It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by
Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you
read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out
your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's
also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...
you just might discover the next “must-read” book!
I read two great books this week, on different ends of the middle school reading and maturity levels. The first is The Center of Everything by Linda Urban and the second is eleanor & park by Rainbow Rowell. I plan to include both of these in my start of the year, book talk to my class of sixth-eighth graders in August.
eleanor & park by Rainbow Rowell follows an unexpected romance between Eleanor, an odd-dressing, larger-boned, redheaded stepchild, and Park, half-Korean, into punk rock, comic books and taekwondo. They work to navigate the difficult social structure of their Omaha neighborhood, high school and school bus. These two sixteen-year-olds end up falling in love after he catches her reading his comic books next to him on the bus. Their romance is electric and passionate but mostly in their own heads as they experience unexpected feelings and romantic dilemmas for the first time. Park has to deal with Eleanor being a bully target and how that affects his own social standing. The bullying of Eleanor doesn’t stop once she gets home as she has only just be allowed back into her house by her stepdad after being kicked out for a year. This book directly, and thoughtfully deals with first love, spousal abuse, bullying, parents, and tough decisions. It is a great book for students who can handle a more mature content and I applaud the decisions the characters make and how real they are as well. I loved eleanor and park (eventually one finds out about the lower case title) and had trouble putting it down. When I was not reading it, I still found myself thinking about it and wishing it was in my hands, just like my first love.