Friday, July 3, 2015

July Book Recommendations

Today, I am starting a new monthly installment of book recommendations.   This year, I have challenged myself to read more, and I am documenting it on my Reading List page.  On the first Friday of each month, I will be telling about my favorite books I read the previous month to hopefully entice you to read them as well!

1.  The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad 

Published in 2002 and written during the spring after the Taliban fell in Afghanistan, this non-fiction memoir-like story tells readers of a proud Afgahni bookseller and his family.   The novel was written by a female Norwegian journalist who befriended the bookseller and was able to live with them for some time.  She gained incredible insight into the workings of a world that is unknown to so many.   

While this story takes place in a world so unlike the U.S., readers will be able to connect to the characters in the story - a son who is forced to follow his father's rules, a daughter searching for love, a wife who feels unloved and unnoticed.   

This novel is not for the faint of heart - it details the history of Afghanistan by intermixing it with heart-wrentching stories of poverty, power, pride, and forbidden love.   While I believe it is impossible to know what was like to live under the Taliban's vicious rule, this book allows the reader to begin to understand what it was like to live then- painting a picture of freedom being squashed, of destruction of a once rising country, and of rampant devastation.   

2.  Across the Universe by Beth Revis 

I flew through this novel while I was at the beach.   This dystopian novel was one of the best dystopians I've read recently.  First, it is narrated by both a girl named Amy, who was cryogenically frozen to be unfrozen in 300 years, and a boy named Elder, who will become the future leader of his space ship that will arrive at a new planet 300 years after Amy was frozen.   Amy is unfrozen early on the spaceship by a mysterious chance of events, and Elder and her become friends.

The society on the ship has rules unlike earth to which Amy must adjust.  First, everyone is the same (all same ethnicity - which causes Amy to stand out with her bright red hair), all creative people are in the 'crazy ward,' and there seem to be lots of secrets (not unlike a good dystopian novel to have these!).

As Amy and Elder begin to search for the person who unfroze Amy and is unfreezing others who are dying, they begin to discover more disastrous secrets of the ship.

Overall,  this novel reminded me of  a more action packed version of The Giver; however, the adults in this book are not as wise as the Giver and Amy and Elder must work to solve the ship's secrets before it is too late.  

**** Also, you can also check out a few summer reading recommendations I made before I left for vacation a few weeks ago if you are looking for other good reads!

What are you reading currently that I should add to my to-read list??? 

In Other News: 

Also,  earlier in June, I accepted a new teaching position within my building.  This school year, I will be the 9th and 10th grade intervention specialist.  I am very excited about this new opportunity and the blog, while still focusing on ELA, may take a more in-depth at special education resources geared toward ELA.

One item I am currently in search of is High Interest Low Readability Books for high school students.   I want my students to be reading independently no matter their independent reading ability.  To do this-- I need to be well-versed in books that are at many different reading levels and interests.   So far, the search has led me to my local librarian who is also going to do some reseach with me.  On the fly, she recommended a series called Bad Kitty which has picture books and chapter graphic novels that are between K-2 reading level yet are funny and relatable for students who are at a higher age level.  I'm going to check these out soon.  Hopefully, they will be in August's book review!

Please feel free to comment below if you know of any HI-LO Readability Books for high school students!   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...