Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Originally uploaded by barbfecteau.
I read the first two chapters this afternoon and I feel such a sense of relief! I was worried that I was going to hate this. I don't know why, I thought it would be earnest and uplifting - which is fine, just not my cup of tea.

But in reality it is funny and kind of heartbreaking. I burst into tears during the part where she and her mother agree about the luxury of pouring coffee down the sink.

And I loved when the boys were talking trash about the horse. "I seen him run over a little baby yesterday." Indeed!

I hated the snotty child-hating librarian, though, of course.

Some of the talk about Jews made me a little uncomfortable. I really have to remember the historical context of this. 1912 was a whole other world. And I like that the mother had more enlightened ideas - or at least seems to at this point. It is kind of funny because a lot of the descriptive parts of this book remind me of the "All of a Kind Family" books which is a series of books about a Jewish family living in a tenement on the lower east side of Manhattan around the same time as this story takes place.

There is a tenement museum in New York City. It is the Lower East Side and not Brooklyn, but I imagine there are similarities:
you can see it here.

Also, the tree that Francie talks about as a harbinger of a neighborhood turning into slums is called ailanthus.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Game Over

Originally uploaded by barbfecteau.
I just finished ENDER'S GAME and I think it will be awhile before I get over it. I should come out of the gate admitting that I am not a science fiction person. This book was first recommended to me by a student. I will rat her out once she graduates, but for now we will call her Betty. I assured her that I would hate it, but she double-dog dared me to read it and now I feel like I should make her a cake or something.

I don't want to give away any plot points, but I will just say that I did kind of see the way the game was going, but I was unaware of people's motives. And I am sorry to be so mysterious, but I don't want to give anything away.

If you are reading ENDER'S GAME on your own, I am sure you have already determined that you don't need me holding your hand, the story will carry you along. Enjoy the ride!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Okay, here is my plan.

I am going to read every book on the Beverly High School summer reading list and I am going to use this as a reading journal. And if I can refrain from using bad grammar, I will link it to the BHS library blog.

I was going to wait until this summer to start, but since I accidentally started I am going to go with it.

I will try to find links that might make the books more interesting for, say, someone who is being forced to read it instead of hanging out at Lynch Park with their friends.