Some books seem natural for high school study. They need to be simple to read, but contain enough ambiguity and analogy to show students that real literature is more than a plot. If the book is set in high school, so much the better. I think the existence of this market niche is why this book has survived. There can be no other reason.
I mention the ambiguity, because that is why the book works; you never really know for sure what happened on that tree.
Alas, but TeeVee movies do not like ambiguity because they find their own market niche. So the only potentially valuable bit from the book is scrubbed out.
It did resonate with me. Its an odd thing when you encounter a story that has accidental settings and events that mirror important events in your life. I went to an elite boarding school, a military school in fact. The dynamics among boys in such an environment can have no analog anywhere else in the world. There were a characters like these (in the movie). There was at the time an expectation that many of us would go to the then current war in Viet Nam. There was anxious enthusiasm about roles that could in our imagination be achieved and a black market for swapping dreams about which of these roles were claimed first.
Posted in 2009
Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.