Whew! I’m about 6 and half hours into the challenge and am pretty excited with my progress so far! Since my last update, I finished 2 books–although I’m counting them as 1.25 books read since I began the one of them earlier this week and just read the last fourth this morning. Here are some quick write-ups about each of them:
Sticks and Stones: Defeating The Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy – Emily Bazelon
Wow! What a compelling and important piece of contemporary non fiction! I believe this book first came onto my radar just in the last week or so while checking out some recent posts on Edutopia. I found this post on summer reading suggestions for educators by Mark Phillips. Sticks and Stones was included on the list and I managed to pick up a copy at the library this week. I started reading it that day and couldn’t put it down. Bazelon, a senior editor at Slate, lawyer, & professor, writes compelling, incisive, and approachable prose and she brings the keen eye of an investigative journalist and the commitment of a youth advocate & parent to her coverage of the complex, current topic of bullying. I love her use of three specific cases combined with great, diverse research. This is a very important book for anyone who works with kids of any age–and for anyone interested in this highly topical issue. This book in particular is significant because it uses such detailed accounts of specific cases to illustrate the complexity of bullying–and the danger of oversimplifying such an important topic. It also offer narratives about possible solutions and concludes with a great list of resources (like most librarian, I love a great resource list!). A definite 5 stars and highly recommended reading from me! I plan to share this at my school next week before we all run away for summer!
The Language Inside – Holly Thompson
Wow! I read this in an hour flat and for that hour, I felt utterly transported in the way that only great fiction can achieve! Novels in verse can be tricky–but when they work, they really work and this is a prime example. Thompson’s free verse suits Emma’s voice and situation perfectly as she attempts to navigate her sudden transplant from Japan–her home since infancy– to the United States–her birth country. The fact that the move has been prompted by her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis has only added to Emma’s sense of loss and isolation. This is a truly multicultural story about the complexity of identity, family, and finding an authentic personal voice. The Language Inside was an immense pleasure to read and I have much more to say about it so I will definitely be writing up a longer review in the next few week! A shining 4/5 stars!
Hours Read: 4.75 hours
Hours Blogged: 1.25 hours
48HBC Hours Current Total: 6 hours
Books Read: 2.25 books
Pages Read: 915 pages