Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

On Mondays, Jen Vincent and Kellee Moye host What Are You Reading? on their blog, If you are ever in need of a book recommendation, this is a guaranteed place to find some!

Having been on vacation last week gave me a lot of time for reading and I was able to read some books that have been on my list.  I read Parvana's Journey and Mud City by Deborah Ellis, the second and third books of a trilogy that begins with The Breadwinner. These books tell the stories of fictional Afghani girls in the years just before 9/11. Although the accounts are incredibly sad, the events are appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. My high school daughter read them as well since she was looking for a book to read and she had a lot of questions about the Taliban and events in the Middle East. She was angry at the sadness of the stories and the lack of closure, but appreciated the parallel of this uncertainty to the real-life events within this area of the world. Thank you to Tara for the recommendations.

I also read Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, another extremely sad book about the plight of the Lithuanians during World War II. I have studied Hitler and the Holocaust, but was much less aware of the atrocities of Stalin and his deportation of millions of people from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This book is more appropriate for high school students or mature middle school readers since there will be some predictable questions about behavior of people in power. It's beautifully written and I am sure that the characters will stay with me for a long, long time.

Back to work today...Happy reading!


  1. Oh, so glad that you read and enjoyed the Ellis books, Melanie! I have all her books now...and I'm thinking of crafting a book club genre study around them next year. Between Shades of Grey sounds unusual - that is certainly not a period of time that gets written about much. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree with you about Between Shades of Gray. It is a powerful book and well-written. I need to get out my copy of The Breadwinner and read it. I have read the first few chapters, but never got through the whole book. It sounds like the whole trilogy would be a great set of books to have for students to read and understand that part of the world a little better.

  3. Yes, need to get to those Ellis books, now recommended by both you & Tara! You did read about some terrible ordeals, didn't you, Melanie? I've read the Shades of Grey book & loved it, but it wasn't pretty! Thanks! Hope your day was a good start!