A writing prompt given to my son last year asked him to create a list of five things. I’m revisiting it this year because 1) the list accurately reflects his thought process, 2) not only is it thoughtful and creative, it’s funny, 3) public schools, 4) he killed it on his PSAT, which is not related but brag-worthy anyway, and 5) today is his birthday. This is his list.
Reviewed by Jennifer Haas.
Angela Hanscom begins Balanced and Barefoot by laying out the current state of American childhood. Without that introduction, I might not have believed that we need more evidence to persuade us to let kids be kids. She then gathers information from diverse disciplines to make her valid, if simple, point.
Kids need to play. Outside. Without constant adult interference.
If every book read like Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, nobody would know the TBR struggle. With dry eyes burning from strain, I turned page after page until the wee hours of the morning. This suspense novel satisfies the bookish desire to escape reality and fall into a story world. The experience is so gratifying, I Tweeted St. Martin’s Press immediately upon closing the book.
Though This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets has a summery cover and a summery length, it would be a depressing summer read for most of us. We lack the leisure time and the leisure locales of the characters. Most of us have no personal hermitage or even access to such. I don’t even have a tent! Even worse for light summer reading, Blanca spends her entire vacation mourning her mother and seeking the attention of men. That’s depressing!
My top recommendations for summer 2016 reading will include Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam. The story doesn’t seem to go anywhere, but neither does life when you are just getting traction as an independent new adult. In a book with few exciting plot occurrences, it’s Alam’s turn of phrase and believable characters that make this book so enjoyable. Additionally, the affirmation of friendship between people who dream of a relationship going one way and adapting when it doesn’t makes for the best message I’ve read in fiction lately.
Rainy day readers miss the boat when it comes to experiencing the pleasure of reading on the hottest days of the year. Thanks to global climate change, this may soon change. Readers will learn to anticipate the moment they fall into a sunny daze and need to assemble a pile of the right sunny day books before the haboob strikes.
By upper elementary, I reached expert levels for ditching school. My parents had kids at a young age and were too busy figuring out their own lives to pay much attention to my whereabouts during the school day. They trusted the public school system to deal with me. Why else would we hire teachers, attendance clerks and truancy officers? It’s not that my parents didn’t value my education, they just had a lot going on and knew other people had their backs. I could slip them all. Only one obstacle stood between me and a day of freedom–Sid Griffin.