Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Soap-box and a Fresh Start

Well I, for one, think we had a very fun and successful first Book Club Cyber-Meeting. (You may have missed some of my late rantings and some of the wise comments made by other commenters--scroll down if you wish to read them). Thank you all for participating.

NOTE: My friend, Emily, told me, "Even though I didn't participate, I enjoyed reading the comments." I hope others are doing that as well. Here's why: It is imperative that we, as parents/future parents/good citizens, make ourselves aware of what is out there. I think it's fairly easy to learn whether a certain movie is appropriate or not--through word of mouth, websites, etc. What is more difficult, however, is making sure our children and teens are reading things we are comfortable with. While I'm not worried about my kids reading The Higher Power of Lucky, you might be. So it's important to be informed. While I'm on this soapbox, let me take the opportunity to warn you about a highly acclaimed young adult novel. It is Looking for Alaska by John Green, and it won the 2007 Printz Award, which is the equivalent of the Newberry Award, but for Young Adult literature (Young Adult meaning 13 and up). So you're thinking, "Great, it's got a gold medal on it, and it's here in the children's section at Barnes&Noble just 10 feet from the Dr. Seuss hardbacks. It must be a greatie." Think again. Looking for Alaska contains horrid language and explicit descriptions of oral sex. Yuck. I can't believe I just wrote those two words on my blog. But it's important to me that you know. And that you remember how important it is to be informed.

Now, safely off the soapbox, let me introduce you to the next Book Club novel. Like I said before, many thought The Higher Power of Lucky was undeserving of the Newberry gold medal this year. In fact, many thought our new book, Rules by Cynthia Lord, should have captured the gold. Instead, it was awarded a silver Newberry medal. I think it will be fun for us to read it and decide amongst ourselves which we think is better. (Note: Don't worry if you didn't read the first novel with us--feel free to join us now!)

So what is Rules about? I found this great review on Amazon:

Twelve-year-old Catherine has conflicting feelings about her younger brother, David, who is autistic. While she loves him, she is also embarrassed by his behavior and feels neglected by their parents. In an effort to keep life on an even keel, Catherine creates rules for him (It's okay to hug Mom but not the clerk at the video store). Each chapter title is also a rule, and lots more are interspersed throughout the book. When Kristi moves in next door, Catherine hopes that the girl will become a friend, but is anxious about her reaction to David. Then Catherine meets and befriends Jason, a nonverbal paraplegic who uses a book of pictures to communicate, she begins to understand that normal is difficult, and perhaps unnecessary, to define. Rules of behavior are less important than acceptance of others. Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak. Her love for her brother is as real as are her frustrations with him. Lord has candidly captured the delicate dynamics in a family that revolves around a child's disability. Set in coastal Maine, this sensitive story is about being different, feeling different, and finding acceptance. A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

I am very eager to read this book--I hope you are too! Please let me know when you'd like to discuss it. I was thinking the end of August, but we can push it back if you like. Also, if you would like to purchase this book through Amazon, just click on the link below.


lori said...

Excited for the new book!!! I vote for a September deadline. Is that wimpy of of me? Probably. But my caladner of Harry Potter 7 and RA training might necesitate the later time :)

If everyone else wants August, I'll try to get myself in gear! :)

jeanine said...

I"m excited to read this book. I"ll try to take notes this time so that I'll have more to say!

Amy said...

I can be ready for this book in August or September. With school also starting in August it might be nice to begin the discussion in September.

Mrs. Cropper said...

I'm thinking September will be best for everyone...

lbtruman said...

Am coming on board for this book club! It will motivate me I am sure. Read RULES last spring and can't wait for the discussion.

Your comment about the Green book is on the mark. I spend most of my time reading YA books for content before I ever put them on the library shelf. The Green book wouldn't make it. It is frightening!

Love Kevin Henkes too!