The book I read this term was The Book Thief by Markus Zusac. It takes place in Nazi Germany during WWII. The story is told from the perspective of Death, and it follows a young girl named Liesel Meminger. Liesel lives with her two adoptive parents in the German town of Molching. This book is about her childhood during this difficult time, and I found this book hit really close to home for me. I loved reading her story, and it felt like watching a glimpse of what a normal life must have been like in the center of what was such a bizarre time in world history. I would give this book easily five stars, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read about WWII, and who enjoys history.
For our soundtrack for the book Dear Martin, we wanted to pick songs that had a deeper meaning, and that identified with our characters. The songs by Deuce Diggs, Vince Staples, the song Don’t Shoot, and the one by TOBi, I feel like all really fit with our characters. They’re essential because of how they plainly express emotion, and tell the raw truth about this form of oppression. I loved the resolution at the end of the book between Jared and Justyce. I feel like the book really needed this ending after all the heaviness of tragedy and injustice. I hated hat Manny died. It made me so angry that he died over keeping his music loud when asked to turn it off. I’ve done that before, but I haven’t been shot. That’s a fact, and it is really, really hard to see, and read about scenarios where it seems that people are looking for an excuse to lash out, and harm others. However, I feel like reading a story like this one from the point of view of someone my age was really eye opening. I loved being able to catch a glimpse of his hardships, and be able to identify so seamlessly with a character like SJ. I really loved this book.
This first picture is a powerful reminder of the suffering of BIPOC in our country. When I look a this flag, and when I say the Pledge of Allegiance, I think of the soldiers who died defending freedom, and the people who died believing in that freedom.
This picture is a reminder of the parking lot where Jus is arrested while trying to help his drunk Ex girlfriend get safely home. This event is the catalyst that sets the mood for the story, and helps us understand Justyce’s new skittishness, and new awareness.
The conflict in this story is slowly rising, and you can feel that something big is coming up. The author uses Justyce’s nerves, and this tense calm to draw apprehension towards the next big part of this book. I really like it a lot, but after I began to notice the tension, I couldn’t stop reading it, and I finished it all in one night.
The book I am currently reading in my lit. circle is Dear Martin by Nic Stone. The main issue addressed in this book is racial discrimination. As I’ve read this book, I’ve been constantly reminded of a phrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to describe white people who refuse to acknowledge the conflict presented by white supremacy and racial discrimination in general. The phrase he used was “white moderate”. Meaning a white person who stubbornly looks away in the face of opposition and injustice towards others of different races, and prefers negative peace to combating injustice.
This issue is rooted in thousands of years of slavery practices. Human beings were used as slaves to people who thought themselves better than the rest of the world. I believe that most of the people who have influenced my awareness of this issue are those who have suffered from it. Hearing the painful stories of crimes committed against people of different races has definitely awakened me to awareness, and the desire to change. Two organizations who help fight this issue are the NAACP and the BYP. These organizations dig to the roots of these social issues, and strive to achieve racial equality by addressing the causes, and looking for resolutions based on decisions and actions influenced through a cultural standpoint.
In this story, Justyce is arrested under the wrongful assumption that he was doing something illegal. This instance instantly draws readers in to the unfairness of the situation, and captures attention. I think that for the age group this book speaks to, unfairness is a great way to help people understand.
I have actually already finished this book, and I absolutely loved it. I cried when Manny died, and I loved it when Jus and SJ got together. I really do love issue-driven novels. I love to educate myself on the different kinds of pain others experience for different reasons so I can be more sensitive to my own actions, and how I can support others in a way that they would most appreciate. I have read others before, like for example: The Sun is also a Star, The Help, The Nightingale, and The Hate U Give. I think this one reaches more into the time period I live in. I like how that aspect makes it more relatable, and how books from deeper in the past can be more informative to the root of the issue.
This book is about quite a lot of different people, but it mainly focuses on a Korean-American teenage boy named Daniel, and a Jamaican girl named Natasha. The story switches between their two different points of view as their stories intertwine. Natasha is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, and the story begins on her last day left in America after her dad gave her and her family up to a police officer. Daniel is on his way to an interview for Yale University, and he runs into Natasha on this last day that she has decided to use to fix things so she and her family do not have to get deported. I absolutely love this book, an when I finished it, it left me spinning. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a realistic fiction read that can change your perspective on the way our country treats immigrants, and the way small instances can change the outcome of our daily decisions.
I feel like this book has taught us how to recognize heroes outside of the common mold. In this book, heroes and villains are reversed and we see the villains with the superhuman abilities, and the civilians with the willpower for change, and to fight for it. I don’t at all think that heroes need superhuman skills to become heroes. I liked how twisting the novel was, and how you never really knew what to expect. I do wish that he’d written more about civilian life. It doesn’t seem like he really went to great lengths to explain why more people weren’t fighting. In our podcast, my partner and I are talking about the overarching theme of fear present throughout the book. This theme becomes a crucial part of the character development David and his friends go through. The idea of the entire city being held under this suffocating shroud of fear presents a captivating theme.
A lot of the things he listed in the video line up with my own comforts. I like to read on rainy days, and I like new books. I really like the satisfaction of finishing a series. I like these things because they’re comforting when life is really challenging, and when you want to look for a more enriching form of entertainment. The book series I most liked was the Narnia series. It brought a lot of peace and meditative thought into my day.
I love to read on days when It’s muggy outside and my day has been hard, but I don’t have to work later, I don’t have homework, and instead I can eat a piece of dark chocolate with my mug of Crio or Tea and read on the couch in my music room when no one else is home.
Another favorite time for me to read would be in just a beautiful place. Like an ancient castle I’ve just explored, and now I can sit under the hot sun on the grass against a tree that’s in a secluded space that I found all on my own. Or maybe even just an old stone bench
I am going to read the Steelheart series for my book project, and I chose it because we’re already reading it in class, and I didn’t want to just stop after the first one. I have already read the first book, the little book Mitosis, and a good piece of the second one. I think at this rate, I’ll finish the series by the end of the next two weeks.
The bowing alley was dimly lit, and smelled like fast food. The dated music rivaled the look of the discolored carpet. Paul hated bowling, but he’d do just about anything for his dad. Marcus Jackson worked at the bowling alley, and was a lazy, distracted, hipocrytical father. He hadn’t always been that way, but ever since his wife left him without a word, and with his kid, he’d given up the effort of providing comfort to himself and his family. No matter how much Marcus pushed him to a standard higher than he held himself, all seven-year-old Paul Jackson saw was a hero.
Paul clicked the invisible ink pen his dad had bought for him. He drew a smiley face on the back of his hand, and then flipped the pen to the other side to shine the light, and see the purple ink. As the light passed over his had, it flicked over the table, and he could see designs drawn all over the cheep plastic surface. He saw bowling balls, and pins, and flames sparking off of a pair of shoes. He entertained himself for a while until the TV screen buzzed on over head, and his single name popped up to bowl.
He eyed the group next to his. It was a boys birthday party, and they were all yelling, and laughing together over their table piled high with large presents, balloons, and a cake frosted to look like a football field. One of the boys yelled out to him as he picked up his ball.
“Hey! If you don’t drop that ball and shatter the floor, you can have piece of cake!”
The other kids laughed, but Paul mistook it for encouragement. He hefted the ball with his fingers, and rested it on his shoulder.
“James! The table!” one of the boys yelled out to another.
Again Paul didn’t notice the kid sneaking over to where he’d left his new pen. He let the ball go, but it instantly rolled and then ground into the gutter shamefully missing every single pin.
The boy who had offered him cake called him to their table, and told him he could have a piece anyway. He shoved the cake into Paul’s mouth before he could even ask for a fork, and all the boys laughed like giant grisley bears playing with a rabbit. He ran to the bathroom, and scooped smeared cake and tears out of his eyes just in time to see the boy named James come out of a bathroom stall.
“Ya know,” he said, “I wonder if the inside of the toilet glows purple if you hit it with a green light.”
It took him a second to understand what he meant, and then he bolted to the stall the boy had just left. His plastic green pen lay broken into ugly half shards at the bottom of the dirty bowling alley toilet. He cried for a while. Colored cake frosting still smeared all over his face. He didn’t even notice the click when James locked him into the bathroom, and he fell asleep on the grimy floor.
When he woke up, he couldn’t even tell what time it was, but someone clicked the switch on the bathroom door, and a janitor came in.
“Kid how long have you been in here? It’s 7am!”
I first learned to read in school, pretty much just like everyone else my age that I knew. I read a lot of books like the magic tree house and harry potter. When I was little, in the summer I was always reading up high in a tree in my front yard. Today I like to read for entertainment. I do not like to read any sci fi, too much fantasy, or horror, but I like a good combination of romance, action, and a lot of good unexpected turns. I`m starting to turn more towards historical non fiction. I get OCD with books. I have to read them all one at a time, and they absolutely must be in order. Right now, I have been reading a lot of stories about WWII.