Jason & Kyra by Dana Davidson


New York, New York. Jump at the Sun Hyperion. 2004.

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Synopsis:
Jason Vincent is the star of Cross High’s basketball team, and the most popular guy at school. A+ student Kyra Evans is not so popular. Usually, these two would live in their own separate worlds. However, when they are partners in a class project, things begin to change. Kyra soon realizes that Jason is not the dumb jock she thought he was. And Jason finds himself opening up to Kyra; telling her things he’s never told anyone before.

As the two become friends and eventually start to fall in love, no one in school can believe it--especially not Jason's ex, who is determined to break them up. Being together means navigating the obstacles that are coming their way-- but staying apart may be impossible.


Recommendations for Teachers

Jason & Kyra is a great book to read at the secondary level. The point of view is consistent and is easily understandable for any young reader. The plot in this book is both intriguing and captivating, which is very important for high school English students. The characters are down to earth, and go through many of the social problems that most young adult readers will experience, or have experienced themselves. The book tackles teen romance, teen and parent relationships/communication, stereotyping, cliques, narcissism, handling peer pressure, acceptance, and overcoming social values within a typical American high school. This book could assist any student reader to create new meaning in their life as a teenager.

There are two things specifically that need to be taken in to consideration when teaching this book: this book has some informational text in between statements made by the characters that makes some conversations difficult to follow, and there are slang terms in the text that may only have meaning to those who are aware of them in real life.


About Dana Davidson

D
ana Daviddana_davidson.jpgson is an English teacher at Cass Technical High School, one of Detroit's premier schools for gifted and talented students. As an educator and alumna of Cass Tech, Davidson fully understands the culture of Cass Tech students, with Cass (Cross in the book) being the setting for Jason and Kyra as well as her new young adult novel, Played. Though she tries her best not to be "preachy" in her texts, she creates her stories in ways that cause her readers to think about the actions of her characters so that they may consider their own actions when faced with similar situations. Davidson says, "High school is a secret society that few adults are able to understand because each generation's society differs from another's. I'm glad to be able to be a welcomed foreigner in my students society and be able to create a window through which the world may view it."

Though Davidson's short stories and novels have gained exposure and popularity, Davidson never aspired to be a writer, but a teacher. Davidson was the recipient of the Newsweek/WDIV Outstanding Teacher Award and says that her main goal is to equip her English classes with the tools and skills that they need in order to be successful in college. "I like to write," she says, "but it's only a hobby and comes second to the joy that I feel when students tell me how something that I taught them helped them in the future." Davidson is currently generating ideas for a third young adult novel which will also take place at the legendary Cass Technical High School.

Multimedia


A book talk about Jason & Kyra.


A Slideshow of the city of Detroit, where the story takes place.


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Cass Tech A.K.A. "Cross Tech" in Jason & Kyra


Additional Resources:

More From Dana Davidson
Cass Tech (The High School Cross Tech was based on)
Domestic Abuse Hotline
More About Domestic Violence

This review was created by Santana Aker, Lamia Ghannam, Sierra Holmes, Kierra Jones, and Kate Pillsbury.