Sunday, 22 September 2019

Book talk on a warm, humid morning...

I’ve got a steaming cup of delicious chai tea and a Date Bar on the table in front of me, and after a week of chilly weather when I was wearing a jacket and even a thin scarf, I’ve got the air conditioner on!  It definitely felt like fall last week, with the golden sunlight slanting over the changing colours of the trees in the early mornings as I left for work, but this weekend has been warm and humid, and since it rained last night, it feels especially sticky and unpleasant today.  But there are cooler days ahead, if you believe what the meteorologists are saying... 
I had almost no time to read last week, but I did pick up and finish a Young Adult book yesterday. My grade eight teacher is using We All Fall Down by award-winning Canadian children’s author Eric Walters as a novel study with his class right now.  I recently purchased extra copies so he could have a full class set, but kept one at home to read out of curiosity. This novel tells the story of Will, a grade nine student who, due to a Staff Professional Development Day at his school, will be spending the day at work with his father, something he is not looking forward to at all.  His dad hasn’t been around much lately, choosing instead to spend long hours at work, and to say that Will feels resentful is an understatement. But in the early morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, Will accompanies his father on the subway to his office on the 85th floor of the World Trade Centre’s South Tower. What begins as a boring, tedious day for him turns into a horrific experience that changes his life.  Of course, we all know what happened on that day, but this book offers the experience through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy as he tries to make sense of what happened, even as he and his father attempt to escape the building. This was a powerful read that students would surely relate to. Not only does Walters address the attacks and what they mean to Americans and to everyone in the world, but he manages to explore other pertinent themes, such as money and wealth and what is really important in life, the relationship between fathers and sons, and the value of the lives of others.  It was an interesting read, and I can certainly understand why this teacher chooses this book to study with his students just about every year.
That’s all for today.  Stay cool and take time to read a good book!
Bye for now…
Julie

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