Monday, November 25, 2013

Breakfast On Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays

Edited by Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe
Published by Roaring Book Press
Copyright © 2013
Review by Anthony Kendrick

Ah Essays, a student’s arch-enemy; the bane of their existence. The most boring of boring school assignments. Students are forever being given assignments on social/community issues like - “Many people believe that television violence has a negative effect on society because it promotes violence. Do you agree or disagree?” – or – “According to some people, elderly drivers should be required to reapply for their driving licenses because with age comes diminished vision, hearing, and reaction time. How do you feel about this issue?” While these essays serve a purpose they certainly aren’t very interesting.

“Breakfast on Mars” turns the same old essay assignment on its side. Stern & Wolfe have compiled essays from 37 authors who write on fun and interesting topics such as: the existence of Sasquatch, Donkey Kong: the real victim, meeting penguins in Antarctica, The quandary of the morality of puss in boots, and many more.

While the essay types will always remain the same the essay prompts in this book are simple and a bit broad allowing for the greatest fun, interest, and creativity. Some examples are: “Pick a myth or an urban legend and argue why it must be true”, “Put yourself in the shoes of a villain and write an essay from his or her perspective”, or “If you could change an event in history, which one would you choose and why?”

This book is a great resource for teachers and students alike. Teachers can make quick use of the Essay Type and Essay Prompt Indices in the back of the book to find prompts to assign along with good examples of that sort of essay, and students will be happy to have the essay shackles loosened. Readers in general will enjoy this book for the creativity, personal insights, and occasional laughs found within.

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