Three good choices for right now….

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Reached, by Ally Condie

The third book in the trilogy does not disappoint.  If you have fallen hopelessly into reached_510Dystopia as I have, the day this book arrived from Amazon (bless them!) I turned the pages quickly to find out how Cassie, Xander, and Ky fare by the end of the series.  No spoilers from me⎯you’ll want to read it yourself, but I did enjoy how each chapter was told from one of the character’s point of view while advancing the story for all.  Okay, one little hint:  If you fell for Grandfather in Matched, you’ll like how much he is part of the ending of the entire story.

9780061962783Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai

Do not miss this book.  It’s a quick read but oh, so powerful.  The story is told in free verse so the language is exquisite and rich.  Hà is a ten-year-old living in South Vietnam at the time of the fall of Saigon.  Forced to flee on a ship and eventually rescued by Americans, she finds herself living in Alabama where she is bullied right along with changing everything about her day-to-day existence. The horrors of war, separation, and loss permeate this finely crafted text, but even more haunting is the story of this gentle young girl who shares the truth of immigration.

The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides10964693

Lest you think I only read children’s books or YA literature (which I mostly do, it’s true) I grabbed this elegant book at the airport a month or so ago.  Admittedly, it took me a while to finish it⎯it’s a rich read, filled with language and images worth savoring, even when I had to dash to the dictionary to reveal meanings of many I didn’t know.  Ah, but the characters.  They are so finely drawn, so real, so layered that I persevered to the end⎯then slowed down, regretting the inevitable separation.  I adored this book.  It’s the story of youth and love and romance.  Perhaps Eugenides is a modern-day Jane Austin in the making.

About Ruth Culham

RUTH CULHAM has written more than 40 books and best-selling resources illuminating both writing and the reading-writing connection for countless educators around the globe. Her groundbreaking work with the writing traits and writing from reading is the culmination of 40 years of research, practice, and passion. Ruth’s most recent books, The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing and Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts That Celebrate Latino Culture, are available from Stenhouse Publishers. She also conducts professional development for schools and districts and writes a regular column for The Reading Teacher.
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