Friday, June 25, 2010

This and That and . . . More Books!

A busy, busy week.  Monday and Tuesday I spent working on ELA curriculum with a group of K-8 teachers.  I have another day of that work next week.  Wednesday we traveled down to North Attleboro, MA to meet our 2 sons. Younger Son is visiting from the West Coast and was spending a very short amount of time with his brother.  We met them both, took them out to lunch, and then brought Younger Son home so that he could attend a friend's bachelor party.  In fact, we dropped him off at another friend's house who took him to the party and then drove him back to our house at noon on Thursday!  Then Younger Son and Dad drove to Springfield, MA to pick up Younger Son's girlfriend.  They all got back here at 6:30 last night.  Once the travelers decide to rise and shine, they plan on climbing the local mountain.  It's a beautiful day to do that, but the morning's almost over, and they are still asleep!  Tomorrow they go to the wedding they came east for.  Meanwhile, I've also done some significant cleaning, had a lovely knitting afternoon with a good friend, and I've grocery shopped and cooked.  And of course, I've read a couple more books!

The first is another installment in the Deborah Crombie  Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones series:

Now May You Weep (Kincaid/James, #9) Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another winner!  Gemma James accompanies her best friend Hazel Cavendish on a cooking weekend in Scotland.  To her dismay she discovers that Hazel is meeting the man she should have married.  Meanwhile, Kit's grandmother is suing for custody, and Kit refuses to take a paternity test.  Of course a murder occurs over Gemma's holiday weekend, and since she's out of her jurisdiction, she can't run the investigation.  The focus of this installment is more on Gemma's relationships and her personal insights into her own motivations.  I really liked this one.

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The second book was completely different.  I read it because it's one of the books read in 7th grade, my new grade level.  What a challenging book!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm a middle school teacher moving to 7th grade next year, and I was given a pile of books that the 7th grade uses.  This one was on top of the stack.

Parallel Journeys is a nonfiction account of Helen Waterford, a Jewish girl who survived Auschwitz, and Alfons Heck, a powerful member of Hitler Youth.  The chapters alternate between Helen and Alfons.  Interspersed between their chilling first-person diary entries is the well-researched chronicling of the events leading up to and through World War II primarily from Germany's perspective. This will definitely be a challenging read for students, especially on an emotional level.

I found it scary too, especially when I see some of the blind, kneejerk reactions of many of us here in the US to 9/11, and now the economy.  Many people have castigated the German public for embracing Hitler's promises. What promises, from which leaders, are we embracing in our fears for ourselves?  

1 comment:

LizzieK8 said...

Kneejerk reactions is a very good way to put it, regardless of one's own politics. It's scary...I live in Arizona and think about this parallel far too often lately.

I think I'll put this on my reading list...just to keep it at the front of my mind.