For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George (Capstone, September 2015) is a picture book biography of Malala Yousafzai, giving younger readers a background of just what she was able to accomplish. I’ve said before that her story is inspiring, and I think this book did a great job of also making it accessible to young kids.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai (Little, Brown and Company, 2013) is a powerful story of a girl’s courage to stand up against wrong and demand an education in the Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan. The work done by Malala, who still is a teenager, is so remarkable that she became the youngest receipt of the Nobel Peace
My grandfather was born in Hreljin in 1923, when it was Yugoslavia and in what is now Croatia. When I heard about Yugoslavian Ivo Andric’s 1945 novel The Bridge on the Drina, I had hoped for a glimpse of what life was like in my ancestor’s homeland during a tumultuous time. Although my grandfather’s home
Eliezer Wiesel was a deeply observant 13-year-old Jewish boy when Moishe the Beadle came to his town with descriptions of the horrors of the war, where Jewish men, women, and children were buried in graves they had themselves dug. No one in Eliezer’s town of Sighet in Hungary believed this was happening. It only a
When I read One Hundred Years of Solitude (by Gabriel García Márquez, published 1967) half a decade ago, I didn’t understand it, but I loved every bit of it. As I struggled for months through the saga (part of which I read in the original Spanish, part in translation by Gregory Rabassa), I found myself
Knut Hamsun’s Hunger is about pride in being human, the ridiculousness of everyday life, and the hopelessness of the two of those combined. As the title may suggest, the unnamed narrator is a hungry starving artist, struggling to write to earn money to pay for a meal. His life physically depends on his ability to
My interest in rereading East of Eden by John Steinbeck was purely personal: reading it the first time was what prompted me to start a book blog in the first place. I enjoyed my reread, mostly because Steinbeck’s writing is so incredible. The themes of good versus evil in human nature still felt universal to
Nobel laureate (1968) Yasunari Kawabata is obviously talented at describing scenes, and there was, in The Old Capital, something refreshing about a slow-paced story of a young woman coming into a realization of herself. In her free time, Chieko would see the cherry blossoms and visit the cedar forests. It was a celebration of the
I listened to Mr. Feynman’s memoir, Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman, as I drove for the last few weeks. Although some aspects of the Nobel Prize winning physicist’s life were rather interesting, overall, I am surprised I stuck with his story for so long. It was not a favorite of mine.
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