Davidson, Dana 1967-
DAVIDSON, Dana 1967-
PERSONAL: Born 1967; children: two.
CAREER: Lewis Cass Technical High School, Detroit, MI, English teacher.
AWARDS, HONORS: Outstanding Teacher Award, Newsweek/WDIV-TV, 2001.
Jason and Kyra, Jump at the Sun (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Dana Davidson teaches English at Lewis Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, and her job-site serves as the model for the school in her young-adult novel Jason and Kyra. In the novel readers meet Jason Vincent, a star basketball player at Cross High School who knows he can have his pick of any girl in the school as a girlfriend. Surprisingly, it is sweet, brainy, and sexually inexperienced Kyra Evans who wins Jason's heart after the two are paired for a class project. Kyra's warm family life is also attractive to the young man; it provides a stability unmatched by his own. The tension level in Davidson's love story rises when Jason's jealous former girlfriend, the beautiful but shallow Lisa, hatches a plan to break up the new relationship.
Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman felt that Jason and Kyra is too long and found "tiresome" the frequent references to what characters are wearing. However, "the turnaround is tense," the critic added, "and teens won't be able to stop reading until Jason and Kyra are back in a loving embrace." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "other story lines advance the narrative too, such as Kyra's dedication to her project for a Westinghouse-like national science competition." RaNeeka J. Claxton, reviewing Davidson's fiction debut for the Michigan Chronicle, wrote that the novel "focuses on the teen who is goal-oriented, motivated academically, and upper-middle class, the type of literature that is generally overlooked. Jason and Kyra is a light, entertaining, and romantic read," the critic added, noting that the novel "has just enough juice to make one keep reading."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Black Issues Book Review, July-August, 2004, Erica O. Dolland, review of Jason and Kyra, p. 60.
Booklist, June 1, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Jason and Kyra, p. 1715.
Detroit Free Press, December 26, 2004, Cassandra Spratling, "Where are They Now? Teacher's Novel Speaks to Young Women."
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2004, review of Jason and Kyra, p. 489.
Michigan Chronicle, September 1, 2004, RaNeeka J. Claxton, review of Jason and Kyra, p. D2.
Publishers Weekly, June 7, 2004, review of Jason and Kyra, p. 51.
School Library Journal, July, 2004, Karen Hoth, review of Jason and Kyra, p. 104.