Besides my YA reading, it was a busy week with staff development at work and church activities for Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Needless to say, I’m not thrilled with my reading progress this week, but it is what it is.
I was able to spend at least 4 hours reading. I never actually timed it, so I wonder how much I typically read in a week! I’d guess between 5 and 7 hours…but now I’m curious. hmmmm……
The Book I Finished!
This week’s book club selection was a nonfiction book. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: The Young Readers Edition, by William Kamkwamba, is the story of young William – a Malawian farmer who builds a windmill. This memoir tells the story of his growing up, the struggle faced by his family during the years of famine, and his desire to keep learning despite his lack of money to attend school. William is able to borrow books from his library and gets the idea to build a windmill to bring his family light, electricity, irrigation to their crops, and a better life.
William’s story is inspiring. I really love how he was able to continue to learn and experiment. He has such a passion for learning and a desire to keep learning that would be inspirational to students. This Young Readers Edition reads like fiction – something that appealed to everyone in our book club. One member even found us some amazing YouTube videos of him speaking. (Check out his original TED talk here.)
This is a great book for reluctant readers, those who learn by doing, and those who are interested in what inspires others. It would be an excellent tie-in to a cross-curricular unit with science (physics, energy, electricity) and/or social studies (history of Malawi, rural life in Africa, geography and weather, human-environmental interactions).
This Week’s Book Club Book!
Besides this amazing book, I have also been devouring our next book club selection. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan, has been really interesting, and really good! The book follows several young men over the course of a weekend. There are the two boys who are attempting to complete a world record longest kiss, their friends and family, and other teens in the area who are struggling with various aspects of their identity and relationships.
So far, it is AMAZING. I even started a Padlet to house all the life lessons I am finding in this work. Levithan is a prolific writer who states humanity’s truths in the lines of this work. More to come next week!…..
The Book I Want to Devour, But….
I’m also working on Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare. Set in Victorian England, Tessa has stumbled upon a world filled with Shadowhunters who battle Downworlders (demons, vampires, etc.) underneath the nose of the Mundanes (regular humans). She needs to find her brother Nate and fears something happened to him.
Tessa must discover who she is (she can turn herself into the physical bodies of other people – mostly dead), what her abilities mean, find (and save?) her brother, and attempt to understand a world she did not know existed.
I am really enjoying this book. Here is my problem though – it is 500 pages and I feel like I am not making any progress! Sure, I’ve read about 200 pages so far this week, not too shabby, but I am not sure that I am making the story go anywhere. I love Clare’s imagery and the sense of wonder that Tessa explores the world with. I really am just battling the mental wall of Am I ever going to finish this book?
I am determined to finish it for two reasons.
1. I really am enjoying it. The people who have recommended it did a great job!
2. I have only ever, in my ENTIRE LIFE, left one book unfinished. I think it is my book OCD that makes me finish them. I know, Reader’s Rights tell us we can leave a book, but I just don’t want to!
Alright, what’s a girl to do? How do you break through the mental wall of a “doorstop novel”? What should I try to feel like I am making progress? Let’s talk below…