Monday’s are my least favorite day of the week. It seems as though there’s just never enough time in my weekend to finish all that I want to accomplish. Anybody else feel that way, or is this just my college experiences bubbling to the surface again?
Moving right along…
This week I spent a lot of my time reading literature (enrolled in FIVE different literature courses and loving every minute), but I’ve spent a great amount of time going back to Young Adult literature. Something i’ve almost put aside and forgotten about. But Young Adult Literature was my life for many years. It consumed my afternoons and evenings, car rides (before I had to drive to school myself), and any other free chance I had. I’m a nerd, I know. On a serious note though, I was able to read things like Judy Blume’s God, Are you There? It’s Me, Margaret and John Green novels like Looking for Alaska. As a young adult, not yet ready for the “real adult” literature yet, this was the stuff I connected to and wanted to read!
All I’m saying, is it’s refreshing to take a step back into these books. And with that being said, this past week I read Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie. Some categorize it in the Juvenile category others categorize it in the Young Adult. It definitely was an easy and enjoyable read.
Because of Winn-Dixie
The plot to this novel is very captivating. It covers topics like friendship, what it means to lose a loved one, and a journey of finding oneself. India Opal Buloni is the preacher’s daughter, which also means that all eyes are on her. To make things more difficult her mother left her when she was just a toddler and left nothing behind, not even a simple memory for Opal to hold on to. Unexpectedly she befriends a stray dog that she names Winn-Dixie (after the town’s Supermarket). This is a friendship that exceeds all of the rest. It seems as though, when the two of them are together anything is possible. At a young age, it’s so important to value great friendships. Because of Winn-Dixie Opal is able to find who she is. The labels she’s been marked with make her a Preacher’s daughter and a girl abandoned by her mother, but there’s so much more in her heart than those two measly facts.
As I flipped through the pages of this book I couldn’t help but think about the purpose behind the story. Kids and Young Adults need to read these types of novels. I know it helped me as a young adult to figure out where I belonged and who my friends were. It’s easy to find yourself when you have relatable characters to read and struggle through life with. Books are so important for this reason alone.
Coretta Scott King Award
Also, as many of you know, today is a national holiday! We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and all that he stood for. As I began my next book I thought it would only be fitting to choose a book that has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Award. This is an award that is given to African American authors who have been able to share and incorporate their culture into an outstanding novel. Like i’ve mentioned before, literature is so amazing because it teaches us about other cultures!
For this reason, the second novel I chose to start reading at the end of last week was Sharon M. Draper’s, Forged By Fire. I have yet to finish it, so I want to save all of the details for my next blog post, but I’m a little over half-way done!
I do, however, want to leave you with a couple of lines from the novel to think about. And mainly to give you an idea of what it is i’m reading right now.
“I know what you meant. Since this kid is poor and black and his mother is living alone and unmarried, his father must be long gone. Well, I’m here to tell you that not all black men are like that. There’s zillions of black families with a mama and a daddy and two kids like the ‘average’ American family.” Aunt Queen’s shoulders dropped a bit then, and she said with resignation, “But unfortunately, this ain’t one of them. I don’t know where the boy’s daddy is. I just didn’t want you to assume. You coulda been wrong, you know?”
If you haven’t ever read a book that has been awarded this prestigious award, I highly recommend diving into one.
As always, happy reading friends!