Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
"I begin to think that maybe there are more things in life that seem simple, or even stupid, on the surface but turn out to have so much more . . .."
I read this book quickly, probably within a couple of hours. However, I've gone back to it four or five times in the last few weeks--reading parts out loud to students, colleagues, and generally whoever would listen because there were so many parts that I wanted to share. I loved Lucius' relationship with Nick Greek, the former football star turned security guard at his new school. There's something transformational about being able to help someone else when you are in bad circumstances and their friendship defined that for me. I also tend to believe that one positive relationship with an adult can change a kid forever, even though the impact may not be seen for years.
Although this is a quick read, there is a lot to think about. I'm always advocating for kids to be allowed to read whatever they want, regardless of format or length--this book is an example of a slim volume that really delivers.
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logstead was published in September, 2009.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"Among the hardships, disappointments, and losses, it's the adventure of it all that has gotten me up each morning."
Lyza and her grandfather have always shared a love of adventure. From the time she was little, he would show her maps and tell her about his travels. When he passes away, she discovers an envelope that says, "FOR LYZA ONLY." She has to decide if she should share the contents of the envelope and, if so, who will understand? Will she be able to figure out the clues her grandfather left behind? Even if she can discover the secret, will she have enough time to complete the adventure?
Told in verse, this is a story of a family figuring out how to change when circumstances demand new ways. I especially loved the relationship between Lyza and her grandfather. I lived with my grandparents twice (once as a teenager and once as an adult), so I got to enjoy a great relationship with my grandfather. Reading about Lyza's adventures reminded me of how much I miss him--and what a wonderful influence he was in my life.