Soldier Boys Review

“He knew that a hero shouldn’t fear death, but where was the glory in dying for his country and never knowing it.”

I first came across Dean Hughes’s Soldier Boys as a student teacher when my host teacher selected it for a book club that met before school once a week.  I knew as soon as I read the last page that this provocative title would be among the books I chose to teach in my own classroom.  As I expected, it quickly became a class favorite with students fondly recalling the time in my class we read that World War II novel.  The last time I taught the book I was expecting my now twelve-year-old daughter, so I was thrilled when she decided to read it for herself.  This book opened the door to her love of historical fiction, and she has since gone on to devour every young adult novel she can find on World War II, the Holocaust, and other major historical events.

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Summer Reading

As the temperature rises so does our anticipation of everything summer:  swimming, trips to the beach, cookouts, camp outs, catching fireflies on a clear, starry night.  While reading might not top the list of summer expectations, some of my fondest summer memories include losing myself in the pages of a book.  I spent summers hanging out with Scout, Lucy, Huck, and Margaret.  Yes, I also enjoyed time with real, live people, but to me, the characters on the pages were as real as a neighbor, and their quandaries always provided insight into solving my own authentic dilemmas.  Summer also meant swinging lazily on my grandmother’s front porch swing, book in hand, or riding my bike to my great-aunt’s house, eager to sit on her front porch and discuss our latest read.  Cookies and lemonade always complemented our serious discussions on character analysis and unexpected plot twists.  Often, she would throw in stories of her own, usually more entertaining than a best-seller.  Summer wasn’t summer without a list of books to savor on those lazy, humid afternoons. Continue reading “Summer Reading”