I never thought I would talk so much about garbage trucks. But my students loved this book and asked for me to read it over and over so I thought I would share.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Reedy wrote a couple of other YA novels, both of which draw on his experience in the military.
Imagine what it might be like for your father to have been killed years ago in the Afghan war, and then one day, mail arrives from him? For you, with no return address? His handwriting, his stories, his voice: all captured within a letter written distinctly for and to you. In If You’re Reading This, author Reedy twists the reader’s perspective into a what-if mystery. When a letter arrives from his father, he doesn’t know what to think or do. The mystery grows as more letters arrive, and the wishes of his father grow more obvious. Since Mike’s father didn’t make it back from the war, he wrote the letters to ensure that when Mike turned 16, he would have the opportunity to hear what his father wished for him as he grows up.
And indeed Mike takes his father’s wisdom and advice, making decisions to join the football team and pursue dating a girl he really likes. But there is a circling tension that comes from Mike not telling anyone about the letters and his decisions sometimes need the support of a parent first. Mike gets himself into hot water pretty deep, pretty fast. But you gotta keep reading to see where it all lands. Find this book if you are hungry for a story about a football-loving, book-smart, curious young man who wants to be like his little-known father in all of the best ways.
Friday, September 5, 2014
"To this day, I don't know her reason for feeding me. What I do know is that she gave me the energy and hope to survive. Her acts of kindness also made me stop and think: How can I believe all Germans are my enemy when this woman, a German, had risked her life for me? That's when I learned my most important lesson in life: There are the kind and the cruel in every group of people. How those you meet in life treat you is far more important than who they are."
Gifts from the Enemy
Two rich books, filled with stories of an awful time in our history. I struggle to close this entry, wondering what words fit. Maybe his will be the missing puzzle piece. Here is Weiner's closing to From A Name to A Number:
"Just as the homosexuals, the Jehovah's Witnesses, communists, and others were murdered not for what they had done or said, but for what they were. I was a victim of insane cruelty for no offense or sin--just for my faith. I was condemned though never accused of any offense.
I have been clamoring to konw why! Sometimes I wish I could pretend that it did not happen, but it did. Regretfully, it may happen again if we let prejudice and evil rein." (229)