Monthly Archives: March 2014

Speak-Laurie Halse Anderson

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I had read many great reviews about Anderson’s novel, “Speak” so my expectations were pretty high for this book.  Although I do think it’s a good book, I don’t think it’s great. There is a very big issue that is being dealt with in this novel, and that is the sexual violation of a young girl.  Many parents may not want their teenager reading this book because of the issue that it deals with, but I think that teenagers would eat this book up.  It’s so personal and real of a story that kids can drink it up and makes them want to pick up  another book just like it.  

It was a well written story, definitely something to model my own writing on, but I just can’t fall in love with this book.  I have never been in a situation like that, but I do understand how hard it is to reach out and talk to someone.  It’s hard to feel trust for people when you can hardly trust yourself.  The reason this book didn’t sell for me, though, is the way that the main character deals with the problem.  I know it’s hard, but it just seemed to drag on for me.  I was getting bored and tired of reading about the pain she was in.  However, issues like these are confusing and real, and I believe that our future students should be allowed to read this book, just because the realness it holds.  Kids don’t need to read fiction all the time, they need something real, something that will help prepare them for the real world that we live in right now.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian- Sherman Alexie

Image I absolutely loved this book! Loved the illustrations, loved the story, loved all of it! It was beautifully written, and illustrations captured the humor just as the words did.  My youngest brother, Wyatt, likes to read, but he hates required reading.  He is a little like me in my taste of books; he likes fantasy.  Books like “The Hobbit” and “The Inheritance Cycle” are right down our alley.  Sherman Alexie’s book, Part Time Indian, is a story that Wyatt will love, even though it doesn’t fit in the category we usually read.  He would love it and if I get the chance to this summer, I will sit down and read it with him. 

I will have this book in my classroom library, I can see tons of students reading this book.  It deals with real life problems, problems that I haven’t really experienced, but Alexie writes it in a way that I felt like I was there and suffering along with his main character. 

It is a beautiful book that I highly recommend to anyone and everyone!  If you haven’t read it, go to the library, pick up this book and read it.  Now!

Ash- Malinda Lo

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Ash, the lesbian Cinderella.  Honestly, I still don’t know how to feel about this book.  It’s been weeks since I’ve put this book down and I still don’t know how to feel about it.  I am a fantasy novel lover, but this one didn’t quite hit home for me.  I thought the writing was beautiful, definitely something to model my own writing on, but the story itself wasn’t that great for me. 

My favorite part of the book and the character, Ash, is that she does things her way, no matter what.  No one can put her down or force her to do things a way that she doesn’t want to.  I guess I liked the fairies, but for the longest time I didn’t understand their purpose in the story.  I ended up rooting for Sidhean, the male fairy, but alas, Ash falls for the huntress instead. 

All in all, not my favorite fantasy novel but I did like the unexpected ending.  I like that the author took a well known story and twisted it to fit her own ideas.  It was an interesting story, just not my favorite.

August 24, 2013

This is a piece I’ve been thinking about sharing, but am still cautious so I thought I might post it on my blog with the view people I share this cite with to see what others think about it. Here it goes:

Instead of feeling a sense of fulfillment, I feel a lack of purpose.
Overwhelmed and alone in a crowd of people who can help but don’t know how.
Indistinguishable tunes, echoes through empty hallways.
It’s becoming harder and harder not to think about it, about pain.
And most of all, ending the pain.
Forever.

“A Wreath for Emmett Till”-Marilyn Nelson

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To prove how utterly sheltered and ignorant I am, I had no idea who Emmett Till was until I read this book. That being said, I absolutely loved the style of this book! The only sonnets that had stuck in my mind before reading this book were some of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Nelson’s sonnets were amazing, vivid, and will stay in my mind just like Shakespeare’s.

I found this book beautifully disturbing, and the illustrations matched the sonnets in this sense. They were beautiful and shocking. It is a truly heart wrenching story that I strongly advice anyone to read.

The Arrival- Shaun Tan

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I was pleasantly surprised by this graphic novel. Tan is an amazing artist and I love his work in “The Arrival”. The story really injects the feeling of being somewhere new, where everything is foreign and odd. The animals, the people, even the buildings are very strange to the main character.

In this story, a man leaves his family to find work and a home in a new place. He struggles with speaking with the people in the new place, and finds that the language on the maps and on posters is completely foreign. After working and meeting several nice people, his family is able to join him, where they help newcomers to get accustomed to their new home.