I am pleased to introduce this guide to teaching and studying the educational novel Crossed Signals.
The questions and exercises contained in the guide are designed to work in two ways. On a customary level, they ensure that students read the text thoughtfully and improve their language skills. Additionally – and most importantly – they stimulate class debate and reflection on the vital issues faced by fifteen-year-old Melanie as she struggles to accept her mother’s chronic illness. I have seen for myself in classroom discussions how both teachers and students quickly identify the problems we all face sooner or later, and with which none of us should be left alone. The story focuses the clear light of day on these unspoken issues and dispels the fear that all too often leads to tragic inaction and defeat.
Crossed Signals is provocative and true to life. It does not patronize young readers with false hope or fairy-tale endings, and yet it is a story of hope. My intention and fervent desire is to encourage young people to understand the meaning of personal development. I have been fortunate to witness the response of many young people as they realize that such inner effort bears a rich fruit that enhances all success in school, at work and in the world at large.
Although I have drawn freely on my own experience, the story is not biographical. It is a crafted work based on my personal mission to promote the value of communication, dialogue and awareness, and in particular the incredible power of compassion and hope.
I welcome all questions, suggestions and feedback that support this mission and encourage both teachers and students to communicate with me via the links at www.courey.com.