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Reading Up a Storm

What is up with me?  I feed badly for letting my blog go lately!

But I’ve been busy.

Sort of.

Actually, I’m ahead on lesson planning…by two weeks…so I’ve been coming home in the afternoons and chilling…something I rarely get to do.

One thing I’ve been doing during my down time is reading…

A lot.

Because I teach intensive reading…to high school students…I feel as though part of my job involves keeping up with relevant reading material so i can honestly and enthusiastically recommend books to my students.

This week, I finished two books.

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, was recommended to me by a young lady in my first period class.

I was immediately drawn into this book by the opening lines and intrigued by the concept of having to find a way out of a maze to survive.  However, the further I read, the more it sounded like The Hunger Games series.  I believe that Dashner wrote this book first though.

One other thing that bothered me was the constant references to memories just beyond the main character’s (Thomas) consciousness.  This repetition grew old at times.

Still, it was a good read, and I will continue with the other books in this series.

The second book I finished was Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko.

Two of my students from my sixth period class recommended this book to me.

The setting is Alcatraz in 1935.  The story is about a family who moves to Alcatraz, where the father works as an electrician and guard.  The son, “Moose,” is tasked with taking care of his sister, Natalie, who is mentally challenged.

When you read this book, you get a sense of how society thought about the mentally challenged as well as the personal obstacles that families faced as they tried to come to terms with the less-than-perfect circumstances involved with taking care of such loved ones.

At first, I did not really like this book.  It truly read like an early middle school book.

My feelings changed, though, the further along I got in the book.  As I watched characters evolve, my heart melted.  By the end, I was in awe of Moose and his compassion for his sister.

I’m looking forward to reading Al Capone Shines My Shoes, which I ordered at the same time as the other book.

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