The Double Helix (by Nancy Werlin). With this download you will get a guided reading packet which includes areas for students to complete information about the main characters, chapter summaries (chunked to coincide with story line information), complete four reflection questions, and choose one of three essays to complete. There are areas for you/student to fill in the due dates for each chapter assignments as well.
This is a great addition to any English or Biology class. It touches on the topics of genetics, ethics, and provides writing across the curriculum (would even be a great cross-curricular activity). It's an easy read that provides the suspense and romance of a traditional YA Novel, yet provides some fascinating scientific background and story. Your students will love this book (or at least not grumble quite as much)!
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Book Review (sciencethrillers.com):
Double Helix is a young adult novel (target audience: 13-18 years old). At its core, this book is a science mystery with thriller elements. It’s the first YA book I’ve reviewed at ScienceThrillers.com; the title caught my eye when I was browsing the library stacks with my daughter. It was a fortuitous discovery. Molecular biology, or more specifically, advanced reproductive technologies and genetic engineering, are foundational to the plot but are not intrusive in the story. Though the author is not a scientist, she consulted well with experts to create a factually sound scenario. This book could be used as a starting point for discussions about bioethics.
Like much fiction for adolescents, most of the pages in Double Helix are about relationships, character, and various challenges that transform the main character into an adult. Eli Samuels is a tortured, sympathetic, well-developed protagonist with some unusual traits (he’s very tall and very smart) and some serious problems (he lacks ambition, his mother is institutionalized, and his relationship with his father is broken). He makes poor choices out of fear and selfishness.
From the first pages of this novel, the reader is propelled forward by questions about Eli’s connection to Dr. Wyatt (questions Eli himself cannot answer), about Eli’s strained relationship with his father, and about what is wrong with Eli’s mother. Some of these questions linger until the climax at the very end of the story, keeping the pages turning.