable, it [also] affords opportunity for discussion of moral choices with implications for individuals, family, and community.