Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In Which I Read An Award Winning Book

Yang's American Born Chinese was on the just returned shelf, so I took it home. Won Printz and American Book honors, I think. Not bad. Graphic novel, included a lot of Chinese mythology as well as modern issues of cultural discrimination. I enjoyed it.

Don't think I"ll buy it. The three intertwined story lines were a bit hard to follow. My 8th grader, who read the whole thing, said she didn't get how the stories came together, so the force of it was lost on her. She's a strong reader, and sometimes the students attracted to graphic novels are not, so I think that there would be a lot of confusion. This would be a good book for a high school class discussion.

Kaslik's Skinny would also be better for high school. The story of one girls' struggle with anorexia includes some questionable material that detracts from the main issue. Also, this is a very well-written and lyrical story, with vivid descriptions and philosophical musings. Just not the thing to fill the need for eating disorders for my middle school girls. Again, confusion would be high.

Theodore Taylor's The Trouble With Tuck was recommended by the Ms. Patti at the public library (hi, everyone!) and is a good selection for students who like books about dogs. A bit introspective, but the larger story about the dog who loses his sight eventually getting a guide dog was touching. THere are always a few 6th graders who want nothing but books about dogs, and I didn't realize that that's what this one was about. Sad note: Taylor died in October of 2006.

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