Dear avid readers,
I must apologize for getting far behind in my book blogging. Never fear, though, because I have been reading! In preparation for my up-coming teaching career, I have been delving back into young adult literature as well as mixing in some Appalachian literature. The past week or so I have finished Saving Grace by Lee Smith, Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, and It’s Not The End of the World by Judy Blume. Here’s a brief glimpse at each book for your enjoyment.
This book was the reason I got stuck with my book commentary on this blog. It’s not a bad book, but it’s a book that needed time in my mind. Saving Grace by Lee Smith paints the picture of the daughter of a Holiness preacher as she grows up. Told from the daughter’s perspective, it tells of her struggles with faith, her father, and marriage. The story begins when she is a young child and continues until she is grown and has two grown children of her own. She experiences many of the same familial struggles as her parents. I enjoyed the writing style of this book, but the characters and plot line frustrated me. My friends tell me that maybe Smith was trying to show the reader the frustration of the cycle of familial problems such as the ones in this book. It’s a book I would recommend to others for the writing style, but it may not be a book I will quickly pick up again.
Any American high school graduate should be familiar with this story line because I believe it’s one of those classic staples in almost every school. I had forgotten how much Shakespeare makes me laugh, even when it’s about someone dying such as this play! Since I didn’t have a recording or the play to watch (which is the best way to take in a play), I read most of the play aloud to myself. The first three acts are great, but I found myself easily getting lost in acts four and five. Definitely if I teach this play, I’ll have pay closer attention to the characters and the context, especially in the latter part of the play.
It’s Not The End Of The World
Written in 1972, this book by Judy Blume tells the story of a family in the midst of a divorce from the perspective of the younger middle-school aged child. While the circumstances and laws have changed, the feelings are still fairly universal. The tricky part about writing about this book is that I don’t want to say that this book is a perfect read to help any child understand divorce. As with most difficult situations, every divorce is different, but the common theme is that it affects everyone in the family. Blume attempts to show the various types of reactions to divorce through giving a voice to many family members. As a child of a divorce, I could see this book helping some children understand that their feelings are normal and that they will adjust to this new life.
Coming up soon:
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Even Now by Karen Kingsbury