Denton Little’s Deathdate
Written by Lance Rubin
Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days–the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle–as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure–see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Primary Source Pairing:
The story of Denton Little is one that the reader voyeuristically and vicariously lives during the reading experience, all the while thinking about whether or not that deathdate would want to be known. Would you want to know? This unique story by Lance Rubin has been published in the UK and translated into German and Italian. For this primary source pairing, invite students to take a look at the book covers of these other translations. As readers, we do judge books by their cover. How do the covers of the same book influence your interpretation of the book or your interest in reading it?
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice about the similarities between the three book covers?
- What do you notice about the differences between the three book covers?
- If you were to design a book cover for this book, what plot elements would you include?
- Which of these book covers do you think most adequately represents the story of Denton Little?
- Which of these book covers makes you want to read the book? Does any book cover make you not want to read the book?