Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bruiser: is sacrifice a gift or a burden?

Having just finished the first day of book talking to 8 classes of 7th and 8th graders, Bruiser seems to be a book that is catching the eye of many. I'm glad, because it really is a beautiful story. One of the things I loved about the book was how you get such a rich picture of who Brewster is from the various points-of-view in the book. Tennyson, Bronte and Cody each see him is a slightly different way.

Brewster's reality is tough to take but he maintains his humanity throughout.
This book will tear at your heartstrings, for sure!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Fresh Look at an Iconic Time

One of the great things about collaborating over the creation of a summer reading list is that I get to take another look at a book I had originally passed over. Such is the case with The Lions of Little Rock. I had first seen the strong review of this book months ago but felt a sense of morality fatigue that made me think, "Another Civil Rights era book that pits brave, high-minded progressives against racist thuggish segregationists."  Boy, was I wrong.  Seeing it on the 2013 DMS summer reading list meant that I would have to read it quickly so I could book talk it soon. I took it on a road trip last weekend and, after the first few chapters, literally couldn't put it down!

Marlee is a math-loving thirteen-year-old white girl with problem speaking up. She meets a new girl in middle school, Liz, who also seems to be an outsider but who is brash, quick-witted and funny. They form a deep friendship that comes to an abrupt halt with Liz is pulled out of school for being a black girl "passing" as white in segregated Little Rock, Arkansas.
As the plot thickens, the reality of segregation, racial tension, mistrust and parental fears puts a huge burden on their friendship but they will not be divided.

I bit my fingernails down to the quick as the threat of violence and danger slowly built. The book shows beautifully how personal contact across racial and generational barriers can create social change.
I'm so grateful to whoever put this book on the list!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Did you see our challenge in the newspaper?

It's so great when schools and libraries collaborate. It helps bring culture alive and people see reading as more than an academic pursuit - it's a lifetime joy.

Check out our Letter to the Editor submitted to the Duxbury Reporter and printed in May 15th edition.
(Doesn't seem to be up on Wicked Local web site yet.)

Do you agree with us?
Is reading out loud only for little kids or do teens and adults like to be read aloud to?

What is the relative value of reading vs. listening to a book?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Check out this amazing new summer reading list!

Parents and students in Duxbury are in for a treat this summer.
The new English Department summer reading list is out and it's FABULOUS!
No duds on this one.   You can find the list here:
Duxbury Summer Reading List

I just ordered multiple copies of these books and will keep them in a separate area of the Reference Room for easy browsing.  So dig in and see what the teachers and librarians chose. I think you'll be happy.
Over the course of the next weeks and months, we'll use this blog for an open and honest discussion of the books on this list, (though I reserve the right to mediate).