Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What to Read Wednesday

Sometimes, if you are really lucky, you finish a book with a sense of gratitude.  These are books that I cherish because the characters are so clearly written they feel like friends or the story itself shifts my thinking or simply because the writing moves me.  Here's my top 10 (but for the record, this list could have been much longer).

"10 Books I'm Thankful I Read"

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
I love the way the author weaves together Sal and Phoebie's stories.  I used to read this story aloud to my 7th grade students at Franklin and it always made me cry.  Every year.  

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Let's be honest. Bullying has always plagued children throughout history, but it seems like lately it's gone to a new level.  Everyone should read this.  Parents.  Teachers.  Students.  

A Child Called "It" by David Pelzer
I read this during one of my first years as a teacher.  Chilling.   I found myself peering at my students, fearing that I might be missing a silent cry for help.

Luna by Julie Ann Peters
Biggest surprise I ever read.  I was transformed by this powerful, perfectly written story.  My consciousness expanded with each moment.  

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I've read plenty of books about WWII and the Holocaust, but this one from the perspective of Death is by far my favorite.  I listened to the audio book and the memories of the story linger still.

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata
I knew about Japanese Internment.  I knew about Indian Reservations.  But the displacement of Indians to intern the Japanese?  Sigh.  

God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant
You have to read it to understand.  

Mockingbird (mok' ing-burd) by Kathryn Erskine
It's like taking off the top of the head and peering into the inner workings of a child with Asbergers.  Plus, the book is dedicated to the students killed at Virginia Tech.  Austin Cloyd, one of the victims, was one of my former students.  The end (and the epilogue) made me cry.

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
Even though I read this 25 years ago, this story of a brutally injured soldier has clung to me.   

Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza (adult novel)
I was left with such admiration for people who experience the worst horrors imaginable and maintain unwavering faith in a higher power.  In this book people are amazing and amazingly horrible.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (adult novel)
If I could say one book transformed me as a reader, this would be it.  Like Left to Tell, this book examines the wonders and horrors of man.  I was a better person when I finished this book.  

What books changed you?

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