My May reads:
- Graceling Kristin Cashore
- Eon: Dragoneye Reborn Alison Goodman
- The Trouble with Boys Peg Tyre
- The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child Linda Dobson
Graceling and Eon were similar in many ways–long YA fantasy with female protagonists in traditionally male roles, dealing with the double-edged sword of their own powers. I’m hard-pressed to say which one I liked better–and I liked them both. Didn’t love ’em, though. I found both Katsa and Eona irksome at times. Katsa was hard to identify with–her physicality, her lack of empathy (more so in the beginning), her complete rejection of marriage and childbearing were so different from my character and my choices. I was able to fully enter into her character a good way through the book, when she becomes the protector of a little girl.She grew on me and I got used to her.
On the non-fiction side, the homeschooling book was an easy fun read, full of anecdotes and gentle advice. I didn’t take away anything that I hadn’t heard before but it’s a reassuring cheerleading book, especially since Sir I. will be doing K-level work at home with me this next school year.
The Trouble with Boys is author Peg Tyre’s exploration of the factors behind the growing gap between boys’ and girls’ academic achievement, even accounting for race and socioeconomics. Boys in large numbers are tuning out at school. There are fewer qualified male applicants for college and growing gender gaps on campuses. Tyre trots out the usual suspects–video games, Ritalin, boy-unfriendly teaching methods, earlier and earlier standardized testing–as well as a bunch of solutions, but is careful not to subscribe to any one as the cure-all. I’m glad to see that the issue of boy underachievement is being addressed but I’m a little annoyed at how Tyre feels the need to constantly emphasize that she is not trying to drag girls down. Well, I’m less annoyed with Tyre and more annoyed with people who think that education is a zero-sum game and that paying any attention to the problem of our sons hating school means we want to drag our daughters back into home ec classes and secretarial school. I’d like all my kids–boys and girl–to love learning, and love it for life. Tyre’s focus on academic achievement statistics does not take into account that boys in large numbers might have found healthy passions outside of school. It would’ve been an interesting rabbit trail to follow, but outside the scope of Tyre’s book.
What interesting books have you read recently? I’m currently working my way through David Copperfield and I just picked up book one of The Spiderwick Chronicles from the library. I still have almost an entire row of never-been-read books on my shelf. I wish I had a self-cleaning house. *grin*