03.31.07

Nothing But the Truth: Seventh Post (Final Thoughts)

Posted in Fiction, Teen at 12:11 am by Rosepixie

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)This book ended really well.  Tying everything back to words was a brilliant move.  The final truth statement was great and did a good job of incorporating themes from the book and working them together.  It read like something that Patty might actually have written at that point.  I liked the outing to the naming lab as well.  It was subtle but nicely crystallized the issue with labels introduced at the very beginning of the book and continued with the introduction and exploration of the word “hapa”.  She carried that theme really nicely and I love how she tied it all up at the end.  This was, overall, a very good book.

03.30.07

Gender Play: Third Post (“Boys and Girls”)

Posted in Sociology at 12:13 am by Rosepixie

Gender PlayThis book is really interesting so far.  One of the things that keeps striking me while reading this, however, is that little of what Thorne describes is familiar to me.  I can’t recall spending much time standing in lines, although Thorne claims children in both schools she observed in spent enormous amounts of time doing this.  Thorne says “boys and girls” is the typical phrase used to address the students by all adults in the school system.  This, frankly, surprised me.  At first, I couldn’t remember any teachers actually ever calling us “boys and girls”.  On further thinking, I recalled one music teacher who called the class that – and we thought she was completely insane and dreaded her class!  We disliked her for many reasons, but the “childish” way she spoke to us was one of the big ones.  I guess that’s my biggest problem with the phrase “boys and girls” – it sounds incredibly childish!

03.28.07

Nothing But the Truth: Sixth Post (Tying It Up)

Posted in Fiction, Teen at 12:13 am by Rosepixie

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)The writing in this book is amazing, but it almost works out too neatly.  I’m not sure how to explain that, since the main character has now been cheated on and found out her father was the opposite of what she thought he was, but it does.  I love Patty’s reactions and her perspective, but they don’t always seem 15.  It’s hard to explain.  There isn’t anything wrong with the book, and in fact, I really, really like it, but it just feels very artificial somehow.  All the events put together as they are just feel like a story.  A good story, but a story.  I still love the book, but it hurts it a little.

03.26.07

Gender Play: Second Post (Play)

Posted in Sociology at 5:14 am by Rosepixie

Gender PlayThorne makes the point in this chapter that adults tend to see children’s daily activities as largely trivial except for when they are cute or annoying.  This is most certainly something that tends to be true and it is incredibly unfair to the children.  Their lives are every bit as important as adults’ lives are.  Play especially is often dismissed but it is very important.  Kids aren’t waiting for their lives to become important or learning to make them worthwhile, they are living right now – each and every day!

Nothing But the Truth: Fifth Post (Prejudices)

Posted in Fiction, Teen at 4:17 am by Rosepixie

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)I really like Patty and how she finally asked her mother for what she wanted.  Katie, however, is really bothering me.  The idea of getting past the prejudices one faces because of one’s looks and background is a major theme in this book, but unfortunately it only seems to go one way.  The Asian prejudices are mostly broken down and stripped away from the Asian-American characters to show how they are more than they seem, but the more we see Caucasian Katie the more the “Malibu Barbie” stereotype is reinforced.  She is completely surface with no depth at all.  She is every negative image pulled up by the idea of a spoiled, blond brat and Headley seems to be making no effort to make her anything but Malibu Barbie.  It kind of undermines the message of being more than what you seem.  It’s quite frustrating because in so many other ways the book is so wonderful!

The Horn Book LXXXIII/2: Thoughts

Posted in Magazines at 3:52 am by Rosepixie

The Horn Book LXXXIII/2This was a really good issue of The Horn Book.  It had a bunch of reviews of books that sound fantastic.  I was most interested in the featured review of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  I’ve been eying this book at work for a while now since it is so unique and seems absolutely fascinating, and after reading Roger Sutton’s review I absolutely can’t wait to read it!  Jacqueline Woodson’s Zena Sutherland lecture was both interesting and heartwarming.  She is quite an interesting author.  I found the interview with George M. Nicholson to be an intriguing look back at children’s book publishing history and the article about the McKissacks did a great job of highlighting a marvelous body of work and the history behind it.  I was amused by the article concerning young adult literature, primarily because it made predictions that didn’t turn out to be true (although in all other respects it was a fantastic article), and I find it interesting that American Born Chinese seems to have taken everyone so very much by surprise!  The “Recommended Reissues” column was great this time.  I have to agree with Terri Schmitz that the tampering being done to classics is positively horrifying.  I can’t even believe what they’re doing to the “Little House” books!  Oh, wait, these are the same publishers who changed the order of the Narnia books.  Yes, yes I can believe it.  It just makes me want to vomit.  How can they possibly think it’s ok to do these things to classics?  Anyway, this was a wonderful issue and I enjoyed it very much!

Gender Play: First Post (First Impressions)

Posted in Sociology at 2:30 am by Rosepixie

Gender PlayThis book has begun with some great statements and questions.  I love that Thorne bothered to ask the kids what term they preferred and why, even though it seems obvious that “kid” is less offensive from their point of view than “child”.  Probably my favorite of her questions was “as adults, we claim ‘friends’ and ‘colleagues’; why do we so often compress kids’ social relations into the flattening notion of ‘peers’?”.  And I don’t have a good answer for that, but I know I hated it when I was a kid!  Thorne also points out that she is taking a rather feminist view here, where gender is socialized, and kids socialize each other far more than adults socialize them.  That’s something a lot of adults seem to forget, so I’m thrilled she understands it.  I’m looking forward to the rest of this book.

Nothing But the Truth: Fourth Post (Gifted)

Posted in Fiction, Teen at 1:59 am by Rosepixie

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)I find it interesting that Patty is gifted but doesn’t know it because she has been shying away from math for so long.  That part makes sense.  What doesn’t make sense is why.  There really hasn’t been any explanation of why she has been holding back.  I wish that Headley would give us some explanation, however brief, for that.  Did she not want to be like her mother?  Was she being pushed too hard?  Not challenged enough?  What?  Or does she just not remember?  Anything would be nice!

The Essays: Twenty-Sixth Post (Final Thougths)

Posted in Philosophy at 12:58 am by Rosepixie

The EssaysI’m really not sure why any of the information in the appendices was included in this book.  I’m sure it was all related somehow, but John Pitcher, the editor, made no effort whatever to explain how!  I’m really not impressed with him as an editor.  He doesn’t explain most of his inclusions, as if he assumes his readers will just understand them, but at the same time his footnotes seem to indicate that he thinks his readers won’t understand basic words.  And his documentation is extremely uneven (“slight alterations to the text” means what exactly?).  It’s quite frustrating!

03.25.07

Nothing But the Truth: Third Post (Perspectives)

Posted in Fiction, Teen at 1:48 am by Rosepixie

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)Patty is funny.  She seems to be slowly learning to cope with being at math camp, although it clearly isn’t her subject.  Jasmine is giving her a new perspective on being half-white, too.  She clearly doesn’t see herself as exotic, but who ever really does?  I’ll be interested to see what happens with Stu as well.  Hopefully Katie will get more of a personality (and hopefully it won’t entirely annoy me).

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