Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Young Adult Books

I am finding that when I am incredibly busy, I need shorter, simpler books to read.  Sometimes I don't have the time to read for days, so I need a book that I can put down then pick up and not have to refresh my memory on the story line.  Middle age memory loss has set in.  I just recently finished a book about mountain  climbing which was ok.  It was called "A Mighty Wall".

One of my favorite Young Adult books is "Norh of Beautiful".  It is about a teenage girl who has a port wine birthmark on her face and how it has affected her life and relationships.  It is about teens accepting themselves for who they are.  I gave this book to my teen daughter to read mainly because she was becoming so obsessed with beauty and her looks.  However.....she also stutters.  She loved the book and it really did help her to come to terms with her stuttering.  In her last two years of high school, she has taken a turn for the better and accepted herself for who she is.  She even tried out for the school musical and was thrilled to get a part in the chorus!  She has blossomed so much this year, and I can't wait to see her grow even more as she enters college.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Have You Read a Good Book Lately?

So, what do you like to read?  Are there certain genres that you stick with?  Certain authors that you can't get enough of? 

By far, the best book that I read in  years is "The Help" by Katherine Stockett-her debut novel.  This book grabbed me from the first page which is very unusual  for me- in fact, I can't remember the last time that happened.  I am also the type of reader that when the dialog becomes mundane or there is too much description, I skim the pages until I get to something worthwhile.  I didn't find myself doing that at all while reading this book.

"The Help"  is about the complicated and heart wrenching relationships between African-American maids  and the white families, especially the women, who employed them in pre-civil rights Mississippi.  The author grew up in Mississippi, and some of the characters are based upon people she knew.  Being a Northerner, I kept wondering throughout the book if it was still that way in Mississippi.  I can remember as recent as 1990 how aware I was prejudice, segregation, bigotry when I vacationed in Hilton Head, SC.  At that time, every restaurant that we patronized had only white servers, and all of the busboys were African American. The only exception was one small family restaurant that was owned by an African American family.  The only white worker was the hostess.  Fast forward to 2006 when we returned to vacation and that had changed.  Servers and busboys were both white and black as well as the hostesses.  This book definitely had me thinking and evaluating life as I knew it in the US as compared with life others were experienced to in the US.
Many of you have probably already read it--it has been on the NY Times bestseller list for 101 weeks!  What was your immpression of the book?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reading to the Beginning Reader

I had a mom come into the library this week asking what chapter books were recommended to read to her 6 year old daughter who was just beginning to read.  I recommended the Magic Tree House series, A to Z Mysteries, and some of Ben Baglio's books. The teacher had recommended Junie B. Jones.  I have found that some parents are opposed to Junie B. because of her grammar, so I mentioned that to the mom as well as telling her how laugh out loud funny they are.  I told her that when I used to read them to my daughters, it was an opportunity to discuss grammar. She chose one of each and one of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, too.

Does anybody have any favorites that they read to their emerging readers?