Friday, December 14, 2012

The Kite Runner AGAIN!!

In preparation to write this post, I went back and read another post that I wrote almost exactly one year ago about The Kite Runner, and all that I can say is that "people do change and grow."

This is my third year teaching The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I went back and forth trying to decide whether or not I was going to teach this book this year. I remember the last time I read it, I was thinking that it was just a good book but not necessary on my list of books that I really wanted to experience with my students again. However, after polling my class, I realized that quite a few of students had never read this book before, so I decided to give it a try again. And, I am so happy that I did.

This time around I really thought about what makes people good or not so good and the idea of redemption.

Amir, one of the main characters, really mistreated Hassan, who was the child of his servant. He mistreated him mainly because Amir's father was not giving him the attention that he desired. Also, Amir felt that his father really respected Hassan, and he was quite jealous of that. So, being a child, he took his frustration out on Hassan.

In class, we have been having the most lively discussion about the idea of whether or not Amir was a "bad person" because of the way that he treated Hassan when they were mere children. The class and I have been all over the place with this discussion. I am thinking today that humans want to feel accepted and that children, and even adults, will sometimes do whatever it takes to be or feel accepted. Amir did not know how to tell his dad what he needed, and maybe his Dad was "doing the best that he knew how to do." (If only parenting and children came with handbooks.)

I also thought about religion, and God, and discrimination, and living in Afghanistan and America......

This book really helps to generates lots of thoughts!

Next week, my students will do student-lead discussion on some of the themes in The Kite Runner: choices, guilt, father and son relationships, fear etc.

I am looking forward to the discussions, because this time around, unlike the last time, I do believe that this is well-written book that gives the reader so many things to ponder. (People do change!)

The Kite Runner is a little sad and also a heavy book, so why don't you read it after the holidays and tell me what you think?

Next, I am reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Please, get a copy, and join me in reading it?

Reading is so much fun when others are reading the same book with me. I guess that's one of the reason why I love teaching literature; I have a whole bunch of people reading the same book that I am reading at the same time.

Read a book and change your thoughts.

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