Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Reading Lists + one of my old favorites

Wow, the titles they require kids to read today! I just started receiving the summer reading lists and am ordering the books as fast as I can. Two trends are noticeable: a) there are a lot more titles required of today's kids, and b) there are more 'modern' titles (as opposed to classics - but that may be my age-bias). Oh - three trends - those making the list don't always check availability! There are a number of titles that are in the reprinting stage, which means the scant few copies at the library are IT...the booksellers can't order in what isn't printed. Cold Sassy Tree, in particular, is a problem.

The charm and the curse of the Summer Reading List is some of these books will probably make the kids groan and wish they could rent the movie and some will change the readers' lives. It's hard for a reader to know until they're into the middle of the book. Here's to the gamble represented by a new book!

One of my required reading experiences was John Hersey's Hiroshima. It is a description of the actual events during and after the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. It follows individuals as they deal with surviving the bomb and its aftermath. It is non-judgmental but bluntly and eloquently talks about consequences. It is short, but it is powerful and mind-altering and conscience-forming. I didn't really want to read this but it was required...and boy, it blew my mind.

Anyone else have a favorite out there?

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