Midterm break consisted a total of 9 days. During those 9 days, I managed to finish a selection of books, one of them being non-fiction, and the others being somewhat….different. Here was what kept me busy for those 9 days!
James, a troubled teenager, communicates by writing letters. After going AWOL from the military school that he was placed in, James makes the life changing journey to visit his brother Peter who is dying of cancer. The only way that James has been able to communicate with any members of his family has been through letters, but the only person that he replies to is his brother Peter. As James makes the journey to see his brother, he starts to face his own demons, and he slowly begins to change the closer he gets to Peter. It seems that James’s only hope for change and happiness is to see his brother one more time before he dies. Will he make it on time?
I thought the book was okay. The book explored some of the dark aspects of the teenage life such as drugs, sex, violence, and crime. I found the book to be a little unorganized because the letters were all dated and there was no set pattern to the way they were organized, making the book a little hard to follow. However, I do think that the book had some great elements that could bring awareness to the reader.
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
The second book that I finished was Anya’s Ghost which targets a young female teenager who tries to fit in her new American high school life. Along with the pressures of making friends, flirting with the cutest guy in school, loosing the weight and even smoking, Anya encounters a ghost named Emily when she falls down a well. Emily follows Anya, helping her with her school work, and starts to give her relationship and clothing advice. Everything goes well for these two when Anya tells Emily that she wishes to solve the mystery of her death. The further that Anya digs into Emily’s past, the more she learns about Emily, and how she may not be the friend that she wanted after all.
This was yet another graphic novel that I finished in 2 hours, and I LOVED it. This graphic novel was a murder mystery, and the graphics in the book were captivating. I was very impressed with this book, and I was very glad I was able to borrow it from my professor, and add it to my collection of “great graphic novels.”
Why don’ Students like School? by Daniel T. Willingham
For one of my assignments for adolescent literature, we had to write a midterm reflection essay, allowing us to look back on all the individual progress that we have made in the class so far. One of the things that I pride myself in so far this semester is reading over half my reading goal for the class. However, one category of books that I have not focused on is non-fiction/professional development books. I finished this book by Daniel T. Willingham that was recommended in Penny Kittle’s Book Love that I am also reading this semester. I really enjoyed reading this book because of the way that Willingham explores the human mind. Along with exploring specific aspects of the brain, Willingham makes suggestions about how we can use this knowledge as future teachers when we teach our students. I found those suggestions very useful, and I think that I will be reading this book again in a few years. I suggest that every future teacher read this book; it is only 213 pages long, and it was very informative and well written; great resource to have in your personal library!
I will most likely refer to this book in future posts!