Well since this is my first time participating in this meme and I have been terribly ill the past couple of days I am going to cheat a little and mention some books I have finished over the last week or two.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt is my idea of a perfect Middle-grade type of book as I mentioned in my previous blog post. https://jaycheatham.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/dont-forget-the-mid-grade/ Holling Hoodhood is in the 7th grade dealing with typical dilemmas and crises of a middle school boy. Convinced that his homeroom teacher Mrs. Baker hates him, Holling fears their Wednesday afternoons that they spend alone together. In the end Mrs. Baker helps Holling become the star of a local Shakespeare play, finish first in a Varsity track meet, and stand up to his overbearing father. A true “coming-of-age” story with a lot of fun aspects.
Meg Medina’s Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass won the Pura Belpré Award. “The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal As can be gathered from the title, this YA novel is centered around the issue of bullying. It is also about a young Latina girl named Piddy who is coming-of-age and questioning her culture, her identity, her family, and so much more.
I am about to finish this collection of short stories for my Contemporary Literature class. Jumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth seems to be focusing on the loss of culture due to immigration and Americanization, specifically with Bengali-Indian peoples. There are also themes of family issues and obligations, failed relationships, communication problems, and more of the usual epidemics that ail contemporary short stories.
This YA novel by Bennett Madison really caught my eye. First the book cover is so bright and sunny and then the first words on the inside of the jacket read: “There are three and only three rules for shoplifting,” Francie instructed me. I was hooked immediately for some reason. Not because I am interested in the criminal-insider methods to stealing makeup from Sephora, but after reading that I just had to know what was going to come of this scheming. I am still waiting to find out… Future blog post. Stay tuned.