Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

More Thoughts on Ayaan

Infidel keeps turning over in my mind; particularly, what I learned about Dutch politics from it. And about the Dutch nature—what in my parents and siblings is not our family but "Dutch"? The more I learn about the "pillars" organization of Dutch society the less inclined I am to support faith-based schools—and the more I wish for someone, somewhere, to take on the British North American Act.

Defiance by Valerie Hobbs (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005) is a deep story lightly told about a boy who takes his first stand for himself; and, thanks to an unusual friendship, also manages back down when doing so means choosing life over fear and weariness. I'm of two minds about the Afterword. Would an Epilogue have been better--a little narrative slice, of Toby accepting the Pulitzer on Pearl's behalf? Or maybe his speech on the occasion, or a little piece of it... yes, that would have been good.

Friday, November 09, 2007

 

Read This Book!

Just finished Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Free Press/Simon&schuster, 2007). Wow. All you teachers with Somalians in your classrooms, read this book! All multiculti believers who weren't convinced by Irshad Manji, read this book! All Western women who don't call themselves feminists, read this book! All children of Dutch immigrants, read this book! It won't take you long, because once you start, you won't be able to put it down until you're done.

And in other news: Don't Tell by Sandra Glover (Anderson Press, 2006): The working-class English way of speaking is really irritating, set down in print. The Wadjet Eye by Jill Rubalcaba (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin, 2000): Very informative and full of things happening; but I wouldn't call the plot "tightly woven" (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books), rather, "carefully doled out." The characters are fairly wooden, too.

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