A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive
I've been avoiding this book for years because, well.. a lot of reasons, but someone asked me to preview it to see if it'd be appropriate to teach. The short answer was no. The long answer is that although I try really hard to always believe a victim, Dave Pelzer is not easy to believe in some aspects. Do I believe he was abused? Yes, I believe for him to be removed from his home, things were not good. Do I believe that he maybe exaggerates or that he is struggling with inner demons that are maybe related, maybe not? Yes. Let's just say that this article didn't leave me feeling the best about him.
After You: A Novel
This is the follow up to Me Before You. I love MBY. I felt that it separated itself a little bit from chick lit. I did not feel the same about After You, which is not to say that I didn't enjoy it. I did! It follows Louisa in the time after Will's death, as she struggles to heal, struggles to separate herself from the newspaper stories surrounding Will, struggles to live the life he would have wanted her to live. I felt like parts of this novel were pretty contrived, but like I said, it was still an easy read and I enjoyed the continuation of Louisa's story.
Six of Crows
In terms of YA fantasy, I feel like this author is one of the best. This is the beginning of a new series that takes place in the same world as her Grisha series. Grishas and other creatures fill the pages of this novel, told from alternating points-of-view. You have Kaz, the thief mastermind of a local gang; Inej, known as the Wraith, a slip of a girl remarkably skilled at climbing; Nina, a Grisha who can manipulate and heal; Matthias, a soldier formerly tasked with the job of hunting down and killed Grishas. Together, this crew, plus a few others, are to break into the notorious ice prison and sneak out a man who has figured out how to enhance grisha power. I was very engaged in this story and can't wait for the continuation. The author does an amazing job of bringing fantasy to life!
Fat & Bones: And Other Stories
Farmer Bald dies, leaving behind his son, his wife and a rather motley crew, including a fairy named Bones, an angry tulip, a distinguished poetry loving spider named Leonard, a cat and others. In seven connected tales, the story unfolds following Fat's death in dark and creative ways. This was a quick read, front to back without putting it down, but I loved it. And those of you who love cats (Hi Sarah!) will love the cat in this story.
A Night Divided
Vetting another one for a coworker. With the overnight rise of the Berlin Wall, Gerta finds her mother, her older brother and herself on one side of the wall, while her dad and her other brother are on the other. Living in East Berlin isn't easy, especially when your dad has been labeled a communist, when your neighbors and friends turn against you, but Gerta and her brother are devoted to escaping at any cost. Following her father enacting digging, Gerta and her brother Fritz begin the slow process of tunneling beneath the wall, knowing that if they get caught, it'll be certain death... but is life worth living in the east? This was a very easy read and a good way to introduce students to the history of the Berlin Wall.
What are you reading?