If only every teenager would read and embrace this story, I wonder if it would change the instant-gratification, me-me-me society that has evolved oveIf only every teenager would read and embrace this story, I wonder if it would change the instant-gratification, me-me-me society that has evolved over the last 50 years? Of course, this novel is a staple in any Holocaust lesson planning. In a world in which so few teenagers (or adults, for that matter) seem to stop and give thanks for what they have (instead chirping about what they want or complaining about what they don't have), Anne Frank faced the most unfair of cruelties with a certain strength and grace that crushes nearly any "problem" kids or adults face. Many Holocaust books or movies make you think, "Why?! Why did this happen?!" This story makes me think, "How? How did Anne Frank find the strength to keep her head and record her thoughts during such an unbelievably difficult time?" In a world desperate for heroes and tired (though indelibly enamored by) spoiled athletes, stories like this are once-in-a-lifetime. Hats off to Anne Frank. She had dreams of becoming famous and, although it was for reasons she never would have imagined, at least that part of her dream became true. I appreciate how this story makes my students of all learning levels and backgrounds rethink what they thought they knew about sacrifices and challenges, and even gets some students thinking about how they can use their lives to make a positive difference for others....more
Mitch Albom has written a book for the ages; all ages. This story was a masterpiece of both life and death; sweet and bitter; laughable and depressingMitch Albom has written a book for the ages; all ages. This story was a masterpiece of both life and death; sweet and bitter; laughable and depressing; hopeful and barren. Aging has its benefits of experience, wisdom and the broadening of horizons. However, any pluses can feel overshadowed at the loss of independence. While I hope to live a long and full life, I don't look forward to the day where I have to count on anyone to drive for daily errands, dress me or worse. Morrie lived with a straight-forwardness that was both endearing and enlightening. Age isn't something to be afraid of, but something to be cherished as part of the process. ...more
If you ever find yourself wishing that your life was better, then maybe you should read this book to remind you that your life could be a whole lot woIf you ever find yourself wishing that your life was better, then maybe you should read this book to remind you that your life could be a whole lot worse. It is amazing to think that millions upon millions of kids are trained to carry guns and kill innocent people just because of some greedy, vicious "leaders" who care nothing about decency and humanity. I know the United States tries to help those in need, but how I wish we could help more the people who need it the most. It is so sad to think that some countries are more focused on training their kids to shoot guns than to read books....more
“Bailey was talking so fast he forgot to stutter, he forget to scratch his head and clean his fingernails with his teeth. He was away in a mystery, lo“Bailey was talking so fast he forgot to stutter, he forget to scratch his head and clean his fingernails with his teeth. He was away in a mystery, locked in the enigma that young Southern Black boys start to unravel, start to try to unravel, from seven years old to death. The humorless puzzle of inequality and hate. His experience raised the question of worth and values, of aggressive inferiority and aggressive arrogance.”
This is a controversial book at the secondary school level because some of the situations Angelou recounts are heavy for teenagers to read. But just because these situations are heavy and however inappropriate they may be, let’s not pretend that teenagers are oblivious to or, unfortunately, for some, immune to the inappropriateness. I think we have to give them more credit than that.
Controversy aside, I find that Maya Angelou’s words can lend beauty to the ugliest of circumstances.
On dealing with disgusting perversions some adults inflict upon unsuspecting kids: “Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.”
Reflecting on a dentist who refused to serve her on account of her skin color: “It seemed terribly unfair to have a toothache and a headache and have to bear at the same time the heavy burden of Blackness.”
Sharing what it is like being one of a handful of African American students in a predominantly white school: “The white kids had better vocabulary that I and, what was more appalling, less fear than in the classrooms…even when they were wrong they were wrong aggressively, while I had to be certain about all my facts before I dared to call attention to myself.”
On the inequality of skewed expectations: “The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madam Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren’t even in on it) would try to be Jesse Owens and Joe Louises.”
On her father being born with the cards stacked against him: “How maddening it was to have been born in a cotton field with aspirations of grandeur.” ...more