Last weekend I drove home to see my niece. My husband took off a day of work. My youngest skipped a friend’s birthday party. I gave up the chance to do any of the forty-two projects that needed doing. We drove three hours down and three hours back. Over the three days, we saw my niece for about four hours. Some of the problem was in scheduling. Some of the problem was in someone else not making a whole lot of effort to see us. It was a big disappointment for me and my family, and I may have ended up causing another family incident similar to the Christmas Debacle of 2006. Not that I yelled, or said mean things. We’re just a very sensitive family.
So, that happened.
My mother doesn’t have a computer, much less Internet. I did some helpful daughter stuff and then I read. Over the three days, including driving time, I read five young adult books.
Upon my return, it hit me how little of an accomplishment that was. There was no parade. No raise in my salary. No feeling of higher enlightenment. Why isn’t there some kind of Pizza Hut Book It program for adults? I want a personal pan pizza too, and I deserve it!
I can’t even write about five books in one post. Or can I?
Accidents of Nature, by Harriet McBryde Johnson
Jean has cerebral palsy and attends a summer camp with kids who have many different kinds of disabilities. She meets Sara, who opens her eyes with her sharp look at the world of normals and Crips. I found the book to be interesting and insightful, but I wondered how different the book would be if it were set in the present time instead of in 1970.
The Fighter, by Jean-Jacques Greif
When you’re feeling sorry for yourself, there’s nothing like fiction about the Holocaust to make you feel like a whiner. This is a powerful, harsh, and graphic book. The story follows a young man, who gets taken from his home in France (after immigrating from Poland) and sent to the camps. The book is based on a survivor’s story and takes its title from the fact that Moshe was a boxer. But, of course, since he made it through such a horrible thing, he’s also a fighter. Oh, I get it. The common-word title also makes it a pain to look up when you don’t remember the author.
Saint Iggy, by K.L. Going
In keeping with the dark theme of the day, I choose this well-written book about a kid who’s down on his luck. Iggy’s drug-addict mother has taken off, his father’s a drunk, and he’s facing expulsion from school. He turns to an older kid who is not much better off than Iggy, but at least he has a mom to turn to. It was an interesting book, but generally it’s not a good sign if the guy on the cover is wearing angel wings. I’m just sayin’.
As it turns out, I can’t write about five books in one post. The rest tomorrow.