The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: I was consumed by this book. Funny, devastating, and poignant, this story is about Arnold Spirit and navigating his life on the reservation and his life as a fairly popular kid at his predominately white high school. The drawings by Ellen Forney add a visual richness to the text. This story is so great for young people. It navigates teen problems like dating and friendship, it addresses poverty and addiction, it speaks about racism and privilege and all tied up with wry musings of a teenage boy. Ugly cry alert; I haven’t cried this much since I read The Book Thief.
~~~ Stats ~~~
Started: 9 March 2015
Finished: 10 March 2015
Owned/Borrowed/Library: Borrowed from university library
Stars: Five out of Five
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Sam gifted me a beautiful Penguin Threads edition of this childhood favorite. This Victorian novella follows the life of Black Beauty, a horse of good-nature and high spirit, from a the time he is a colt until his “retirement” to a happy field to live out the rest of his days. This book isn’t for everyone. I’m sure many people would find it cloyingly sweet and moralistic. Sewell discusses animal abuse and work conditions, but she also manages to add in all sorts of moral lessons from “don’t drink” to “be honest” to “don’t stay out in the rain too long.” This story hit a perfect pitch with me and animal rights are so important to me. There were many beautiful quotations about valuing animal life. Here are a few favorites:
“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”
“Do you know why this world is as bad as it is?… It is because people think only about their own business, and won’t trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrong-doers to light… My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
~~~ Stats ~~~
Started: 13 March 2015
Finished: 15 March 2015
Challenges: Back to the Classics Challenge — Children’s Classic
Stars: Four out of Five
What’s Up Next: Tonight I’m starting a new volume of Fables (Camelot, #20) and later this week I plan on digging into Susan Higginbotham’s novel about Jane Grey, Her Highness, The Traitor.