Book Review 10: Persepolis

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Doust thou likest graphic novels? En esta es para tu. Okay, so I never did get that Spanish degree…. not that this has anything to do with Spanish.

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Summary: Marji is a very young girl learning about the terror, rebels, and leadership that affects their political system. Her entire life is focused on her relationship with God and being a prophet. As she grows, she struggles to understand why people believe so strongly in someone only to change their minds. She tries to understand the distinct differences in revenge and forgiveness. Her everyday life is full of stories about men going to prison for their beliefs. This affects not only her growing beliefs and thoughts on how and what to believe, as well as how she interacts with others. As her life continues to change and she is introduced to more violence, her relationship with God slowly begins to change.

Reflection: I’m not really a fan of this book. The reason for that is simply that I wasn’t engaged. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not an important book. This book does a good job of teaching others about a life that is vastly different than their own. It also does a good job in teaching empathy to others. I like it for that. I think it’s important to have educational books available to us and that memoirs do an exceptional job at teaching us.

Age group: I think high school students would be most appreciative of the book, while younger one’s might read it due to the variety of images which tell a story in themselves.

Here is an interesting article conducted by Emma Watson (former Hermione on Harry Potter).

Here is a review you might find interesting, as well.

Book Review 9: “A Great and Terrible Beauty”

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Summary: “A Great and Terrible Beauty” by Libba Bray: Out of the books I have read so far, I think I enjoyed this one the most. This is probably because it is more fantastical/paranormal than the others. So here goes: Our main character, Gemma, lives in a time many many years before ours (1895) and has started having visions. Her very first vision comes just before her mother commits suicide. Thereafter, Gemma is forced to go to a type of boarding school where they are trained to be real ladies suited for marriage. Here, Gemma meets Pipper, as well as other girls who make a tight inner circle. Together, they learn about Mary, a girl from the past, who had a very dark secret. Gemma continues to have her visions, and soon finds that they link her to another world full of power and danger.

Reflection: This book did not properly end. I suppose that’s why there are two other books. It stopped 2/3rds through with a rushed book-mark-type of ending. For this reason, even though that is not cool, I’d like to read the other two to see how the story is resolved. I enjoyed the dynamics between the girls and their competitiveness to be in the “in-crowd.” I also enjoyed the roundness of the characters; they weren’t flat. There is a very down-to-earth teacher in the story who reminds me of that one person destined to positively impact a student’s life, as well as Gemma’s occasional note about the role of women that was interesting. Lastly, I absolutely enjoyed the audio version of this as the one reading made the dialect and tone completely come alive. It was gorgeous.

Ages: Middle school and high school library. I think both groups of students would enjoy it, but that it does lend itself towards high school a bit more in the fact that the characters is a bit older and readying for marriage.

What lasts: This is a timeless story that transcends through the ages; it is relateable and you genuinely begin to feel for each character. I will continue to look for these kind of stories – one’s that relate and that reflect the inner desires of the young, as well as societal boundaries put upon them.

Stars 4.5 out of 5.

Here is her FAQ page that looks highly entertaining as well as informative.

#amreading #libbabray #books #ya

Book Review 8: “Liar and Spy”

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Summary: “Liar and Spy” is about two boys who become friends without even trying to. Georges (the characters have odd names) accidentally finds himself joining the spy club when they come across a poster with a time to sign up. There he meets Safer and his sister, and agrees to be his agent. Safer teaches him how to be a proper spy, and together, they keep close tabs on Mr. X. Meanwhile, Georges is being bullied at school. Through a series of near misses, Georges learns about a unique family who doesn’t ever go to school, as well as what it means to be brave and be a friend.

Reflection: This book was a little slow, but it was short. I like more fantastical books to keep me intrigued. However, it was still interesting. I liked how it addressed those who are different than us, as well as those who don’t always tell us the exact truth. It addressed bullying, but not to much extent. Georges learned how to stand up for himself, but I wasn’t completely convinced; really, he just got even. To a degree, it ended up focusing on forgiveness and giving people second chances. During the most climatic part of the book, it turns out that there was never any real danger – this was super disappointing, as it was one of the main things that kept me slightly engaged.

Ages: I’d recommend this for middle grade students. 10-14.

I didn’t look for figurative language, nor did it really stand out to me as it has in John Green’s book, “Paper Towns.”

The takeaway: This was a simple, semi-intense book about friendship. I’d recommend this for middle-aged kids due to this reason.

Stars: 2 out of 5.

#books #middlegradebooks #amreading