On My Bookshelf: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

November 14, 2016

In Anna and the French Kiss, Anna is sent to a boarding school in Paris for her senior school of high school. At first, Anna struggles to adjust to life in another country (she doesn't even speak French!), but slowly builds friendships that ease her homesickness. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

Why I liked it: Anna and the French Kiss is a light read, which is refreshing amongst some of the darker, more serious young adult literature that is currently popular. Its title made me a little nervous about it being a romance novel, but it wasn't. Like and love are certainly central to the book, but it was not overly sexual and focused more on all kinds of relationships, which I found realistic. The friendships that were formed, strained, severed, and repaired were all believable.

The teenage characters, especially the protagonist, Anna,
In Anna and the French Kiss, Anna is sent to a boarding school in Paris for her senior school of high school. At first, Anna struggles to adjust to life in another country (she doesn't even speak French!), but slowly builds friendships that ease her homesickness. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
were relatable. Her thoughts and actions reminded me of myself and many of my girlfriends in our high school years. She made mistakes, judgements, assumptions, and poor choices because of misunderstandings and lack of communication. Despite her missteps, I found myself rooting for things to work out with Anna and her crush Etienne.

Classroom application: Anna is sent to a boarding school in a foreign country for her senior year of high school. A fun assignment would be to have students research other boarding schools and then create a presentation of the school they would love to attend, sharing information about the school's structure, courses, cultural surroundings, etc.

Anna is a film buff hoping to one day become a film critic. After studying the structure of a film review, have students view and review one of the films mentioned in the novel.

The novel, set in Paris, would also be fun to have students read in a French class. Students could discuss cultural differences between Parisians and Americans and research the landmarks  mentioned in the book.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Anna and the French Kiss for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:



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