Sunday, February 14, 2016

An Island Life You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer

I am very fortunate to work in a school that has a book room full of wonderful books, and quite a few of the books are written by authors of colors and have characters of color.

This school year a colleague and I thought it would be a great idea to start a book club with our colleagues in the English department to read some diverse novels from our book room in order to help in the efforts to diversity the curriculum.

This month we read An Island Like Me which is a collection of short stories that are set in Puerto Rico, and I must say that I enjoyed every last one of these stories. They told universal stories that are true of human nature, and I think that almost any student between the eighth and ninth grade would truly appreciate these stories. The clever element of these stories is that some of the same characters show up in different stories, and the reader is able to see the growth of the characters.

Here are a few ways that we thought that this books could be used in the classroom:

  • Choice unit with House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Neighborhood project: Students can reflect/create their neighborhoods in response to the book
  • Use some of the stories as part of a bigger thematic unit
  • Assign each student a different story and then have some sort of jigsaw conversation

If you are looking for an awesome book to be taught to diversify your curriculum, then this is the book for you!

We can and will continue the work that needs to be done so that all students can see themselves in the curriculum...

Two blogs in one day....Yay Me!!

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

So, normally I will read a book, and I will feel an urge to write about it right away, but with this book, Ruby, I needed some time to sit with my thoughts and feelings.

One of the main characters, Ruby, has had the kind of life that I hope that no one EVER has to experience, but knowing literature like I do, I believe that there is some truth in all fiction. I do believe that there are people who have and are living in some horrible conditions, and this saddens me to the core.

However, LOVE never fails.....

Ephram, never ever forgot the girl of his childhood, Ruby, and he was determined to use his love to rescue her!

Oh, The Power of LOVE.....

Cynthia Bond CAN WRITE.. I mean... Cynthia Bond can really write. You know how I love Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. Well, this book reminded of that same type of memorable, heartfelt writing that is in Song of Solomon. I have thought about the town where Ruby grew up and all of it’s secret over and over again. I completely admire how Cynthia was able to pull the reader into this town in a manner that felt very familiar just like Toni does in Song of Solomon.

I appreciate this book sooooo much, and this is one of those books that I will put aside for awhile, but I will definitely go back to it over and over again.

Read. This. Book. and marvel.....

Cynthia Bond

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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