Friday, April 15, 2011

Young Adult Authors Take on Carmen!

Sometimes, when checking in new books, I notice a theme. That was the case with books that take on the opera "Carmen." You can read more about the play here.

Here's the most famous song from the opera, you've probably seen ice skaters do routines to it:

Now, the books:
(with summaries from BookLetters)
 When the Stars Go Blue
by Caridad Ferrer

Dance is Soledad Reyes's life. About to graduate from Miami's Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.

But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds, not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.

by Jen Bryant

In this modern-day resetting of the story on which the opera, Carmen, was based, four teens tell of half-gypsy Carmen, who believes she will become a famous singer, military cadet Ryan's passion for her, and their best friends' efforts to protect them both.

by Walter Dean Myers
Into the summer heat of New York's Spanish Harlem strides Carmen, a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets. When she first meets José, she falls for him hard. He's not like the gansta types she knows, tipo duros who are tough, who think they are players. But José has a quick temper, and he likes to get his own way. And nobody gets in Carmen's way.

When Escamillo rolls into town, everyone takes notice of the Latino Jay-Z,a quadruple-threat singer/rapper/producer/businessman. But he only notices one person, Carmen. And Carmen has given up on José, he's not going to get her out of her tough neighborhood, el barrio, and into the action. Escamillo will.

But José won't let that happen.Passion, love, and betrayal explode into tragedy in this modern retelling of an enduring love story.

And, to leave you, an orange singing some Carmen. Because, how could we not include it?

So, do you think the Opera will move you to pick up these new titles?

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