It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

by Notorious Spinks on 02.21.2011

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

As for last week I completed one book,Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama and illustrated by Loren Long.

You can find the review here.

Here are my scheduled reads for this week:

What Will Happen to Me? by Howard Zehr & Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz

What is life like for a child who has a parent in prison?

This book brings together photographic portraits of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with their thoughts and reflections, in their own words.

Stalina by Emily Rubin

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Stalina Folskaya’s homeland is little more than a bankrupt country of broken dreams. She flees St. Petersburg in search of a better life in America, leaving behind her elderly mother and the grief of the past. However, Stalina quickly realizes that her pursuit of happiness will be a hard road. A trained chemist in Russia, but disillusioned by her prospects in the US, she becomes a maid at The Liberty, a “short-stay” motel on the outskirts of Hartford. Able to envision beauty and profit even here, Stalina convinces her boss to let her transform the motel into a fantasy destination. Business skyrockets and puts the American dream within Stalina’s sights. A smart, fearless woman like Stalina can go far…if only she can reconcile the ghosts of her past. Obsessed with avenging her family while also longing for a new life, Stalina is a remarkable immigrant’s tale about a woman whose imagination—and force of personality—will let her stop at nothing.

The Freedom Writers Diary : How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by The Freedom Writers w/ Erin Gruwell

As an idealistic twenty-three-year-old English teacher at Wilson High School in Long beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of “unteachable, at-risk” students. One day she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature, and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust—only to be met by uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to the civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders.” With funds raised by a “Read-a-thon for Tolerance,” they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell’s students were “the real heroes.” Their efforts have paid off spectacularly, both in terms of recognition—appearances on “Prime Time Live” and “All Things Considered,” coverage in People magazine, a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley—and educationally. All 150 Freedom Writers have graduated from high school and are now attending college.

With powerful entries from the students’ own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Najeema February 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I’m finishing up Don’t Bring Home A White Boy and about to start Eugene Robinson’s The Splintering of Black America and Stephen Carter’s The Emperor of Ocean Park.

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Notorious Spinks February 23, 2011 at 2:45 am

You’re getting your read on for sure. LOL! I have Carter’s book and it has been in my TBR for the longest. I must start on it. I also want to read Robinson’s book. You got some good stuff over there honey!

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Tea February 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

These are really great books. Hope to get my hand on “What Will Happen to Me?” This situation must feel very uncomfortable for the children involved.

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Notorious Spinks February 23, 2011 at 2:46 am

Hey Tea! It is very thought provoking. I’ll send the publicist your way.

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