A Good Word for Libraries
Going to the library is a wonderful experience. It certainly was for me today.
I stumbled across a book called Best Books for Middle School and Junior High Readers by John T. Gillespie and Catherine Barr. Call me vain, but whenever I see a book like that, I look to see if I'm included. It could happen. And in this case, it did! Three times!!! Club Earth, Hero of Ticonderoga, and Saving the Planet & Stuff were all listed as best books.
So then, I saw another book right next to the first one. Except this one was called Best Books for High School Readers, by the same authors. So I thought, I'm going to be greedy and look in this one, too. I was there! Saving the Planet & Stuff made both books!
I don't get this kind of excitement often.
Jane Yolen Got Some Press Recently, Too
Newsweek's website did an interview with her. Now, I've heard for years that Jane wrote a wizard book pre-Harry P. that was interestingly similar. This interview gives the details.
This Was Enlightening
I loved Lord of the Flies when I read it as a sophomore in high school. It may have been my first experience with symbolism, and I ate it up. I thought the book was deep and profound and wonderful.
Years later I convinced a young relative to read it. He hated it.
So I was very interested to read Rebecca Traister's article Reading "Lord of the Flies" on Salon. Traister isn't a fan of the book, either. She makes the symbolism I found deep and profound and wonderful sound just a little bit obvious.
The really interesting thing about her article, though, is that Traister says that when she was first exposed to Lord of the Flies (eighth grade for her), she realized she could write papers on books just on the basis of class discussion. She didn't have to read the books. And, by golly, my young relative did that, too. Quite a bit, from what I've heard.
I hope he didn't get started down that road because I made him read Lord of the Flies.
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