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  • Burning Up
  • Written by Caroline B. Cooney
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  • Burning Up
  • Written by Caroline B. Cooney
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307818911
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Written by Caroline B. CooneyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Caroline B. Cooney

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List Price: $6.99

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On Sale: August 29, 2012
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-307-81891-1
Published by : Delacorte Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE & AWARDS PRAISE & AWARDS
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

This bestselling author explores the destructive nature of hatred, the crime of indifference, and the power of accepting love and responsibility.

Fifteen-year-old Macey Clare has always loved her quiet, beautiful Connecticut hometown. It's the place where her grandparents live, the place where her mother grew up. Macey is looking forward to the summer to come. She's hoping for fun and romance with her neighbor's perfect grandson Austin. But when Macey wants to research the facts behind who set fire to a barn across the street from her grandparent's home, she is shocked no one wants to answer questions about the place that burned down 38 years ago. And when a tragedy strikes a new friend who lives in the inner city, something clicks in Macey. She must discover her own true colors and face whatever it is she is going to find. Can she stand alone and take responsibility for the present while uncovering the past?

Excerpt

Macey dashed out of the high school, filled with the energy of Friday afternoon. She always had to run toward the weekend. The first thing she did on Friday was put distance between herself and the school. Macey was good at school, had friends, liked her teachers--and yet the end of every school week was such a relief.

Around her, sports teams were piling into vans and buses: tennis, baseball, golf and swim teams. Kids with cars shot out of the student parking lot, windows down, so everybody could shout to everybody else.

"Hey, Mace!" came two voices. "Want a ride?" Macey's best friends, Lindsay and Grace, leaned out the window of a Volvo. Grace's mother had come to pick them up.

"I'm walking, thanks!" yelled Macey.

"Oh, right, it's Friday," said Lindsay, rolling her eyes. "She's got her shortcuts to take."

"Oh, brother," said Grace, laughing out the car window. "Being a juvenile again?"

Grace's mother blew a kiss to Macey, and they drove on. Macey waved no to the driver of her own school bus. It was a three-mile hike to her grandparents', but Macey took shortcuts. Her route was closer to a mile and a half, and if she ran, she could make it in twenty minutes. What the run really did was cut her off from school, making the weekend clean and separate and safe. Macey cut through the golf course, cut through the woods and behind the old supermarket, through backyards and finally through the swamp.

The swamp wasn't a hundred feet across, and it wasn't a block long, but it had the strength of a canyon. Nobody but Macey ever crossed it.

A few years ago, she'd dragged boards into the swamp to give herself a path over the wettest parts. She hopped on the edge of the first board to be sure it wouldn't split when she put her weight on it.

From a hundred yards away drifted the rich scent of ocean: mudflats and fish and salt water. It was a warm-weather smell. Last week had been March, when school was a thing that would last forever--but today it was the first week in April, and Macey could shade her eyes and catch a glimpse of summer.

Beyond the swamp was the old stone foundation of a barn. Come summer, wild roses and tiger lilies would make it a sunken garden. Macey was not basically a sitting-down person, but she loved to sit here. It was peaceful. Even in early April, the sun warmed the stones.

Back when there were horses, all these old shorefront houses had had stables. This one, turned into a garage and apartment, had burned when Macey's mother was a girl. Supposedly a man had been in it at the time. When Macey was very little, she'd been afraid of the foundation, because what if the body was still there, waiting for her to find the bones?

But now, at fifteen and a half, she found the idea of discovering bones appealing, like archaeology or journalism.

Ten seconds was plenty of time to sit and consider the olden days. Macey jumped up and cut across the backyards of Shell Beach to her grandparents' house.

Her parents were staying in New York City for dinner. This was good. Mom and Dad were so exhausted at the end of a week that they were useless; on Fridays they just plopped down and faded away, while the television droned and the pizza got cold.

Macey came in Nana and Papa's back door. Her grandparents' back porch was a large glassed-in room, sagging with piles of stuff. There were broken china cups filled with beach glass. There were collections of knotty driftwood and yellow seashells. There were old bathing suits, hung up to dry when Macey was six, or twelve, and never worn again, because Mom bought new ones that weekend. There were magazines that somebody meant to clip something from and lawn chairs somebody meant to repair. There were old golf clubs and new fishing rods and an outboard motor.

Hot cinnamon smells drifted out from the kitchen. Nana and Papa were baking. Food was the centerpiece of their lives. They watched all the TV cooking shows and quoted the great chefs as if they were family friends. They greeted Macey with hugs and kisses and went straight to the crucial topic: what to have for dinner.

"Three-cheese pasta?" suggested Papa. Papa had very high blood pressure and cholesterol, but he didn't care; he ate whatever he felt like. He usually felt like eating a lot.

"No, dear, I found luscious asparagus in the market this morning," said Nana. "We'll have asparagus omelets." Nana ate more than Papa, and together they made a very roly-poly couple. They were even fatter in their red-and-white-striped French chef aprons.

"Asparagus. Yuck," said Macey. "It's tall, thin slime."

Two sets of blue eyes turned on her. Two identical frowns beneath snowy white hair. "You walk the dogs," ordered Nana. "And we'll decide the menu," said Papa.

Zipper was an old collie, tired and lame, and the leash was not needed, because he would never stray from her side. Zipper liked to walk down to the sandy edge and sniff the salt water, maybe think about fish for a minute or two, and then totter home.

Moose was a chocolate Lab so large they had respelled his name from (chocolate) Mousse. Macey and Moose would fly down Shell Road, Macey more on the leash than Moose. If Macey didn't take care of Moose's exercise, nobody would, because her grandparents had pretty much surrendered on the exercise front.

Macey took each dog separately, five minutes for Zipper and half an hour for Moose. Back in the kitchen, her grandparents were between cooking shows, and so they turned to their second favorite subject: what Macey was up to.

"We have to do a local history paper," said Macey. "When Mrs. Johnson assigned it this morning, it felt like a ten-ton truck driving over my shoulders. But I ran all the way here, and now I think it might be okay."

"Tomorrow morning we'll go to the library and dig for a topic," said Papa, waving a sifter. Flour dusted his face.

"Papa, I'm not that excited about it. Anyway," she said gloomily, "tomorrow I have Saturday Group."

There was an expedition arranged, and they were to meet at 8:30 a.m. Macey did not feel like showing up. Saturday Group was hard. Volunteer work was supposed to make you feel wonderful, but Macey just came home feeling guilty. She was not in a Saturday Group mood. She was in a sleep late, watch cartoons, eat stacks of waffles and do nothing mood.
Caroline B. Cooney|Author Q&A

About Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B. Cooney - Burning Up

Photo © Jane Feldman

“What more can life hold, than to know that because of your story, somebody out there has decided to read again!”—Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B. Cooney's books have received several honors, including an IRA–CBC Children's Choice and being named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Caroline B. Cooney knows what young adults like to read. In fact, Cooney’s all-time favorite fan letter came from a 12-year-old girl who hated reading. But after being forced to read one of Cooney’s books, the girl admitted it had not been a waste of time and had even been enjoyable. “And so,” wrote the girl, “I have come to an important decision. I am writing to tell you that I have decided to read a second book.”

Caroline Cooney was born in 1947 and grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. This prolific author was always ambitious, and as a youth, loved school and was involved in many different activities. Cooney was also an avid reader and recalls that series books such as The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames were her favorites. These characters had a big influence on her life, and in fact, she says that “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse was my reason to go to nursing school in Boston later in life.”

Cooney began writing in college. She professes,“I love writing and do not know why it is considered such a difficult, agonizing profession. I love all of it, thinking up the plots, getting to know the kids in the story, their parents, backyards, pizza toppings.”

Cooney is a master of mixing spellbinding suspense with thought-provoking insight into teenagers’ lives. One of her most popular books is The Face on the Milk Carton—the gripping story of a young girl who discovers that the picture of a missing child on a milk carton is actually a picture of herself. After writing this book, Cooney received hundreds of letters from readers who were bothered by the ending. “It wasn’t that they didn’ t like the ending, it was that they wanted some kind of resolution. Some said I should have written another chapter.” However, Cooney says she liked leaving the reader worrying about the character just as they would a real person. But one day, her daughter, Sayre, had an idea for a sequel that was so good, Cooney had to write it. The book that evolved was called Whatever Happened to Janie? Continuing where that novel leaves off, Cooney explores the themes of betrayal and peer pressure in The Voice on the Radio. Concluding the Janie Quartet is What Janie Found, in which Cooney masterfully spins a suspenseful story of family secrets that will have readers captivated until the very last word.

Cooney’s novel Burning Up explores the destructive nature of hatred, the crime of indifference, and the power of accepting love and responsibility.

In The Ransom of Mercy Carter, Cooney looks at an actual historic event that had been virtually unexplored in literature for young people. During a 1704 Indian attack on the Deerfield, Massachusetts, settlement, Mercy Carter is separated from her family and taken to a Kahnawake Indian village in Canada. As she awaits ransom, she discovers that the “savages” have traditions and family life that in time become her own.

Cooney completed her Time Travel Quartet with For All Time. In her novel Goddess of Yesterday, Cooney brings ancient Greece to life through careful research and master storytelling.

Most recently Cooney's Diamonds in the Shadow was named a 2008 ALA/YALSA Quick Pick and was a nominee for the Edgar Allen Poe Awards. Her latest gripping thriller, If the Witness Lied, details how love, devotion, and forgiveness make resilience—and recovery—possible.


AUTHOR FUN FACTS

Born: May 10 in Geneva, New York
Education: Greenwich, CT schools and various colleges
Residence: Westbrook, CT
Children: Louisa, Sayre (rhymes with fair), Harold
Inspiration for writing: I love a good story. I love to make things up.
Favorite hobbies: I read a lot. I buy books. I'm in a library (I use several) or a bookstore almost every day because I have to be around other people's books, too. I sing in several choirs, or play the piano for them.
Favorite foods: I'm omnivorous.
Favorite books: I read series books: Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, was the reason I went to nursing school. But my favorite series, and the only one I saved, was Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager.


PRAISE

IF THE WITNESS LIED

"Cooney's new psychologically penetrating page-turner immediately grabs readers then hangs on tight up to its satisfying conclusion."—Kirkus

"Anchored by a poignant sibling reunion, this family-drama-turned-thriller will have readers racing, heart in throat, to reach the conclusion." —Horn Book


DIAMONDS IN THE SHADOW

"Crackling language and nailbiting cliffhangers provide an easy way into the novel's big ideas, transforming topics that can often seem distant and abstract into a grippingly immediate reading experience." —Starred, Publishers Weekly

GODDESS OF YESTERDAY
“Characters from the Iliad, the Odyssey, and much of Greek tragedy make appearances in Anaxandra’ s tale, one that is as vivid as her red-gold hair. Teen readers will be mesmerized.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“A compulsively readable story and may well lead readers to other Greek myths.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

AMONG FRIENDS
“Readers will respond to the author’s candid view of friendship with its intense bonding, rivalry and sudden, surprising meanness.”—Booklist


BOTH SIDES OF TIME
"Not only a love story and a time-travel fantasy, but also a provocative and powerful examination of women, marriage, and relationships in two centuries.”—School Library Journal


BURNING UP
“Convincingly depicted and . . . compellingly chronicled.”—Starred, The Bulletin

"This thought-provoking story has a powerful message, effortlessly woven into the ordinary trappings of a teenager’s life.”—Kirkus Reviews


DRIVER’S ED
“A wrenching, breathlessly paced plot and an adrenaline-charged romance make Cooney’s latest novel nearly impossible to put down.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Poignant.”—Starred, Booklist


THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON
“Absorbing and convincing. Strong characterizations and suspenseful, impeccably paced action add to this novel’s appeal.”—Publishers Weekly

“A real page-turner.”—Kirkus Reviews


THE RANSOM OF MERCY CARTER
“Gripping and thought provoking.”—Publishers Weekly


WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JANIE?
“The power and nature of love is wrenchingly illustrated throughout this provocative novel. . . . The emotions of its characters remain excruciatingly real.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“A gripping sequel to The Face on the Milk Carton. . . The gut-wrenching circumstances in which the characters find themselves are honestly conveyed.”—Booklist


THE VOICE ON THE RADIO
“[Cooney] has taken this novel to extraordinary heights.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“Readers of Cooney’s addictive The Face on the Milk Carton and Whatever Happened to Janie? can start licking their chops.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

Author Q&A

Caroline Cooney was born in 1947 and grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. An excellent student and ambitious youth, she loved school and was involved in many different activities. By the time she was in tenth grade, Cooney played the piano for musical productions, directed a choir, and had a job as a church organist. Always an avid reader, Cooney often read series books such as The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames. These characters had a big influence on her life and in fact, she says "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, was my reason to go to nursing school in Boston later in life."
Coooney graduated from Greenwich High School in 1965 and attended various colleges, where she studied music, art, and English. It was in college that she began writing, and discovered a talent and joy in what would become an award-winning writing career. Cooney professes, "I love writing and do not know why it is considered such a difficult, agonizing profession. I love all of it, thinking up the plots, getting to know the kids in the story, their parents, backyards, pizza toppings."
Cooney's love of writing for young adults is clearly demonstrated in her numerous celebrated novels including: Driver's Ed (An ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, and a Booklist Editors' Choice), Among Friends (A New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age), Twenty Pageants Later (An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers), and the time travel novels, Both Sides of Time and Out of Time. She is a master of mixing spellbinding suspense with thought-provoking insight into teenagers' lives.
Among Cooney's most popular books are the bestselling novels The Face on the Milk Carton, Whatever Happened to Janie? and The Voice on the Radio. These gripping novels tell the story of Janie Johnson, a young girl who recognizes herself in a picture of a missing child on a milk carton, and subsequently unravels a complicated history of abduction, fear and deceit. To satisfy the hundreds of fans wanting to know more, Cooney concluded Janie's captivating story with What Janie Found, a gripping novel of betrayal.
author fun facts
Born: May 10 in Geneva, New York
Education: Greenwich, CT schools and various colleges
Residence:
Westbrook, CT
Children: Louisa, Sayre (rhymes with fair), Harold
Inspiration for writing: I love a good story. I love to make things up.
Favorite. . . hobbies: I read a lot. I buy books. I'm in a library (I use several) or a bookstore almost every day
because I have to be around other people's books, too. I sing in several choirs, or play the piano for them.
. . . foods: I'm omnivorous.
. . . books: I read series books: Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, was the reason I went to nursing school. But my favorite series, and the only one I saved, was Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager.

Praise | Awards

Praise

"A powerful message, effortlessly woven into the ordinary trappings of a teenager's life." -- Kirkus Reviews

Awards

NOMINEE 2002 Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award
WINNER 2002 Nevada Young Readers Award
WINNER 2001 Kentucky Bluegrass Master List
NOMINEE 2002 Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award
WINNER 2000 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



NOTE TO TEACHERS

Thematic Connections

Family & Relationships
Racism
Responsibility
Trust

Grades 7 up

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Fifteen-year-old Macey Clare discovers dark secrets about her family and neighbors as she uncovers the truth behind a 38-year-old fire that threatened the life of an innocent victim in her community.

Macey decides to investigate a fire that occurred in her Connecticut town in 1959 for a local history project. Her teacher opposes the idea, and her parents and grandparents don’t want to talk about it. Macey is also involved with a student volunteer group that is assigned to help an inner-city church paint rooms for a day care. After an arsonist sets fire to the church, Macey becomes even more determined to help the inner-city kids and to find out the truth about the fire of 1959.

Burning Up is a contemporary novel with an element of mystery. The activities offered in this guide will give students the opportunity to explore how the racial problems of the 1950s effected change in our nation. They will be asked to think about the racial challenges of today, and what they can do to make a difference.

Book Talk Exerpt -

Venita raised her head oddly. Macey stared at Venita and found herself imitating the movement of Venita’s chin,
and so the faint smell of smoke entered Macey’s nostrils, too, and penetrated her brain, and she and Venita stared at each other. . . .
They stepped into the narrow hall. . . .
To their left were the painters in the last five rooms. . . .
To their right was a gray puff. . . .
The gray puff turned the corner like a locomotive, and then it was an engine on fire, and the flames took the paint off the wall and the wind from the outside door flung fire and smoke toward the girls and Venita screamed, “Fire!” and Macey screamed, “Get out! Everybody out!” and they turned left because the fire had captured the right, and by the time Macey and Venita had gone the ten steps to the next Sunday School room the fire had caught their heels and Macey saw Austin and Isaiah, and then the smoke was upon her and bit her eyes so cruelly she had to close them, and she felt the fire on her back.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Caroline B. Cooney grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended various colleges, where she studied music, art, and English. She began writing in college, and by the time she was 30 years old, she had written 10 unpublished novels. Today, Cooney is the author of many award-winning novels, and is considered one of the most popular writers for young adults. Her books include the bestselling The Face on the Milk Carton and its companion novels Whatever Happened to Janie? and The Voice on the Radio. She lives in Westbrook, Connecticut.

Born
May 10 in Geneva, New York

Children
Louisa, Sayre (rhymes with fair), Harold

Inspiration for writing
I love a good story. I love to make things up.

Favorite
. . . hobbies
I read a lot. I buy books. I’m in a library (I use several) or a bookstore almost every day because I have to be around other people’s books, too. I sing in several choirs, or play the piano for them.
. . . foodsI’m omnivorous.
. . . booksI read series books: Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, was the reason I went to nursing school. But my favorite series, and the only one I saved, was Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager.

TEACHING IDEAS

Interdisciplinary Connections

LANGUAGE ARTS
–The fire of 1959 was not in the local newspaper because the purpose of the newspaper in those days was to make the town look good. Ask students to take the information gathered by Macey and write a story about the fire that would appear in the newspaper today.
Ask students to explain the metaphor: “He [Austin] felt as if Macey were driving a new car toward a high cliff”
(p. 128). What is the new car? What is the cliff?

LANGUAGE ARTS/ART–Ask students to write the letter that Macey sends to Venita’s grandmother after Venita is killed. Instruct them to illustrate the letter using symbols that represent Venita’s contribution to her community.

SOCIAL STUDIES–The ’50s were very volatile times regarding race relations. Divide the class into two groups and ask them to research one of the following: desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, or the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi. Then, ask each group to stage an “on-site” television news report about each event. Include interviews with key figures and people in each community.
The events of the ’50s caused Congress and the Supreme Court to seriously study racial inequality in the United States. Send the students to the library to research the various civil rights acts that evolved from this period in history. Make a time line that illustrates the development of these various laws. How have the civil rights laws made a difference for women and children in our present society?

DRAMA–Send students to the library to search for a poem or reading that might be an appropriate eulogy for Venita. Possible choices might include “Hold Fast to Dreams” by Langston Hughes or Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Ask them to prepare a dramatic reading of their selection and present it to the class.

MUSIC–Ask students to locate songs like “We Shall Overcome” that grew out of the civil rights movement. Instruct them to study the lyrics and suggest appropriate songs that they might dedicate to Venita and Wade Sibley. Some students may enjoy performing some of the songs for the class.

CAREERS–Macey uses good research skills to uncover the truth about the fire of 1959. She also
knows that she wants to do something to change her community. What are her best career options? Find out the educational requirements for each career that she might consider.

Thematic Connections

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS–Ask students to compare and contrast Macey and her friend Austin’s families. Macey spends so much time with her grandparents that she really has two homes. In which does she receive the most attention? What does Austin want and need from his parents? How does his grandfather serve as a father figure? What does Macey's local history project reveal about both families? How does her project change her relationship with
her family?

TRUST
–Rebuilding trust with those who have betrayed or disappointed you often takes time. How do students know that Macey has lost trust in her family? Have the class discuss what Macey’s parents and grandparents might do to regain her trust. Ask for volunteers to role-play a conversation they could have. How might talking about one’s feelings help build a better relationship?

RACISM–Macey’s mother says, “We’re as segregated as the South ever was. We’re just sly about it” (p. 74). How does being sly relate to covert racism? Ask students to identify passages in the novel that indicate overt and covert racism. What might students of all races do to prevent acts of racism in their school and community? Have students find incidents in the novel where the adults make excuses for their community’s attitude toward other races.

RESPONSIBILITY
–When a fire breaks out at Good Shepherd and threatens the lives of the teenage workers, their volunteerism comes to an abrupt halt. How does responsible behavior sometimes require taking risks? Do Macey’s parents feel responsibile for helping the poor? How did Venita take responsibility in her community? What does Macey learn from Venita? At the end of the novel, Wade Sibley challenges Macey to “step forward” and accept responsibility for making changes in her community. Encourage students to discuss how Macey and her friends might accomplish this challenge.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

Pre-Reading Activity

Engage the class in a discussion about racism. Explain to them the difference between overt and covert racism. Have them write a journal entry about a time when they have witnessed or experienced some form of racism. Then ask students, by a show of hands, to indicate whether their journal entry reflects overt or covert racism. Which type of racism is the toughest to identify?

VOCABULARY

Vocabulary/Use of Language

Ask students to make a note of unfamiliar words and try to define the words from the context of the sentence. Such words may include: respelled (p.4), demographic (p.14), contagion (p.32), au courant (p.66), moguls (p.99), catapulted (p.102), and coagulated (p.190).

OTHER TITLES OF INTEREST

Driver’s Ed
Caroline B. Cooney
Responsibility • Acceptance
Guilt • Family & Relationships
Friendship
Grades 6 up / 0-440-21981-7

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This
Jacqueline Woodson
Family & Relationships • Racism
Grades 7 up / 0-440-21960-4

Spite Fences
Trudy Krisher
Family & Relationships • Racism
Brotherhood
Grades 7 up / 0-385-32088-4

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963
Christopher Paul Curtis
Family & Relationships • Racism
Responsibility
Grades 6 up / 0-440-49727-2


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