Writing about what I have been reading and encountering in the media.
|The last time I went to the book store, I bought three books written for young people and I have finished reading two of them. It seemed like they would be perfect for lying in bed keeping myself awake coughing and sneezing, but feeling too badly to take on anything weighty. And so it was with Ransom Riggs’ Library of Souls, the Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. This has a gold seal on the front cover saying “Exclusive sneak Preview.” It appears to be the first ninety pages of the third novel due to be published in October. It also mentions a movie is being made about these stories. It looks like a good marketing strategy. I am enjoying this series because it is so “peculiar.” The tale includes moving from one time “loop” to another, and the beings in each “loop” are often unfamiliar, unpredictable, and you never know until the last minute if they are going to help or harm the heroes and heroines. Each new adventure leads to the characters discovering things about themselves and feeling surprised by their discoveries. I think these stories would be most enjoyed by middle school readers, and maybe 4th grade too.
The other book is totally different. It is non-fiction. Linda Sue Park has written a “creative non-fiction” biography of Salva Dut, one of the “lost boys” of southern Sudan during the war starting in 1985. It is the story of his experiences as a refugee written in opposition to the story of a young girl, the same age, about 11, living in South Sudan in 2008. The book title, A Long Walk to Water is a clear introduction to the focus on scarce water and the effects of war and scarcity on young people. It is a story of courage, family loyalty, determination, and the importance of taking life one step at a time. It too seems about right for readers in middle school.
Both books are very well written, include suspense, and children facing grave danger without the support of parents. They also illustrate the positive impact of strong healthy attachment. I hope that those of you who know young people might consider sharing either book, after you read them, of course, and, I hope you don’t have to get sick to find time to read them.