Friday, June 3, 2011
48 Hour-Reading Challenge
Oh I love that Mother Reader organizes this big blogger event every year. 48 Hours dedicated to reading (yes, you may insert the occasional eating and sleeping in here). This event brings Central Ohio bloggers together for our annual breakfast at NorthStar and then our visit to our favorite local bookstore: Cover to Cover. This year will be no exception. Tomorrow we get together to make it an amazing morning. Just like we know how to do it!
Of course, it almost seems that every year that I participate in this fabulous literacy event, there seems like another big personal event happens that same weekend. This year, my dear friend Roxana is getting married in Dayton. So, here comes a road trip, fancy dress, high heels, and books in my packing bag. Although I couldn't read as much as I could, I still enjoy and mostly, LOVE this annual event. So, Mother Reader: thank you for the opportunity.
I will like to start my reading pile with a book that touched a spot in me. I felt like the first time I read this book, I read it too fast. I needed to go back, re-read, mark some poems and pages that I would like to keep for future reference. This 2nd reading allowed me to do that and here is an much updated review of this book. I saw my students in this story, I saw the struggle, the pain and the desire to learn and to be part of society that all immigrants like myself go through.
Inside Out and Back by Thanhha Lai again describes the story in free verse of a girl whose family is faced with a decision to make. This decision brings a reaction of events some of which are bound to happen, and others are just life experiences. Meet Hà and her family who patiently waits for the father to come back home from the Vietnam War. But after waiting and waiting for years, hope starts to fade and the family is left with no option but to leave Saigon. This journey represents that if their father ever comes back....how would he find his family? But little by little people are leaving taking ONE item with them. The long journey to American in the ship is harder than what they imagine. The food is starting to scarce and with this anxiety, anger, and frustration arises among the travelers in the Ship.
Once they FINALLy arrived in America, the 2nd part of this journey began. Now Hà and her family is being adopted by an American family and their lives as an immigrant began. Their divided world: the new one where they try to adapt and the home culture that they try to preserve. As Ha tries to learn English in school she realizes that is not only the language she will be struggling to understand but also her classmates who make fun of her and even bully her.
One particular poem in the book caught my attention as she describes how her teacher makes her feel at school...
points to me
then to the letters
of the English Alphabet.
A B C and so on.
She tells the class
points to the numbers
along the wall.
I count up to twenty.
THe class claps
on its own.
unable to explain
I already learned
and how to purify
So this is
I hate, hate, hate it.
After reading this poem, it is almost mandatory to have a moment of reflection. A moment where I quietly ask myself, "Did I ever unintentionally made a student feel like this?" I hope the answer is NO because I do understand that when you're learning the language you got to start somewhere. But along the way, the integrity of the learner must be at the front.
I highly recommend this book for many reasons but mainly for understanding and awareness.
The next book in my pile was a graphic novel. I must confess that I have a particular fascination for this genre. I just love everything about it. Looking at the detailed illustrations, the coloring of the drawings, the way an author, illustrator and colorist all work together to create a sensational book. I love to pay attention at how sounds are created in a graphic novel. The whole process is just very intriguing to me. This time I read the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Some of you might already be familiar with this book but I'll still share a bit about it. Percy Jackson's life is a puzzle, even for himself. His world is made up of mythological monsters and also the Gods of Mount Olympus. Not very common for a typical 12 year old to be surrounded in this world. But this is HIS world and he is about to discover some things that will not make sense and others that will only help him answer some of this questions. Problem is the poor child is trying to figure out his world and purpose as he is accused of stealing Zeus's master lighting bolt. Now...it's up to him to return it to the proper master. But it is in this journey that he will answer his questions, doubts, and will get to know so much more of WHO he is.
The third book in my pile is one that I have NOT finished yet but I can already tell you that I'm LOVING the positive yet humorous approach The Awesome Book. It is not one of those cheesy optimistic book. It is an OPTIMISTIC one BUT the author makes it so much more entertaining to read it as he adds details and descriptors to each scenario. This book will definitely be my companion this evening. But I'm taking a pause in order to support our 50th Anniversary of Columbus Arts Festival. My friends know that I support all the summer festivals in Columbus because that is ONE of the many things that make this city an amazing one!
Happy Reading Journey my friends. I hope you are your books are having an awesome one on one time!