Guys, I'll admit. I'm a little bit picky about the books I read to put up on my store. Over a year ago, I decided to focus on highlighting texts that feature characters of under-represented ethnicities. Not knowing where to start, I got my hands on the ALA Notable Book list and started with titles that represented diversity.
I've never looked back, and I've never been disappointed.
The latest book I've finished, Ruth Behar's Lucky Broken Girl is a gem. Based on Behar's childhood trauma of being bedridden for almost a year, Lucky Broken Girl explores why bad things happen to good people and what we do about it.
This book took me no time at all to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed the compelling story - all the more so because I knew it came from Behar's own experience. Without spoiling it for you, and without getting too preachy or technical, I want to give you five reasons why you and your students will love reading Behar's book as much as I did.
1. Ruthie: This main character possesses an inner spunk that I believe resides in most kids. Ruthie is honest, braver, and compassionate. As a character, she grabs a reader's sympathy without being weak or pitiful. Her resiliency makes her loveable; her triumph makes her unforgettable.
2. Culture: This book centers around a Cuban-Jewish family. At one point in the book, Ruthie's Baba remarks that she is "twice a refugee" - running once from the Nazis and then again from Cuba. This cultural complexity allows students to examine how historical events shape individual lives and the ways in which the larger world affects each of us.
3. Chico: Artist, refugee, fellow life-traveler...he brims with hope and possibility. Readers will love what he does for Ruthie and the lightness he brings to the novel.
4. Content: In a challenge-phobic world, we forget the raw beauty that comes from trials. This story reminds us that the human spirit is strongest in the face of difficulty; our inner lights have the opportunity to shine brightest in the midst of the blackest night.
5. Writing: Each time I read a book, the author's ability to wield words in a way that moves my soul never ceases to amaze me. Behar skillfully uses figurative language in a way that feels authentic and keeps the story moving.
And as always, thanks for exploring some amazing reads with me...one page at a time!