I decided to take a break from the romance books I’ve been reading lately. So I was searching Amazon and cam across this little book. I was pleasantly surprised to see it. I had no idea this was coming! But if you haven’t read Wonder, please stop and go do that first. I’ll wait………
Done? Good. Wasn’t it beautiful?? I read it last year and then made me kids read it. I personally think every child should read it. Bullying is a very real thing. No matter what it’s about- looks, color, speech, whatever- bullying is a very real issue and should be stopped.
This little book, is from Julian’s point of view. He was the lead bully. We never knew what he was thinking., We only saw his actions. Now, I know some people think, “He’s just in 5th grade.” “It’s what boys do.” “He’s only playing around.” Well, it’s not right. Teasing and joking is WAY different than bullying.
Julian had so much going on, behind the scenes, I honestly felt bad for him. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to throttle him, while he was being mean, but after reading this book, I get it. I got him. I understood why he acted the way he did. I understood the fears that he felt. I understood the confusion that was swarming around him.
I highly recommend this little extra chapter, after you’ve read Wonder. If you are dealing with bullying, this may give you a bit of insight as to why kids do the things they do. We may not agree with them, but we will have a better understanding of them.
Buy The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story (Kindle Single)
Preorder 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts
Have you ever read a book by an author that you adore, and still end up surprised by the direction in which the novel is taken? Well, that recently happened to me with Ian McEwan. Now, I’m not sure one can really stick McEwan into one genre, or style of writing, but he manages to surprise me with every book he writes, and Sweet Tooth, is no exception.
Set in 1970’s England, the novel follows serena, an avid reader that ended up graduating from Cambridge with a degree in mathematics. After graduation, she applies to MI5 (British security services) and is given a low level desk job. After some time, Serena is approached to join a unit in which the government pays authors, artists, journalists etc…, to produce work that is more aligned with the official views and status quo of the government. Serena is tasked with handling Thomas Haley, a new and upcoming author that the government believes could be a liability. However, as Serena begins to develop feelings for Thomas, will everything work out as planned?
Fear not, dear readers, I have not given away any spoilers! An author of lesser caliber would have been content with writing in the constraints of this simple plot, but not McEwan. Oh no. McEwan is known for character development, and you get 150 pages of that before you even begin to see a peek of the main plot. It may seem unnecessary, but it actually works in this particular instance. Everything builds upon itself, and you will find yourself going “Ahh, so that’s why so and so did or said that”.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am indeed a McEwan fan-boy, however, I believe that actually helps because it allows me to really pick out any negative points, and there are some – only a few very minor points – but nonetheless, they exist. When Serena is vetting Thomas, we read his short fiction along with her, and at times, it did get a little tedious. Necessary, but tedious. There were also one or two minor plot points that could have done with fleshing out, but that’s just me being picky.
If you have read anything of McEwan’s before, then I highly recommend that you pick up his latest novel. If you have not read any of McEwan’s work before, then this is just a good of a place to start as any. Just remember to be patient. McEwan is like water: It will flow in all different directions, but eventually end up where it is supposed to. Enjoy the ride! Sweet Tooth: A Novel