It's Monday - Here's What I've been reading.

It's Monday and I've joined up with many other bloggers to celebrate our reading for the week at #IMWAYR Check out  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to come up with even more ideas for great books to read.

I've finished The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. You can read my review here, but suffice to say that, as I am listening to it for the second time, it proves to be even better than the first time round!

I also completed Catherine Austen's All Good Children and started Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

I've come to the conclusion that my Goodreads' comments about All Good Children are really not adequate. This book has haunted me ever since I wrote them.

"I liked this book, and I suspect if I hadn't been coming off a binge of dystopian novels, I would have liked it more. It was slow to start and the football scenes in the first section bored me. However, once I got into it, and started thinking about what Austen was saying about the existing educational system, my interest and excitement was piqued. I was hooked by the last 2/3rds, but that is too late for kids."

This book has stirred up memories of Burgess' Clockwork Orange, and Huxley's Brave New World. It's left me worried about what will happen as funding for education dries up even further like it has in this tale. Here's a fact I connected to: the numbers of kids diagnosed with ADHD increases annually in the USA (and most likely also in Canada.) Consequently, the numbers of kids on medication to control their behavior goes up.  

It's the story of 15 year old Maxwell Connors, his friends, and family. A new treatment is being administered to all students to help them become better learners. The worst side effect is death, but even without that, kids become incapable of independent thinking and are easier to control. (Remember soma from Brave New World?) While escaping to Canada is seen as a solution, I'm not so sure that would be a great long term plan since we here seem to follow American trends. Ultimately I think this is a great read, but I still stand by my first impression that it starts too slow for many readers.

So far I'm at page 96 in Grasshopper Jungle. This book grabbed me by the throat and won't let go. (I even read while walking picket lines this morning) I'll try to get it finished and reviewed by next week. So far, I'm absolutely sure this is not appropriate for my Elementary School aged students, but I'm loving it. 


  1. I was also reading while picketing this a.m.! Reading aloud a book about summer reading to another teacher and we had a great discussion. Always books . . .! I have heard some strong reactions to Grasshopper Jungle. Curious to see what you think when done.

  2. So far Carrie it keeps making me laugh out loud, but I suspect it requires a slightly warped perspective to appreciate this humour. We had book conversations where I was too. And today at lunch, I spread out a blanket on the lawn in the park and read. It was glorious!

  3. I've been seeing a lot of Sugar Man Swamp - really looking forward to reading it. I'm excited for Grasshopper Jungle, will definitely feature this title during our SciFi reading theme. :)