This was an excellent book! I read it in one day. The style is easy to follow and Irene's tale is gripping. Irena Opdyke was just 16 when the GermansThis was an excellent book! I read it in one day. The style is easy to follow and Irene's tale is gripping. Irena Opdyke was just 16 when the Germans invaded Poland and she was swept up into events which led her to tangle with the Russians then eventually to being forced to work for the Germans. Through it all she kept her pride as a Polish woman and human being, risking her life to thwart the German occupation and assist the Jewish people in anyway she could, eventually smuggling many to safety. Irene's story reminds us of the good in humans even in the face of great evil and is an inspiration for all, esp. teens who may feel they cannot make a difference. Irene made a great difference. ...more
This is a well written, excellently researched, engaging book on how the lives and expectations of adolescent and teenage girls has changed over the yThis is a well written, excellently researched, engaging book on how the lives and expectations of adolescent and teenage girls has changed over the years. By examining major markers in a girls life that generally signal her ascent into womanhood and how those now occur solidly when society still thinks of her as a girl, Flanagan looks at how this can take a toll on girls.
It's definitely a read for those who either have or work with girls regularly. For me it really reminded me how difficult being a teenage girl is. Using women of the past to illustrate the continuity of experiences Flanagan's observations become universal. One critique however is that when examining sex in Girl Land (which is what she calls that transitionary time when a works through who she is to become and sometimes parents wonder where their daugher went) she ignores the topic of orientation. Sex is difficult enough without factoring in that it a time when many girls are figuring out their own preferences not just in terms of sex in general but in gender of partners.
What Caitlin Flanagan advocates is making your girls room an internet/cell phone free zone. She argues that girls need that "unplugged" time to really sort through thoughts, feelings etc without the pressures of the outside world. While I agree with this, it's difficult to make that happen this way. I would recommend parenting vigilance and fostering as open communication as you can. Absolutely time away from the bombardment of FB and texting and gossip sites is crucial, but so is teaching your daughter (and son!) to be a proper internet user.
All in all it was an enjoyable and interesting read and one that I think is valuable....more
As a teacher this book was an eye opener. Yes, I new textbooks are not the end all and always seek to supplement but I had no idea it was this pervasiAs a teacher this book was an eye opener. Yes, I new textbooks are not the end all and always seek to supplement but I had no idea it was this pervasive. I wish I had read this while going through my teacher education classes. I will certainly look closer at the texts I use in my classroom.
This has made me reflect quite a bit on what I have been taught and now seek to take the best of that and find ways that work well for my students.
Every teacher, especially English and Social Studies, should read this book.
Her tone is easy to follow and doesn't get bogged down. It is engaging and electric. She's also very open about her connections within the educational system and how she went about things. I know we often wonder why students can't engage with the subjects presented them and this prevents one answer, because it's not engaging as presented in their texts. It is so watered down and sanitized that students can't reconcile the world they see in the texts with the one in their everyday lives. Is it a wonder that everyday life wins?...more
I think most of my rating has to do with the subject matter rather than the actual writing. It carried an odd tone almost as if Patrick Swayze had alrI think most of my rating has to do with the subject matter rather than the actual writing. It carried an odd tone almost as if Patrick Swayze had already died, who at the time of publication (or writing this) he has not.
It is very informative about his training and his life however she tanks all her credibility with one key detail. Dirty Dancing is a well beloved movie, one that has been watched over and over and over. She sets the scene quite well, Johnny Castle enters Kellerman's and receives his instructions from MAX Kellerman not NEIL. Her simple mixing up of dorky, annoying, full of himself Neil for his stick in the mud grandfather colors the rest of the book.
The interviews with Swayze's friends and childhood classmates do enhance the story. It's a short book, has some great pictures, and moves along quickly. I was looking for a good airplane book and it fit the bill. It also expanded my must see movie list....more
After anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book at my local library, then giving up and ordering it on inter-library loan I finally got to read thisAfter anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book at my local library, then giving up and ordering it on inter-library loan I finally got to read this book. It was worth the wait.
You have to admire a man who has not only read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (the subject of his first novel The Know-It-All) but one that undertakes such a massive undertaking. While it isn't as outrightly hilarious as I was anticipating but it was an interesting, engaging, and entertaining read. Jacob's descriptions of his decisions, actions, and thoughts are easy to follow. He has obviously done his research and done it well. His quest leads him to distant places and explores a variety of topics from dietary laws, to impurity laws, to polygamy. I enjoyed going along for the ride.
It's not preachy or set to convert anyone (including himself) it's an intellectual and spiritual exercise undertaken to explore what is arguably the most influential text in human existence.
I recommend it for anyone interested in religion or just wants a entertaining read.