It is not often that I find a book that takes place in the Middle East, let alone a children’s book. The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow, 2014) is a unique look into not just the culture and traditions of living in a different country but also the sweet geographic feature and

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Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink is a 1930s Newbery Award Winner, based on the experiences of the author’s own grandmother. Caddie is a creative and active 11-year-old, resistant to the demands her nineteenth-century culture demands of her because she is a girl. In this fictionalized volume of adventures, Caddie’s fun occasionally brings her into

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When I was in high school, my American literature class studied F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (published 1925) for more than a month. After we read it, we read and discussed critical essays, we got in groups and planned papers, and then each of us wrote a paper that was at least five pages

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I first read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813) as a young teenager. Like many girls, I loved the romance between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, the clever conversation, and the rags to riches aspects of the Bennet’s story. I’ve reread it a number of times since my first encounter, and I’ve also enjoyed the movie

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It’s interesting how a year and a half changes one’s perspective. In the early fall of 2010, I read a wonderful nonfiction examination of how parents can help children embrace imagination. Revisiting Awakening Children’s Minds: How Parents and teachers Can Make a Difference by Laura Berk (2001, Oxford University Press) provided me with some necessary

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Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a story of two children’s growing understanding of the double standards of the world. It’s also the story of a small community struggling to come together during the economic era of the Great Depression and the political upheaval of a mixed racial pre-Civil Rights southern town. It is

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When I first read it, I pitied Emma Bovary. How stuck she was in her world! What a victim of circumstance! True, she made wrong decisions. But she was trapped in a relationship that bored her. On this read, I hated her. She made stupid decision after stupid decision. She did not have the ability

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