My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two Luscious Books to Check OUt

First of all, I want to say I'm sorry I've been offline for almost a week! I missed poetry Friday AGAIN, but I hope you were able to check out the Inauguration poem instead. Now I"m back. The snow day threw me a little, I chaperoned an out of town trip with the church youth group this week-end (Resolve Tour-awesome, btw), and now OM is coming hard and fast. But I just LOVE it. The kids are fantastic, and our team is moving forward well.

Two luscious books have come my way recently, and I'm dying to share. Both titles with author info, jacket cover, etc. are posted in the left margin, so see them for those kinds of details. I began THE BOOK THIEF about two weeks ago. I had been dying to read it and heard so many good things about it. To be honest, I started it and then it just didn't draw me in, so I put it down for a few days. Then I picked it up again, still hard, but I stuck with it, and I"m SO glad I did. It's a very interesting, well-written book on so many levels. So here's the thing. THe narrator of the story is death, yes, death. It is set during the Holocaust (but I know what you're thinking, it's new and fresh, I promise) when Death has found himself quite busy. In the first chapter, death is there to take the protag's little brother who dies on a train. The girl is taken into a foster home by her mother (we later find out why), and the story really begins there in the new home. Structurally, the whole Death narrator thing is very interesting and allows the narrator to comment on certain things and even address the reader. Somehow, it works. From an editorial standpoint, I'd have woven the first part into flashbacks and begun when she arrived at the foster home because that's when the Death's voice starts to work, imho. At any rate, I'm finding that this book is hard to describe. But trust me, you will fall in love with the Book Thief (protag) and her story. This is a terrible description but this book is hard to describe. That's why it's a MUST READ especially for writers. The structure of the story is fascinating. Read it, adn tell me what you think. I'll take you out of your misery by ending this paragraph now.

Next book: STORY OF A GIRL. Wow! I read this book in a day, a very busy day. I read it in small scraps of time because it was all I could think about until I finished it. The protagonist in this book is so endearing and so likeable, I was dying to know what she did every minute. The story is about a girl who ages beyond her years when a 17 year old friend of her brother shows interest in her at the tender age of 13. The relationship ends when her father catches them having sex in the boy's car which gets the whole town talking. AS a result, she finds herself with quite a reputation. As it can be, sadly, in a small town, she seems to be branded for life, not just by whispers and behind-your-back-gossip, but by all out jeers and harassment for her in countless situations. It's a heartbreaking account of what can really happen for girls who find themselves with a 'reputation' and the achingly real feelings behind the scene, yet it's also an inspiring account of a girl who begins to change her perspective of herself after believing the hype over the years. The most touching parts of the book involve the strained relationship with her parents. For example, she says her father hasn't looked at her or called her by name in the years since the car incident. Another part that helps you fall in love with her character is her adoration of her older brother and her desire to help him out of a mess. The tension is driven by the fact that the only summer job she could find is working with the very same boy who started all the trouble. If you write or read YA, you must pick up this raw and touching story. I was really moved by it.

Have a great day, and share a book with someone TODAY!


Sara said...

Two of my favorites!

WordWrangler said...

Hey gal. I'm missing your poetry Friday so I ended up posting a poem to my own blog today.
*sigh* I so enjoy our little Friday get-togethers. Bring 'em back!! :)

Donna Jones Koppelman said...

I know. I'm so sorry about Friday. I was chaperoning a trip with a bunch of kids, and I thought I'd have internet service, but I didn't. It'll be back Friday. I'm going to check yours out!

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman