Sometimes I think to myself “Self, why didn’t you read that before now???” I didn’t read the Harry Potter series until I was 22, in 2007, and when I finally did start the series I completed it in less than 2 months. I didn’t read Jane Austen novels until 2006. I didn’t read Eragon or Artmeis Fowl or Alex Rider. I don’t need to, really. When it comes to Reader’s Advisory, when books are that popular, I don’t need to read them! I just need to know what to recommend to teens once they’ve finished those.
So you can imagine my self-loathing when I realize that I should’ve read The Help when it came out in 2009. *facepalm* But I am reading it now and love it!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett takes place in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement in 1963. It is humorous historical fiction, but makes me darn near cry at the racism that was so prevalent only 50 years ago. 50. In my father’s lifetime blacks couldn’t go to school with whites. In my grandfather’s lifetime Japanese immigrants were sent to internment camps because we feared they were spies for the Japanese military. In my lifetime, gays can’t marry in some states. Have we learned nothing?
To the End of June: an intimate life of American foster care by Cris Beam makes me want to shake the organizations involved with foster care. How are they doing such a poor job or helping foster kids and families? This book is riveting, and harrowing.