Monday, May 14, 2012
It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Thanks to Jen and Kellee of teachmentortexts.com for inspiring so many people to read and share every Monday!
I liked the cover of Sylvia and Aki by Winifred Conkling while I was browsing at the town library with one of my daughters and I am so glad that I brought this book home and read it! Based on the historical events just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, this book rotates between the narration of Sylvia Mendez, who was the plaintiff in the landmark 1946 court case, Mendez et al v. the Westminster School District et al., and Aki Munemitsu, a Japanese girl whose family was sent to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert. Because Sylvia's family rents the vacated farm owned by Aki's family, the girls' stories intersect and intertwine, providing the substance for an engaging plot.
This book offers so much to discuss! Public reaction to cultures, racism, perceptions and realities, as well as less known American history, all emerge in the relatively simple text of Sylvia and Aki. I shared it with my daughters so it had been the basis for some interesting dinner conversations and I am looking forward to some of my students reading it as well. It's also a great mentor text in that it shifts story lines and narrators but maintains the interconnectedness. Definitely worth reading this one!