Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, this book kept me turning the pages. This is the story of Hannah, and we know right from the start that she has recently died. She committed suicide. It is a story told in a very unique way--as if you are listening to audiotapes. Clay,the narrator, knew Hannah, and had been a little in love with her. When he receives a box of cassettes in the mail shortly after her death, he begins a long night of unraveling the events that led Hannah to feel she had no other choice. It is a story of how every encounter we have can have positive or negative consequences. Well written, and a good book for some great class discussions about teenage suicide. There is some mature material here, so I would recommend this for mature 8th graders, and up.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped PajamasThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had heard so much about this book, so I decided to read it for myself.  This is a story told through the eyes of young Bruno, a German boy, who does not understand what is going on in his country. He knows that his father is an officer in the military, but does not understand why his family had to move to a place he calls "Out-With". When Bruno goes exploring one day in his new home, he meets a young boy around his age, who lives on the other side of the fence at "Out-With", and they become fast friends. This is a very simply-written tale, but it is not a book I would recommend for students to learn about the Holocaust or World War II. I would heartily recommend my favorite, The Book Thief.

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