Monday, January 12, 2009

From the bookshelf of the Quilted Librarian

Since this blog is called the Quilted Librarian, I feel compelled to talk about books from time to time. As a middle school teacher-librarian, I do a lot of reading in the young adult category. I just finished a great book by Julie Schumacher called Black Box that deals with a depressed teenager and how her depression affects her family. It's exquisitely written and yet manages to mimic the jerky writing style of a 14-year-old. With three to four page chapters, it's appealing to the reluctant reader, but it's compelling nature will keep them reading until the end.

Right now I'm rereading Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island because it's one of our Battle of the Books selections this year. The old Disney movie of the book was one of my favorites as a child. My students are having a hard time getting started. Nineteenth century writers prepared you for the story a bit more (no one gets vaporized on page one) and all the sea-specific vocabulary is tough going for them. I'm trying to gently coax them into reading it.
The book is a very dog-eared copy of the Atheneum edition with the lovely N.C Wyeth illustrations, but it only adds to my enjoyment. Here be pirates, indeed.

I'm looking forward to reading Neil Gaiman's newest, The Graveyard Book. I heard him interviewed on NPR and ordered it right away. He got the idea for it while watching his son ride his tricycle in a cemetary.

At home, I'm reading Barack Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. He's a fantastic writer--very aware of place and bringing his readers along on his journeys. Getting this insight into the thoughts of our next president makes me even more hopeful for the fate of our country.

Nancy Crow's new book is a real treat and I find myself just sitting down in a comfortable chair and leafing through it again and again, much as I do with her older book, Quilts and Influences. I can't recommend it enough.

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