Sunday, December 12, 2010

Slow Progress

I've read two books since my last post: The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson.

But first, let me take this opportunity to tell you that I once met Tomie dePaola. And really, that could be the entire content of my blog tonight, because even two years later that is just super-exciting. But I will try not to gloat about my encounter with the best author of all time and continue with the purpose of this blog, which is to tell you lovely readers about the books I have read.

So, The Legend of the Poinsettia was quite informative, especially in light of the fact that I always just assumed that poinsettias were considered "Christmas flowers" because they are red and green. But there is a Mexican legend behind their popularity--and it's retold by Tomie dePaola in the way that only he can tell a story. Did I mention the illustrations? I know, I know, I'm gushing. But I really like that guy! When we were little girls, my sister and I fought over Strega Nona every week when we went to the library. When I say fought, I mean there might have been blood and tears. Weekly. And don't even get me started on The Clown of God. Best. Book. Ever. Followed only by every other book Tomie dePaola has ever written. And I met him!!!

I also just finished Forge, the sequel to Chains, both by Laurie Halse Anderson. Let me just tell you first that my students love these books. As in, skip lunch to keep reading because they can't get enough, love these books. And I am so happy that such a quality author has done such a quality job in writing historical fiction that is interesting and accurate. And I am even happier that kids love what she's written. Really, I am! But I just don't connect with Isabel and Curzón the way I feel like I should. Wait, that's not completely true. I do feel invested in their story. But I think that I am old and jaded and I know that Laurie has done a great job focusing on the story she's trying to tell and while she refers to the horrors that slavery entailed, she does not get too caught up in describing every detail...and as I read, all I can think is "it was so much worse than the horrible that she is describing here," and that just makes me sad. Just plain sad. And consequently, these well-written, important books become hard for me to read. Which I suppose is a a weird way.

I am trying not to get too caught up in counting how many books I need to read to make my goal of 100. This is all about the joys of reading, right? I'm hoping I go up to bed and find a really, really good that I can't put down until it's done. Procrastinators of the world, unite! Tomorrow!

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