Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What I Read Wednesday

Seconds Away (Book Two): A Mickey Bolitar Novel
Book 2 in the Mickey Bolitar series. A good continuation of the first book. I really think this would be a great middle level book for boys. Excitement, adventure, some violence and a male protagonist. I enjoyed it.
Found (A Mickey Bolitar Novel)
And the end of the trilogy. Still would definitely recommend this one for upper elementary and middle school boys.

Girl in the Blue Coat
YA Holocaust fiction is always a good read because I feel like it often skims the surface of the Holocaust without being too overwhelming for younger readers, but at the same time, it encourages them to look more into history. It is Amsterdam 1943. Hanneke spends her days running black market errands for her boss. Unlike many characters in Holocaust fiction, Hanneke is helping rich gentiles who are "put out" by all the war rationing. While delivering to one of her clients, Mrs. Jannsen, she asks Hanneke to help her find something outside of her usual--a person. Specifically, a Jewish girl named Mirjam who up and vanished out of the hiding space behind Mrs. Jannsen's pantry. Initially reluctant, Hanneke agrees and finds herself thrust into the heart of the resistance movement.
This was an easy, engaging read. It gave a good view of Holocaust history, how so few people realized the extent of German atrocities.

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
I was torn between reading this book and not because I felt it would be difficult. It was. It definitely was, but I finished it in one day because I couldn't tear myself away from Sue's story of how the boy she loved grew up to commit one of the most notorious school shootings. I remember Columbine because I was a junior in high school at the time. I remember thinking, this could never happen here... but it could. It could happen anywhere.
I think it's important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the women who raise children who grow up to do evil acts. It's easy to blame the mothers. I know I blamed Nancy Lanza after Newtown, but she wasn't left alive to absorb the blame as Sue Klebold did and has. Some of the critiques for this book blame Sue Klebold for making too many excuses for her son, for blaming Eric, but what I saw was a mom confused and stunned by her son's actions even all these years later and to some extent, excuses might help her process. Who knows? I certainly don't and certainly hope I never have to know. I think it's a lot easier, too, to find red flags now in a post-Columbine world than it was at this time. I had never done a lockdown drill in my life until after Columbine, and it's important to remember that this, unfortunately, started a new world of schools not being as safe as one could imagine.

All Stories Are Love Stories: A Novel
I found this book a little slow to start, but once it picked up, I really enjoyed it. This book circulates around three main characters: Max, Vashti and Gene. Max and Vashti have a history and on February 14th, she goes to see him on his birthday. After they're together, a major earthquake hits San Francisco and Max and Vashti are trapped beneath the rubble of an auditorium, along with a group of others. Gene is a geologist who knows more about earthquakes than most, yet he is still left wandering the streets of the city trying to get home to his partner. As the story unfolds, the three become connected in ways they never could have imagined. What I loved about this book is that the earthquakes almost became a character themselves, setting so much into motion. I was definitely drawn in by this book once I got beyond the exposition, and I absolutely loved how the author brought it all together.

What are you reading?


Barb Ruess said...

I went old school last week and read A Separate Peace. Both of my girls have had to read it for Lit classes and I had not read it - that doesn't happen often so I felt compelled to correct the situation. :)

InTheFastLane said...

Currently reading A Man Called Ove. I know you've read it. I love him. And this is my 2nd book by this author and I can't wait for the next even though I haven't finished this one yet.