Apr. 29th, 2015

lizzardgirl: (books)
30: Teaching Harry Potter: The Power of Imagination in Multicultural Classrooms, by Catherine Belcher and Becky Herr Stephenson

I'll admit it, when I first saw this book, I thought it'd be rather gimmicky, but I was wrong. It's a really interesting look into classroom realities, and shows a love of the subject and a dedication to teaching that is really admirable. It wasn't really helpful for German classrooms, because all the ideas are tied to the American system, but on the other hand, I got some fascinating insights into American classrooms and the difficulties of teaching in 'problem' areas with little support from the authorities. Also good to know that 'teaching to the test' isn't a bad thing only here.

31: Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett

I'll admit it: I was a bit disappointed, and I feel bad about that. It's not that this wasn't a perfectly good book - it was, it was great fun, I loved the whole train theme, I loved to see more of Moist and Spike - it was just, seeing as this was the last one he lived to see published, I'd expected something bigger, grander, something like a final goodbye with a bang. But I feel bad about that because it *is* a great book and all that and really how can I ask for more and also he just died and I feel bad about wanting more.

32: Dead Water, by Ann Cleeves

It's the fifth book in her Shetland series. I didn't think she'd write another one after the heartbreaking way #4 ended, but she did and I think this was a very fitting continuation. Good mystery too.

33: Calling Me Home, by Julie Kibler

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the writing is a bit disappointing. The narrative voices often fall flat and there are too many instances of telling instead of showing. Plus, there is a bit of preachiness (non-religious) going on. On the other hand, it is certainly a very powerful book. It's a tale of racial segregation in rural Kentucky in the 1930s, and the aftermath still palpable today. It's a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching tale, and even more so if you consider what it says about a society that still had anti-miscenegation laws in living memory (especially in light of the recent riots etc). For bringing all that on the table, maybe a little preachiness and a heroine that sometimes toes the line of Mary Sue-ism can be forgiven. Also, I'm not going to lie, I totally cried over the ending, which was beautifully done.

34: This House is Haunted, by John Boyne

It's pretty obvious right from the beginning that this is a sort of homage to Charles Dickens, especially his ghost tales. That's not a bad thing. Whilst I'm sure that there were a few period inaccuracies, this was a very neat, very unsettling gothic Victorian tale full of suspension, plus, as it ought to be in gothic fiction, a heroine who is sometimes too stupid to live.

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