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:
Why haven’t I read The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud sooner?!? It’s creepy, adventurous, and full of great characters who bring a bit of snark to their partnership–all things I thoroughly enjoy in a book! The Lockwood Agency is entirely kid-run and investigates hauntings, which have become more and more prevalent and is known as The Problem. I love how Stroud builds a world where people take the presence of ghosts for granted and only try to eliminate the worst of the worst paranormal beings. The best thing about getting to this series so late is that I don’t have to wait for a sequel! I am DEFINITELY going to add this book to my frequent recommendation rotation. This book counts for my Horror Reading Challenge 2015.
I also read October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman. This heart-wrenching novel in verse is Newman’s tribute to the young, gay man who was lured from a bar in his college town, brutally beaten by two men, tied to a fence post, and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming on October 6, 1998. Newman, author of Heather has Two Mommies and Hachiko Waits, was scheduled to speak at a nearby university on October 11 and was there to see how the community, and especially its LGBTQ members, were rocked by this hate crime. Shepard died on October 12th.
Newman’s cycle of poems is a work of fiction, imagining the thoughts and feelings of police officers, college students, and even inanimate objects like the fence. She explores many poetic forms throughout the work as she tells Shepard’s story. A colleague sent me this book, seeking my opinion on its inclusion in a middle school library collection. I feel it is an important and beautiful work. While it contains some homophobic slurs, it does so in order to show the ugliness of prejudice and to evoke powerful emotion. Thus, it would be inappropriate, or rather untruthful, not to include such language, as it might lessen the impact on the reader. I will be adding it to my library collections soon.
Currently Reading/Listening To: