It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.
Last Week’s Books:
Paperboy by Vince Vawter was on my reading list this week. It’s the story of an eleven-year-old boy in Memphis in 1959. Point of view and voice are so strong in this novel–and I can’t imagine how the story could be told any other way. The boy (whose name we do not learn until the very end, for good reason) recounts a couple of weeks in his life when he took over his best friend’s paper route. Doing so took great courage, as the boy’s stuttering is a challenge that makes him nervous around new people–well, in truth, all people. I love how his eyes are opened up to the world when he meets the wonderful Mr. Spiro who treats him with great respect and is always patient when the words do not come easily. The boy also recounts how he and “Mam,” his African-American nanny, are forever changed by conflict with the old junk man, Ara T. Woven into the tale is a look at life in the South during that time and the boy’s just becoming aware of racial discrimination and its affect on someone he cares about. To find out that the book is somewhat of a memoir is not at all surprising. It feels “lived.” I can’t wait to get it into the hands of my readers this fall.
FINALLY I have read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (thank you, CORL 2014). In part, I had not read it because all copies were continuously checked out from my school library. In part, I was a little apprehensive about the emotions it has evoked in so many. John Green’s prose is quite beautiful, and I found myself rereading lines just to “hear” them again. The story of Hazel and Augustus is as heart-wrenching as everyone says, and although I am not often a “book cryer,” this one did get me. After I finished reading (in almost one sitting), I poked around Goodreads. I have to say that I can see the point of those who maintain that Augustus and Hazel just don’t sound like real teenagers. And I’m trying to decide if that bothers me. I think maybe not, since I got so sucked into what they were saying and what that made me think about. And who am I to say that an intelligent, thoughtful teen who knows his/her time on earth is limited would not speak a bit differently than most? In all, I can definitely see why so many of my students loved it. And that’s an important part of what makes it a great book. Hmmm, now do I see the movie?
My adult book of the week was The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. My son and I have been watching The Strain TV series, and this book is the second in the trilogy, so I had to read it. Since I am simultaneously viewing and reading, it is an interesting exercise in how a book is translated into the television program. Although many of the events of the show are still from early in book one, there are some ideas/background information that have already been revealed on TV that clearly did not happen until book two. It allows me to ponder why those choices were made and where the TV series might be headed next.