It’s almost the end of the year! The kids are going to be done with school any day now, I am so excited. That means my book reading will go down significantly! At any rate, here is what I read in November 2020!
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon – For thirteen-year-old Sam it’s not easy being the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older (and best friend), Stick, begins to drift away from him for no apparent reason. And then it happens: Sam finds something that changes everything forever.
Sam has always had faith in his father, but when he finds literature about the Black Panthers under Stick’s bed, he’s not sure who to believe: his father or his best friend. Suddenly, nothing feels certain anymore.
Sam wants to believe that his father is right: You can effect change without using violence. But as time goes on, Sam grows weary of standing by and watching as his friends and family suffer at the hands of racism in their own community. Sam beings to explore the Panthers with Stick, but soon he’s involved in something far more serious — and more dangerous — than he could have ever predicted. Sam is faced with a difficult decision. Will he follow his father or his brother? His mind or his heart? The rock or the river?
What I thought: It was interesting reading a book from this point of view. Some of the book felt rushed. It was a short book and a lot happens in the short time. It was a good read.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – The American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century.
What I thought: I feel like I am so behind on reading these books. I enjoyed this book. I love how the main character loved to read. You don’t get that much in books these days. It started a little slow but I got into it after a bit. I am glad I finished it.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi – It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments – even the physical violence – she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her – they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds – and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
What I thought: This was a fast read. I don’t get too many books that involve a Muslim as a main character so that was new. I enjoyed the main character and the relationships she had and also her struggles.
The Cartoon Introduction to Economics Volume Two: Macroeconomics by Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman – Need to understand today’s economy? This is the book for you. The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume Two: Macroeconomics is the most accessible, intelligible, and humorous introduction to unemployment, inflation, and debt you’ll ever read.
Whereas Volume One: Microeconomics dealt with the optimizing individual, Volume Two: Macroeconomics explains the factors that affect the economy of an entire country, and indeed the planet. It explores the two big concerns of macroeconomics: how economies grow and why economies collapse. It illustrates the basics of the labor market and explains what the GDP is and what it measures, as well as the influence of government, trade, and technology on the economy. Along the way, it covers the economics of global poverty, climate change, and the business cycle. In short, if any of these topics have cropped up in a news story and caused you to wish you grasped the underlying basics, buy this book.
What I thought: This was similar to volume one, just a continuation really. I think they do a great job in explaining things in easy to understand cartoons. It is hard to convey as a read aloud book, but I think if you read it yourself it would be much better.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up history examines the legacy of Indigenous peoples’ resistance, resilience, and steadfast fight against imperialism.
Going beyond the story of America as a country “discovered” by a few brave men in the “New World,” Indigenous human rights advocate Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reveals the roles that settler colonialism and policies of American Indian genocide played in forming our national identity.
The original academic text is fully adapted by renowned curriculum experts Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza, for middle-grade and young adult readers to include discussion topics, archival images, original maps, recommendations for further reading, and other materials to encourage students, teachers, and general readers to think critically about their own place in history.
What I thought: I thought this was very interesting. It covered so many years of history. A lot of things that just aren’t taught in schools that should be. I think everyone should read this in school.
That’s all that I read in November! Now that I made my Goodreads goal, I am curious the total books I will read for 2020!