Author Feature-Gail Giles



Spirit of Texas Reading Program-High School

Featured Author

Gail Giles 

Gail Giles

Right Behind You

Gail Giles is the author of six young adult novels, including her debut novel, Shattering Glass, which was an ALA Best of the Best Book. What Happened to Cass McBride? was an ALA Best of the Best Book, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a Top Ten Quick Pick.  Mrs. Giles has also been on YART’s Taysha’s Reading List for the following books: Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, Playing in Traffic, Right Behind You, Shattering Glass, and What Happened to Cass McBride?.



 

Find her on the web:

Speeches by Gail Giles
About Me
Frequently Asked Questions
Interviews

Reviews for Right Behind You by Gail Giles


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Book Trailer

 



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Academic Programs

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Introduction

These activities are designed to allow classroom teachers to connect the classroom experience to the library related activities. The activities will align with current TEKS and grade level expectations of grades 9-12 in multiple subject areas. This is directed more at the classroom teacher and school librarians.

Brief Description of Each Activity

Activity One – Narrative Writing (TAKS)—see below

Students will write an essay based on a time that they kept a guilty secret from people they cared about, or a time when they felt in need of forgiveness. This essay should be 2 pages in length.

TEKS:

  • ELA 11th ---13A, 13D, 13E, 14A, 17B, 18A, 19A, 20A
  • ELA 11th AP--13A, 13D, 13E, 14A, 17B, 18A, 19A, 20A

Activity Two – Research All Levels

This will be a research project to explore the concepts of guilt and forgiveness or water and fire in various world religions.

TEKS :           

  • ELA 9th – 10A, 13A,13B, 13C, 13D, 13E, 16A, 16B, 16D, 16E, 17C, 18A, 18B, 19, 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 21C, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23A, 23C, 23D, 23E
  • ELA 10th – 13A, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13E, 15A, 16A, 16B, 16C, 16D, 16E, 18A, 18B, 19, 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 21C, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23A, 23B, 23C, 23D, 23E
  • ELA 11th – 13A,13B, 13C 13D, 13E, 15C, 16A, 16B, 16C,16D, 16E, 18, 19, 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 21C, 22B, 22C, 23A, 23B, 23C, 23D, 23E
  • ELA 12TH – 13A, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13E, 15C, 16A, 16B, 16C, 16D, 16E, 17A, 17B, 18, 19, 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 21C, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23A, 23B, 23C
  • World Geography –5A, 15B, 16B, 17A,

Activity Three – Grade 10

Students will write a three page symbolism analysis paper of a common object. It should include the following:

  • A topic sentence that names an object and what it symbolizes.
  • Possible interpretations for the symbol.
  • Relate the object's symbolism to the life of someone else.

TEKS:

  • ELA 10th- 7, 15 A

Activity Four- Public Speaking I,II, III, and IV

Students will choose one of the following issues to debate. They will be required to research and prepare to speak on both sides of the issue. On the day of the presentation assign which side of the argument students will be presenting giving them 15 minutes to prep.

TEKS:

  • Public Speaking- 1F, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E, 5F, 5G

Professional Resources

List of TEKS (Texas  Essential Knowledge and Skills)

Activity One - Narrative Writing

Students will write an essay based on a time that they kept a guilty secret from people they cared about, or a time when they felt in need of forgiveness. This essay should be 2 pages in length.

“Students think about Kip/Wade and Sam. Think about all the things they have done and who they could ask for forgiveness. Do you have a secret or feel guilty for something that youhave done or said to someone? It could have been in the heat of an argument, some type of revenge you took out on someone, or maybe someone was affected by your poor choices: such as skipping school, being out after curfew, or hanging out with the wrong friend or friends.

Write a 2-page essay with a thesis statement, explanation of the your secret or guilt, who you would ask for forgiveness, and how would this make someone else feel better or make yourself feel better.

Activity Two - Research All Levels

This will be a research project to explore the concepts of water and fire in various world religions.

Directions:

  • Have students choose which religion they would like to explore such as: Hebrew- word for heavens, shamayim, is comprised of two words, aish (fire) and mayim (water); Christian- fiery gates of hell and the redemption of baptism; Chinese- yin and yang; Hindu- Agni is the God of Fire who rises from water; Buddhism- Shinnyo-en fire and water ceremony
  • Students will use 3 sources for their topics.
  • They will cite their sources using MLA or another style manual depending on your school’s requirements. You can use online citations engines like SLATE or Word References tab to aide in your teaching of citations.
  • Students will take notes from their sources based on the sub topics:
    • Origins – country/area, dates, and origin of the religious belief for fire and water
    • Powers of water and fire as believed in the chosen religion.
    • Weaknesses/strengths as believed in the chosen religion.
    • Current societal beliefs, events, or celebrations
    • Differences between two religion’s beliefs (Optional)

Make sure the students use parenthetical documentation (or whatever internal documentation is required by your style manual if not using MLA). So when students take notes they will need to have page numbers if the information is from a book.

  • Students will also need to find an image or pictures (cite these also with at least the website name) for their title page.
  • Using the information and pictures gathered students will write a 3-page research paper
  • The student will need to produce a thesis for his/her paper.
  • A “Works Cited”  page should be included.
Activity Three - Grade 10

Students will write a two-page symbolism analysis paper of a common object.  Students will pick a common object that they will use to symbolize an idea.  Students could choose an object that is very personal to them such as a piece of jewelry or a national symbol such as the American flag.

It should include the following:

  • A topic sentence that names an object and what it symbolizes.
  • Possible interpretations for the symbol.
  • Relate the object’s symbolism to the life of someone else.
  • A visual image or drawing should be included.
Activity Four – Public Speaking I,II, III, and IV

Students will choose one of the following issues to debate. They will be required to research and prepare to speak on both sides of the issue. On the day of the presentation, you will assign which side of the argument students will be presenting giving them 15 minutes to prepare for the speech.

  • What Kip did was evil.
  • Kip has atoned for his crime.
  • Guilt saved Wade.
  • A child should be held accountable for his actions.
  • Some crimes can’t be forgiven.
  • Forgive and forget.
  • Two damaged people shouldn’t be together.
  • Wade’s best friend had a right to tell his secret.
  • Kip is a victim.

The oral debate needs to include:

  • Introduction stating which side of the argument you are presenting.
  • Present 3-examples or supporting statements for your position using text from the book to support your stand on the concept.
  • Support at least one of your positions with an outside source: newspaper article, magazine articles, or research.
  • Debunk each of your opponent’s points using text from the book or research to counter their position.
  • Create a persuasive conclusion that will reiterate your position.


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Fire and Water Magic Show

Download printable copy of program

Introduction

Author, Gail Giles, uses fire and water to symbolize destruction and redemption. She combines the physical and metaphysical powers of these elements in her book Right Behind You. This program explores the physical relationship of fire and water connecting it to the book and the main characters’ feeling in the book. Below are program ideas to help explore and develop a better understanding of these powers.

The Powers of Fire and Water Magic Show

Option One- Hire a local magician. Take a look at the Texas Association of Magicians to locate one in your neighborhood.

Option Two- Perform your own “Power of Fire and Water Magic Show”.  Below are several tricks and experiments that you can do for your show

Water Tricks and Experiments

Strength of Water

Wade/Kip and Sam at times appear to be flowing like water through life, but together they see their strengths and grow stronger. Water in its liquid state appears to be weak, but can easily become strong under the right conditions.

List of Supplies

  • 1 Bucket (Metal works best)
  • 1Bag of Ice!
  • Thermometer
  • Salt
  • 3, ½ liter plastic bottles of mineral water
  • Glass Bowl
  • A Few Ice Cubes

PROCESS:
Take three sealed ½ liter plastic bottles of mineral water.  Place them all in your bucket.  Pour in a bag of ice. Add some tap water.  The lids of the bottles should be sticking out the top of the ice/water mixture so they are easy to handle without freezing your fingers.  Make it salty! Pour 25 oz of salt into the bucket.  Move the bottles around so they are evenly placed amongst the ice, salt and water.  If you have a thermometer place it gently into the bucket.  Let the bucket sit for 30-45 mins. Check the temperature and turn the gently turn the bottles so that they super cool evenly.  When your thermometer reads anything from 32 degrees F. The other indication that it's ready is a layer of ice on the outside of the bucket (if using a metal bucket).  Gently remove one of the bottles.  Place a few ice cubes in a glass bow. Gently open the lid of your super cooled bottle of water. Slowly pour it onto the ice in the bowl.

EXPLANATION:
The liquid water should turn to ice as soon as it makes contact with ice cubes in the bowl. This means that you should be able to produce a tower of ice as you keep pouring.

OR

Turn the bottle on its side. Swing it lightly back and then BANG it against a wall or table.

EXPLANATION:
The bottle you banged against the wall or table should rapidly become one large ice block. You should be able to see the colour change as ice spreads down the bottle.

Adapted from:
Bang Goes the Theory

Additional Resource: Urlesque- 15 Coolest Water Tricks- Supercooled Water

How Many Lies?

When Wade/Kip moves to Indiana, he must create lies about his past. How are each of these lies adding to his emotional well-being and stability? (As you put in each coin relate it to the lies he told)

List of Supplies

  • 10 to 12 Quarters or 20-30 Pennies
  • Glass full of water

PROCESS:
The glass should be filled to the very rim, with a slightly convex shape to the surface of the liquid.  Slowly, and with a steady hand, bring the coins one at a time to the center of the glass.  Place the narrow edge of the coin in the water and let go. (This minimizes disruption to the surface and avoids forming unnecessary waves that can cause overflow.)

EXPLANATION:
As you continue with more coins, the water will become more convex on top of the glass and will not overflow. The number of coins needed increases due to the volume of each coin.

Adapted from:
Surface Tension Physics Experiments & Tricks by Andrew Zimmerman Jones, About.com Guide

Additional Resource: Cool Physics Videos


Will it Hold?

We are often pressured by our friends and family, can you think of ways that Wade/Kip and Sam are pressured by people?

List of Supplies

  • 1Clear Glass
  • Tap Water
  • Piece of Paper(size of paper depends on size of glass)

PROCESS:
Fill glass about ½ way with tap water.  Place the paper over the top of the glass pressing down on the rim to seal the bottom.  Turn glass upside down. Do experiment with paper and glass size. Too large of a piece of paper will not work.

EXPLANATION:
The force from the atmospheric pressure holds the card up and the low pressure zone in the glass prevents the water’s weight from pushing the card down.

Additional Resources:
Physics Central
Dynamic Science

Fire Tricks and Experiments

*Please make sure your library permits the use of fire before trying any of the experiments below.*

Flamed by Rumors
Rumors travel really fast on any school campus. Do you think it travels like this flame?

List of Supplies

  • 1Candle
  • 1Lighter or matches

PROCESS:
Light the candle.  Blow out the candle.  Relight the candle by placing the flame in the smoke trail.

EXPLANATION:
The smoke trail contains carbon dioxide, water, light, and heat which can be reignited with a new flame source.

Additional Resource:
Candle Fire Science Magic Trick posted by futsang



Wade’s Accelerant
Sometimes all we need is a little fuel or accelerant to inflame us. What was the fuel for Wade/Kip?

List of Supplies

  • Several different citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine.)
  • Flame- candle, matches, lighter

PROCESS:
Peel off a strip of citrus fruit.  Snap the peel between your fingers, peel side toward the flame.  You want to squirt a tiny amount of oil from the peel or rind toward the flame.


EXPLANATION:
The oil from citrus fruits is volatile and flammable. When you squeeze the oil out of the fruit peel it vaporizes enough that you can catch it on fire.

Additional Resource:
Citrus Flames Project

Fire & Water Tricks and Experiments

What’s Hanging Over Your Shoulder?
Do you ever feel like there is a cloud hanging over your shoulder? What does it include?  We are going to create a cloud in a bottle that is a combination of dust, smoke, and other particles.

List of Supplies

  • 2 liter clear plastic soda bottle
  • Matches
  • warm water

PROCESS:
Fill the clear plastic 2-liter bottle one-third full of warm water and place the cap on.  As warm water evaporates, it adds water vapor to the air inside the bottle. This is the first ingredient to make a cloud.
Squeeze and release the bottle and observe what happens.  You’ll notice that nothing happens. Why? The squeeze represents the warming that occurs in the atmosphere.  The release represents the cooling that occurs in the atmosphere.  If the inside of the bottle becomes cover with condensation or water droplets, just shake the bottle to get rid of them.  Take the cap off the bottle.  Carefully light a match and hold the match near the opening of the bottle.  Then blow out the match and place the smoke close to the bottle top then quickly put on the cap, trapping the little bit of smoke inside.  Dust, smoke or other particles in the air is the second ingredient to make a cloud.  Once again, slowly squeeze the bottle hard and release. A cloud appears when you release and disappears when you squeeze. The third ingredient in clouds is a drop in air pressure.

EXPLANATION:
Water vapor, water in its invisible gaseous state, can be made to condense into the form of small cloud droplets. By adding particles such as the smoke enhances the process of water condensation and by squeezing the bottle causes the air pressure to drop. This creates a cloud.

Adapted from The Weather Wiz Kids

Additional Resource:
Urlesque- 15 Coolest Water Tricks- Making a Cloud in a Bottle

Water Rising
Gail Giles uses the power of fire to destroy and the powers of water to redeem, is there a time when the two can work together?

List of Supplies

  • 1Saucer/Small Plate
  • 2Wooden Matches
  • 1quarter
  • 1Glass of Colored Water (Choose a color that can be seen from a distance or contrast with the plate or its surrounding.)
  • 1Narrow Glass

PROCESS:
Pour a small amount of the colored water on to the plate.  Bend one of the matches so that you can set it in the water. Secure the match so that it is upright by setting a quarter on the end of the match stick.  Use the second match to light the match that you placed on the plate.  Immediately invert a glass over the burning match.  The colored water will flow into the glass and will remain in the glass even after the match has been extinguished.

EXPLANATION:
The heat of the flame imparts energy to the gas trapped under the glass, raising its pressure and pushing against the water. When the flame is extinguished the air cools. Less pressure is exerted against the water, allowing it to flow into the glass.


Additional Resource:
Steve Spangler Science

Other Activities

What Else Floats on Water and Why?
Wade and Sam sail in the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s explore the ability of other objects that are able to float on water.

SETUP:
Set up a table with a pan of water and several paper clips. Have a laptop with the video Water Striders playing (a link for this can be found under Additional Resources listed below), books from your collection or pictures of insects walking and floating on water.  Post a sign asking teens questions below.

  1. How many paperclips can the surface tension hold?
  2. Does the shape of the paperclip affect its floating ability?
  3. Can the surface tension of water be made stronger? (try sprinkling baby powder on the surface)
  4. Explain how some insects can float on water?

Incentive:
Give away small plastic insects. You can purchase these from Oriental Trading Company


Additional Resources:
Water Striders

Mechanical Engineers and Water Striders


Fire and Water Jewelry
There are colors that represent the idea of fire (hot colors) and water (cool colors). Create a necklace, bracelet, or key ring to signify your feelings.

List of Supplies

  • Beads- you could make your own beads or use found objects for example: water bottle caps
  • Leather String, Elastic String, or Nylon String
  • Key Rings
  • Clasps

PROCESS:
Patrons can choose the item they would like to make, then choose the mood or colors that they would like to represent their feelings.

Additional Resource:
Videojug- How to Make a Beaded Necklace

Cartesian Diver
Turn Wade into a diver for the swim team.

List of Supplies

  • 1 table with the following materials:
  • 1 clear 1 liter plastic soda bottle and cap (collect plastic bottles or ask patrons to bring their own)
  • 1ball point pen cap that does not have holes in it (go through your pens and find caps to dead pens)
  • Some modeling clay to create a head for your diver

PROCESS:
Remove any labels from your bottle.  Fill the bottle to the very top with water.  Create a small head with a piece of modeling clay at the end of the point on the pen cap.  Slowly place the pen cap into the bottle, modeling clay end first. (some water will spill out - that's okay) It should just barely float. If it sinks take some clay away. If it floats too much add more clay.  Now screw on the bottle cap tight.  Squeeze the bottle hard - the pen cap sinks...stop squeezing and the pen cap rises.

EXPLANATION:
This experiment is all about density. When you squeeze the bottle, the air bubble in the pen cap gets smaller and that makes it more dense than the water around it. When this happens, the pen sinks. When you stop squeezing, the bubble gets bigger again, the water is forced out of the cap, and the pen cap rises.

*If the experiment doesn't work: increase or decrease the amount of clay and be sure the bottle is filled to the very top before putting on the cap.

Adapted from:
Science Bob

 

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Wall of True Confessions

Download printable version of program

Introduction

The programs below are designed to be quick and easy to put together for a busy librarian.  The “Wall of True Confessions” interactive display is a great way for teens to express themselves and share their feelings in an anonymous manner.  There are also two themed book displayed described below which can be set up alongside the “Wall of True Confessions” or by themselves.

Interactive Display- “Wall of True Confessions”

List of Supplies

  • Bulletin board, window, display board, or other flat surface
  • Different colored sticky notes
  • Pens
  • Table or other writing surface

Nearby make sure to post a sign stating:

Like Wade and Sam in Right Behind You by Gail Giles, we’ve all done things of which we are ashamed. Guilt can be an overwhelming burden, and can sometimes be eased by confession. This is your chance to tell a stranger and let go of your feelings of shame. Write your true confession(s) on a sticky note and add it to the “Wall of True Confessions”.

You will want to make sure that you make it clear that all posts should remain anonymous and be suitable for all audiences.  It will also be best to frequently monitor the “Wall of True Confessions” so that all posts remain appropriate.  Placing your “Wall of True Confessions” in a teen or adult area would also be a good idea.

In addition to the “Wall of True Confessions” you can also have a display other books where shame and guilt are the theme.  For a list of books like Right Behind You by Gail Giles please look under the Resource Tab at Books to Book Talk and Display.  In this display you could also include information on school, local, and state counseling agencies or hotlines.

“Banned Books Week” Display

Some of Gail Giles books have been challenged or banned.  Banned Books Week is September 30 - October 6, 2012. It’s a perfect time to highlight Mrs. Giles’ and others’ books in a banned books display.

Additional Resources:
Banned Books Week
ALA
Facebook
ABFFE
University of Texas @ Arlington

 “Religion and Fire & Water” Display

Throughout history and in many religions there is a relationship between fire and water, whether it is the “fiery gates of hell” and the baptism, yin and yang, or Shinnyo-en fire and water ceremonies. Fire and Water are considered two of the five elements that make up the world: earth, fire, water, air, and heaven or otherworldly space. Celebrate the richness of each culture by displaying books from a variety of religions highlighting the use of fire and water.

Examples:

  • Hebrew- word for heavens, shamayim, is comprised of two words, aish (fire) and mayim (water)
  • Christian- fiery gates of hell and the redemption of baptism
  • Chinese- yin and yang
  • Hindu- Agni is the God of Fire who rises from water
  • Buddhism- Shinnyo-en fire and water ceremony

Additonal Resources:
Religion Facts
Sacred Texts
Religious Tolerance

In addition, you could also pull quotes from Gail Giles’ Right Behind You where fire or water play a significant part and intermingle those on nice pieces of cardstock among the books on display.


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Created on Sep 6, 2012 | Last updated July 15, 2015