I didn't know what to expect when I snagged this book off the class bookshelf. My students liked Holes far more than I did.
But I fell in love with th...moreI didn't know what to expect when I snagged this book off the class bookshelf. My students liked Holes far more than I did.
But I fell in love with the characters in this book. Both Armpit and X-Ray were well-fleshed out and sympathetic. The introduction of Ginny really rounded out the soft heart of Armpit.
At the same time, the portrayal of the discrimination offenders face, even juvenile offenders, was realistic. I can see how hard it is to walk the straight and narrow when everyone is waiting for a misstep.
I'm so glad I bought a hard copy of this book!(less)
Every so often, my district requires teachers to use books for curriculum which our district didn't buy. This is just such a book. It's in our curricu...moreEvery so often, my district requires teachers to use books for curriculum which our district didn't buy. This is just such a book. It's in our curriculum but not on our campus so I bought a copy off of Amazon to see what exactly I'm supposed to be implementing every Friday.
Wow! What a book! The last book which inspired me this much was Harvey Daniels's Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles. My classes are multi-grades (6th-8th) so I may jump around a bit but the Take 5 are inspirational. Not all five ideas suit my teaching style but for every poem at least one lesson fit me and my classes.
I'm now looking forward to implementing poetry. But I still wonder why my district didn't provide the book to all campuses.(less)
I bought this book this summer on sale. It's one of those titles that's highly recommended for English teachers so I' thought I'd be a good little tea...moreI bought this book this summer on sale. It's one of those titles that's highly recommended for English teachers so I' thought I'd be a good little teacher and read it.
The glimpses of life in 1970s-1990s Tehran are fascinating. The author, a native Iranian who had spent time in the US, lived through those years as a teacher of English lit. She was extraordinarily lucky that she was never arrested just because she was a woman, a teacher, and a professor of an unpopular-with-the-regimes subject. She recounts her life in a time of tremendous turbulence.
As a professor of English literature, her memories are tied to books, authors, and students' reactions. I haven't read the majority of the books in her curriculum so I was unable to make some of the connections that were made in the book.
Because she's working with memories, there are sometimes flashbacks within flashbacks which I had a difficult time following.
I found myself not liking her husband much because he, like many men in Iran, was unable to understand the lives the women were living. It's the stories like those told in this book that demonstrates what very different lives men and women can live within the same setting.
I don't think I'm going to keep this book but I have to admit to marking several passages for further consideration.(less)
**spoiler alert** As the third book in set in the world of The Giver, I didn't know what to expect. The first book is classic sci-fi/dystopian suitabl...more**spoiler alert** As the third book in set in the world of The Giver, I didn't know what to expect. The first book is classic sci-fi/dystopian suitable for the young reader. The second book was less sci-fi with overtones of fantasy (psychic abilities or magic--I couldn't decide). This book, though, did a nice job of blending the first two to create a coherent whole.
I was nicely surprised to find that Jonas is still alive albeit with a new name. I really liked that Matty has found a place for himself where he is accepted. I also liked that the reader learns that the former settings of the previous books have all been transformed through the works of the protagonists of the previous books and that the reader gets to watch the transformations in this book, too.
While I appreciate the symbolism, I don't think I care much for the Forest representing the closemindedness and meanheartedness of the Villagers. Reading this book was watching a utopian society degrading into a dystopian society. It was an ugliness I was unprepared for.
I'm curious about the trades which were insufficiently explained, in my opinion. Perhaps the author will explain in a later book but I find that a cheap ploy to pre-sell the next book.
I got this from the school library and I'll return it to the school library. I haven't decided yet it I like it enough to want to add the series to my class library.(less)
**spoiler alert** After watching the movie about The Giver, I was inspired to read the series. They're a quick read; after all, they're meant for uppe...more**spoiler alert** After watching the movie about The Giver, I was inspired to read the series. They're a quick read; after all, they're meant for upper elementary readers so the words aren't all that difficult but the themes can be complex.
In a way, it's a classic orphan tale with the opening taking place four days after the mother's death. The father disappeared long ago leaving behind Kira, a child who shouldn't exist. Kira is different/deformed in a society which doesn't value deformities or weaknesses.
Make no mistake, Kira's community is not kind to the weak. Exposure is expected to those who can't work within the community. Death and hardheartedness are expected and the norm.
I have a hard time when Kira's gift transforms from the gift of dyes, threads, weaving, and embroidery to a mystical talent. I have a hard time when a small piece of cloth becomes an early warning system.
I was expecting more sci-fi (albeit sociological sci-fi) and less mysticism/fantasy. It was rather disappointing for me. I felt like I was set up, even if the set up was in my own mind, because I was expecting more of Jonas' world.
The characters have depth. The world is brought to alive by a talented author. I just didn't care much for the mysticism.(less)
The Giver is, of course, a classic. I first read it in college; even then, I knew it was good. I was always, though, somewhat dismayed by the ending.
L...moreThe Giver is, of course, a classic. I first read it in college; even then, I knew it was good. I was always, though, somewhat dismayed by the ending.
Last weekend, I saw the movie. Watching the movie made me want to re-read the book. More importantly, it caused me to want to read the subsequent books, Gathering Blue and Messenger. Even though both books have been out for years, I'd simply never "had the time." Now I'm going to make the time.
The book and the movie differed. An usher at the theater assured me, though, that Lois Lowry approved all changes in the movie. It's been 20 years since the book came out; technologies have changed; her ideas of the story have changed.
The theme, however, has remained the same: celebrate diversity.(less)
I read the book for two reasons: I've already read much of the series and it's new for our curriculum. Right after Hurricane Katrina, our area had an...moreI read the book for two reasons: I've already read much of the series and it's new for our curriculum. Right after Hurricane Katrina, our area had an influx of refugees but my current students are too young to remember.
The book is too short to get too in-depth but it does a good job of giving the reader a feel for the characters and the action. I still enjoyed the reading. (less)