Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue
Written by Cath Crowley

Publisher’s Summary:
Teenagers Rachel and Henry find their way back to each other while working in an old bookstore full of secrets and crushes, love letters and memories, grief, and hope.

Primary Source Pairing:
Not only is Words in Deep Blue a love story between people, but it is also a love story of books. In Rachel’s utter darkness after the loss of her beloved brother, books bring her back to the light. In Henry’s quest to find himself, books show him he knew who he was all along. In George’s search for love and validation, books show her to love herself first. Words in Deep Blue is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. The story leaves you feeling nostalgic for all the books you’ve read and those you still want to read. The concept of the letter library screams primary source analysis! For this primary source analysis, invite students to study an image of the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” written in Sharpie. An ode to the power of a handwritten message, this image connects to Henry’s love of the text, the letter library, and the power a shared message can have.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • How much of the text can you read? What does it say?
  • What do you see that looks strange or unfamiliar?
  • How are the words arranged?
  • What do you notice about the surface on which the writing appears?
  • What other details can you see?
  • What do you think was happening when it was created?
  • Make a connection with what you see in the image and something you read in the book Words in Deep Blue.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock written in Sharpie photograph: Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr. Shared with a Creative Commons license.