Friday, February 23, 2007

The Uglies (series)

My 8th grade students are devouring these books - Uglies is the first. Then the series moves to the Pretties and then the Specials. I've started the first book but can't seem to keep it in my class long enough to read it. I just can't say no to my students and keep loaning them out. Anyone out there read it? I would love to hear what you think. I do know it has an interesting premise sort of a sci-fi in the future everyone who reaches a certain age is altered to be pretty but that's as far as I am. It also has an interesting start - something about the sky being the color of cat vomit. Great voice!

I hope to receive recommendations and comments as we begin to talk about books.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Kite Runner - author Khaled Hosseini

This novel follows the life of Salid, a privileged, spoiled boy in Afghanistan pre the Russian occupation. I would recommend this book with a few reservations. I spent the majority of the novel disgusted with the main character for his self centered choices, including standing by and letting his best friend be tormented and sexually assaulted by several neighborhood bullies. His choice to alienate his childhood confidant to ease his own conscience was saddening and at times difficult to read. However, it is one of those novels that leaves the reader with a lasting impression, albeit an uneasy one. The good news is that by the end of the novel, I had made an uneasy peace with Salid. Hosseini's writing is beautiful and rich though the end of the novel is a bit contrived as he tries to tie up all the loose ends.

Learn More

My Sister's Keeper author Jodi Picoult

A great read! Picoult seamlessly weaves differing points of view with each character narrating the story. It's the story of Anna, a young girl who was conceived as a perfect match organ donor for her sister Kate who suffers from acute leukemia. Though her parents love her, Anna feels trapped in a situation she can't control constantly putting her life and dreams on hold to supply her sister with platelets, blood, and bone marrow. Now her sister needs a kidney, and Anna finds the courage to take charge of her life and her own body in a heartbreaking dilemma. If she donates the kidney, where does it stop? If she doesn't, is she killing her sister? Picoult tells the story of a family torn apart and the silkens strands of love that bind them together.

Visit the site