Another great week of reading. What you’re about to read is a diverse span of young adult literature. I enjoyed each novel for different reasons!
The Only Road
The first novel that I read was The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz. This is a novel that has been awarded the Pura Belpre award, which is only awarded to novels that portray the Latino cultural experience and do it well!
This is the story of two teenagers – Jaime and his older cousin Angela. It takes place in Guatemala, where the Alphas terrorize young kids into joining their drug cartel. The two of them have a choice to make. They can either join the Alphas, run away, or they can be killed by the Alphas for refusing their offer. Naturally, they attempt to flee to where Jaime’s older brother lives legally in New Mexico. This journey isn’t easy. They face many different obstacles and have to depend on others to help them reach Jaime’s brother. This book is all about trust and survival.
When it comes down to it, I really enjoyed this book. It seemed as though there was a lot of truth shining through it and Diaz even notes that, “Jaime and Angela are very lucky on their trip; most people do not have it that easy.” However when I read this, I did not think that their trip was easy in anyway and to think that there are kids going through this journey is really sad. I was happy to see the two make it to New Mexico, but now they will struggle living in New Mexico as illegal immigrants.
This is a story that puts a face to those “illegal immigrants” and some of the obstacles they face. Sometimes it’s a matter of life and death that they travel to the United States. They didn’t want to be in America illegally, but what else were they to do with the Alphas threatening them? Definitely recommend!
We Will Not Be Silent
We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman. This, my fellow readers, is the definition of an emotional read. It is considered to be historical nonfiction, which makes the reading so surreal. I’ve never read anything like this really. The story is all about a group of university students known as White Rose, who strive to urge other German people through the form of letters to not conform to Nazi ways. These young adults truly risk their lives for what they believed in.
There is this raw emotion that comes from reading this book. What happened in Germany was real. What these students went through was real. This was a time period of awful events that were taking place. I think this would be a really great read for discussion topics during the Holocaust for young adults. It truly has an effect on the reader and allows us to think about what we truly believe in and to fight for that.
Veronica Roth’s dystopian series begins with the novel Divergent. I’m a fan of dystopian novels and this one reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games because they both have female protagonists. I’ve heard a lot of hype about Divergent so I thought I would give it a try! I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it, much like I enjoyed The Hunger Games series. It is a quick read that’s hard to put down. The thing I often find myself being compelled to read dystopian novels is because I literally have no sense of what their world is like. So it’s super fascinating for me to read about a world unknown.
In Divergent, their world consists of a five different factions. At the age of sixteen, Beatrice and her brother both have to take a test to see which faction they belong to. The five factions are each dedicated to a virtue: the honest, selfless, brave, peaceful, and intelligent. Beatrice qualifies under three of the categories after her test scores come back. She is what they call divergent. However, because of this she could be considered as a threat so she is to keep it a secret. Beatrice ends up going to the Brave faction where she excels drawing attention to herself. And so the story begins to unravel…
Happy reading, friends!