Saturday, January 23, 2010

To Destroy You is No Loss: The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family by JoAn D. Criddle

I have been grateful for my decision to participate in the Olympic Reading Challenge because it has given me the opportunity to learn about people, places, and events that I would probably not have learned about, otherwise. This book is the story of Teeda Butt Mam who grew up in an elite, wealthy family in Phnom Penh prior to the fall of the Cambodian government under the Khmer Rouge. It details the genocide of millions of Cambodians under the hands of the Communist government. It is amazing to me that I was totally unaware of this happening in my lifetime! The book helped me to continue to change my outlook on the rest of the world and the individual worth of people all around us. It is so easy to get wrapped up into our prideful, nationalistic ways and not have the appropriate love and respect that we should have for people wherever they live...and to do more to reach out a hand to those in need of support and understanding. I am resolved to do more about the problem of refugees around the world who long for peace and freedom!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This has been one of the more memorable books that I have read in a long time! It was difficult for me, at times, not to think that I was reading some Newberry Award winning book where the author tells the story od some fictious family with the strangest things happening to them; children with some of the weirdest parents of all times making it because of the strength of character of the children in the family. But then, I remember that this is the writer's memoir and she is telling the true story of her childhood.
It was so very impactful and full of wonderful insights into the lives of children raised by parents dealing with alcoholism and mental problems and how it is that many people find themselves living on the streets...and even choosing to do so. I highly recommend this book to all! You will be amazed by the Walls' children!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

I truly enjoyed reading this Newberry Award winner. It was a book that I had a difficult time putting down. I am not a huge fan of a lot of fantasy novels, but this one was such a fun read. The heroine is a female who is not beautiful and has many flaws, but still very noble and heroic in character. While it was clear where Ms. McKinley was going to take you in the novel, nonetheless, the trip there was enjoyable.
I look forward to reading other books by Ms. McKinley. I think that The Hero and the Crown is a book that will be enjoyed by both young adult and adult readers. One of my highly recommended reads...not for any earth-shaking moral statement or wisdom, but simply as an enjoyable read.