There are many connections that can be made in the classroom with The
Maze. Some spin off subjects from the book include runaways, foster
home care, condors, and wildlife conservation. Teachers should look
over the Louisville Free Public Librarys web page (www.ifpl.org).
It has a book discussion kit that can be checked out from the web site.
The author, Will Hobbs, was a teacher for seventeen years. His web site,
has a section of helps for teachers to use with his books. Some that
are included for The Maze are for science regarding condor reintroduction
done in Arizona. See the field notes of Birds of Prey Around the World
Students can make a geography connection through AAA Indian Country
map. The map includes places found in the book including Maze Overview
and Chimney Rock. Research can be done on Utahs Canyonlands National
Park where the book takes place. The ancient story of the Icarus myth
comes up in the book. This makes a good springboard into a section on
myths in Language Arts or Social Studies.
**Evaluation Notes for Teachers and Librarians** -- High praise for
''Once there was a great teacher. She lived and taught in a poor, rough
inner- city neighborhood, in a school riddled with gang activity and
challenge. But the teacher was not afraid. Her classroom ran smoothly
and kids listened. While crime and violence surrounded her, she and
her property were safe. Students, from the past and present, placed
the word on the street: Do NOT mess with Teacher. She was
protected by love. I asked her how she was successful, how she broke
through walls. I expected a long explanation but she explained simply:
Respect. I respect these kids and so they respect and trust me."''
My thoughts turned to this teacher as I read The Maze; the story
holds the same powerful message. Protagonist Ricka boy floundering
in his life, on the brink of bigger problemsis able to lift himself
to another "level." Stranger Lon facilitates this transformation.
Although Lon knows nothing about Rick, he is nonjudgmental and offers
Rick friendship and trusta respect Rick responds to by being truthful,
helpful and caring. Rick rises out of his personal maze empowered and
ready to confront life.
Students will enjoy the excitement and adventure in this tale. Hobbs
writes in an easy-going style and vividly describes nature and hang
gliding. Teens will identify with Ricks thoughts and frustrations.
There are big lessons to be learned here, too. Readers discover:
- hope in unlikely places
- not all people are bad
- the importance of having the right attitude
- the payoffs of effort
- mistakes are not the end
To encourage a lifelong love of reading, it is importantbut difficultto
try to find books that teens find interesting. The Maze was selected
from a list of titlesby studentsas a book they wanted to
read. Furthermore, The Maze is a critically acclaimed book:
Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association
Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA)
Pick of the Lists, American Booksellers
Nominated for Edgar Allan Poe Award, Best Young Adult Mystery
Teachers Choices, International Reading Association (IRA)
Junior Library Guild Selection
In addition to these awards, school librarians should note there is
a hero-librarian at the detention center in whom Rick places his trust
and who comes to his aid at the end of the book!
About the Book | Booktalk
| Students' Voices | Curriculum
Connections | About