This week kicked my ass and handed it to me on a platter. It is only the third full week of classes and I say I just cannot do it. It should not feel like December yet. Honestly, I really like my students. And this is the smallest class load I have ever had. So could someone please explain why it feels so damned hard this year?
Anyhoo...I somehow squeezed in two books since school has started: The Secret Scripture and Big Mouth and Ugly Girl. The former is a Man Book Prize winner. Interesting concept, this one. Roseann Clear-McNulty tells her story from the mental hospital she does not call home. She has been a resident of the facility for over 60 years. I had a hard time wrapping my "inner reader's voice" around the author's for the first view chapters, but quickly became engrossed in the story. It switched between the diaries of Roseann the patient and Dr. Gene the psychiatrist. I am sure you will be shocked to hear the good doctor had a problem or two? Roseanne's childhood is a piece of Ireland's history. The ending is a bit predictable once you reach the end of the narrative, but satisfying none the less. Roseann was a victim of her time. The parish priest and his disgust of women, her husband and is lack of faith in his young bride, her shrewish mother -in -law all play a role in her destiny. Well worth the paper it is printed on.
Now, Big Mouth and Ugly Girl was a sheer joy to read. This is Joyce Carol Oates first young adult novel. And it was perfect! It had a totally believable plot, realistic characters, and a plain old feel good ending. If you have any teen readers in your house, send it there way. I was reading this one at school during our Silent Sustained Reading time. Every day at the end of reading I would say, "Wow! I really like this book!" After about 4 days of this, the kids finally started asking if they could read it when I was finished. Sneaky, huh?