Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I love joining Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers each week to share my reading life. 

I'm a big believer in the power of books. I believe that books can change us. They can make us more empathetic. They can show us lives we never would have lived. As I prepare to turn 42 in less than a week, I know that inside of me I have not only the lessons from my own life, but also the lessons I've gained between the covers of the books I've read. Stories have made me a better person, of this, I am certain. This week I had the great fortune to read four wonderful books, but two of them were books that I will not soon forget. 

Big Magic was a book on my "to read" stack for far too long. I purchased it, but just hadn't gotten around to reading it. As I blogged just the other day (here), my friend Colby nudged me into reading it, and I'm so glad I did. Gilbert reminds me that the act of creating makes me create more. Writing begets writing. I need to make time for it in my life. I need to not worry about the reaction to my writing, because the gift was in the creating. Loved this book. 

The other book that rocked me to my very core was All American Boys. In a quick summary, this book follows two story lines - Rashad, a black teen, is beaten by a police office who assumes he was stealing a bag of chips at the store. Quinn, a white kid, sees the beating and knows the police office, his best friend's brother. The dual narrative takes us into the minds of these boys. This is a story that I thought I knew before beginning, but I had no idea. 

I don't know how to even adequately speak about this book except to say that you must read it. Everyone needs to. I have already loaned my book out twice since finishing it last week, it's that good. This book spoke to my soul. It made me angry. It made me cry. We need to have this conversation with our students, we need to have it with each other. Amazing book.

Have a great reading week! I'm off to read Gertie's Leap to Greatness. Cannot wait!