Saturday, August 4, 2012

Children of the River by Linda Crew

When I read the novel Lord of the Flies with my students, one of the nonfiction short stories that I use to explore the theme of The Human Capacity for Evil is titled "Cambodia," and I can not remember the name of the author right now. The nonfiction short story tells the story of how badly people were treated in Cambodia under the leadership of Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979. However, many of the children during Pol Pot's reign saw many terrible things happen to their parents and other people, and many decided to NOT be bitter.

This novel, Children of the River, is a young adult fiction novel that looks at the life of a Cambodian teenager after her family was forced to flee Cambodia to Oregon. Like many young adult novels, teenage love helps to spotlight the differences in Cambodian and American culture. The main character, Sundara is caught between two worlds....

Reading this novel, I thought about the US immigration policy and the idea that many people are forced to this country because of conditions in their own countries. Once they are here, many would love to go back to their homes, but their homeland circumstances will sometimes not allow it. Once here, do they deserve the same rights and treatment as people who were born here or not? Immigration is a huge topic today.

This school year, I am looking to include more diverse novels into my curriculum, and this may be one that I chose. The school where I teach has so many students from different countries, and I think that this novel will help to facilitate discussion on differences and to foster cultural sensitivity.

Yes, this is a young adult novel, but if you don't know anything about Cambodia and the leader Pol Pot, this is a great place to start along with the short story "Cambodia."

Easy read that I think almost any reader would enjoy.

Linda Crew: the Author

I ran 10 miles this morning and did a little shopping at the market and now, "this sister" is getting ready to REST before I play later.

Happy Saturday!


Linda Crew said...

Hi Jacqueline--

Thanks for featuring my book, Children of the River, on your blog. When I wrote it over 25 years ago, I remember thinking only that I hoped Vietnamese immigrants would relate to it as well as Cambodians. I had no idea that students from all over the world would end up identifying with the theme of culture clash. the book is used a lot in English as a Second Language classes for this reason. It's teachers like you who have helped keep the book in print all these years and I do thank you! Good luck with your classes. If any of your students ever want to write me with questions, you can be confident I always faithfully answer.

Best to you,
Linda Crew

Jacqueline said...

Linda, I am so thrilled and humbled to have you leave a comment on my blog. Just wait until I tell my students. Thank you for reading my blog, and please continue to read.

Yes, your book is in my school and schools everywhere, and it is very relevant after 25 years of being in print.

My students and I will definitely be in contact. Maybe you could even visit us???

Thanks Again...

Tracy Ricks said...


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