Despite the Buzz

Despite the Buzz

4.75 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.75 (16 ratings by Goodreads)

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DESPITE THE BUZZ is a cautionary tale concerning tech's toll, an artfully designed human interest story about learning, relationships, and wellbeing. A motivated new teacher raises awareness about screen use inside her Reflective Writing class, but she doesn't realize there's danger lurking.

Contemporary communication dramatically impacts the learning environment, identity formation, and charged emotions of high school students in the story. When an intimate act is shared over social media, an inciting incident demonstrates that the potential in our pockets could be lethal.

Can Miss Gabby Oliver protect her students? Who survives the traumatic turn of events? Wait for the twist! Get to know the characters. Consider the possibilities.

From Chicago and new to California, Gabby considers her life's timing unique-on the cusp of technology's cutting edge, yet reminiscent of a time before the Internet dominated. She dares to date a coworker, their schoolyard romance tested by today's cyber world. Meanwhile, Gabby manages to stay connected with her deceased mother by way of hopeful handwritten letters. Inside Miss Oliver's room, a research assignment looks at language, modes of persuasion, and topical issues from distinct teenage perspectives. Inspired by historic figures, students detail their pressing concerns to the president.

This colorful novel, set pre-pandemic, depicts demands upon teachers due to class size, special needs, language barriers, gender sensitivity, gun threats, cell phones, and the challenge of holding students' attention. By providing understanding to those who grew up before and after current trends, this insightful book could build rapport among members from different schools of thought. A variety of people will relate to feelings of digital distraction and modern-day accountability. The story is suited for mature readers ages sixteen and up.

Despite the Buzz is educational, existential, and exciting! A mix of narrative elements makes it an engaging read!
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Product details

  • Paperback | 354 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19mm | 472g
  • English
  • 1736372203
  • 9781736372203

Review quote

Despite the Buzz captures the contemporary essence of our ever-evolving technology ensconced classrooms. Ms. Davis captivates a broad audience with her witty and succinct observations of daily events reflected through universal themes. A quick read and terrific resource for parents, students, and educators to communicate with compassion and savvy. Everyone will be richer with this bright and diverse spectrum of humanity!

- Deby L. Tygell, Educator, Sign Language Interpreter, Environmental and Social-Justice Activist, Artists in the Classroom Coordinator

Tamara Davis has taken on a monumental issue of our time she deftly uses the characters and this story to highlight some of the biggest challenges facing youth and our culture today. Tamara's persistent and diligent commitment to bring this conversation forward for our children and their mental health is truly heartfelt and inspiring.

- Katherine McClelland, author of Power Coupling: Coming Together, podcast co-host of Two Gals Soul School

Tamara Davis' new novel Despite the Buzz takes us inside a modern high school English class to reveal a range of developing personalities. We get to know our protagonist - new teacher Gabby Oliver - as she attempts to reconcile the reality of today's social media with the richness of classic literature. Meanwhile, she learns a great deal about herself.

Davis demonstrates the immense impact of social media's lure on impressionable young people. This book explores not only the worst examples of technology's influence on those generations but also the surprising positives as well. This is a cautionary tale about the extremes of social media's impact on young minds.

- David Wilk, author of 2 novels and 15 biographical books

With Despite the Buzz, Tamara Miller Davis brings us into a world that anyone who has spent time in front of a classroom can recognize. Through the eyes of her passionate protagonist, Gabby Oliver, we lose ourselves in a school where pain collides with privilege, where disabilities bring new possibilities, and where everyone has to adapt to the onslaught of technology. Though she's new at this game, Gabby has enough confidence in herself, dedication for her students, and love for the world to take it all on.

- Sean Carswell, college professor and author of Madhouse Fog

As adults, we struggle with the tough issues of screens, social media, gun violence, and other matters affecting our world. Rarely are we given a realistic day-to-day glimpse of how these topics affect our youth. Despite the Buzz is an intimate view of how these issues influence our children through the lens of a new high school teacher. If you stay up on current events, this book is for you. Happy reading!

- Randi Harvey, author of The Core Series & The Bone Gatherers, TV Personality on HSN
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Rating details

4.75 out of 5 stars
- 16 ratings
5 81% (13)
4 12% (2)
3 6% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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