Monday, September 30, 2013
It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to check out the blogs Teach Mentor Texts, hosted by Jen Vincent and Unleashing Readers, hosted by Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg.
Last week, one of my colleagues recommended Trash by Andy Mulligan. As I was going through books on my daughters' bookshelves, I coincidentally came across it, so I started reading it through very tired eyes on Friday night. I didn't pay too much attention (no, I wasn't reading closely) for the first ten pages, and by page 12, I was completely hooked. I stayed up late Saturday night and woke up early on Sunday morning to see what would happen to the three boys that I came to care about in ten pages. As Olivia, one of the several narrators in Trash, reflected, "I fell in love. I fell in love with the eyes looking at me, and the smiles." Even though I could not see the eyes and smiles, I completely imagined them, and was right there, agreeing with Olivia.
My colleague recommended Trash because we are developing a human rights unit for sixth-graders. This novel would be a powerful springboard to conversations about human rights, government corruption, disparity, and economic principles. The three main characters are thirteen year-old boys growing up in a third world country as garbage pickers, but they become involved with events that teach them about much more than their own environment. Woven into an engaging and sometimes violent plot are lessons about humanity, values, ethical dilemmas, and our world's inter-connectedness. I could see this being a powerful read-aloud or book club selection for middle school students.