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This. Is. Required. Reading.

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Publisher photo

Do I have your attention? Great. Now go find the March Trilogy. Then read it. And hopefully it doesn’t take you as long as it did me to finish. Let me clarify; these are not difficult reads. Actually, I finished Book One and Book Two rather quickly. While Book Three is considerably longer than its predecessors, you should still manage to complete it fairly quickly. (I’ll be honest and admit that I could only get through a few pages at a time and had to walk away. My undiagnosed ADD aside, the current political climate caused great distraction for me with this read; I wish it hadn’t.😞)

In the past three years, I’ve become especially fond of graphic format books. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin’s March Trilogy (illustrated by Nate Powell) happen to be among my favorites. The trio compose Congressman John Lewis’ graphic memoir, recollecting the 1960s, culminating with the March on Selma. I love that not only do readers have access to Lewis’ history, we get a glimpse of his experience as, decades later, he witnesses history—the inauguration of the first African-American President. I have tried unsuccessfully for quite some time to put the emotions these books evoked into words. And even though I’ve begun typing this blog post, I still don’t quite have the words to do these texts justice. So, I won’t. What I will do is encourage you to read them for yourself.

Continue reading

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👁 ❤️ 🎶

It’s day 4 of blogging about TFotS and you’re probably over it already. Hang in there with me for just one post longer. This might be my favorite post of them all. I love books, but, I LOVE music. Students’ DIR task on Thursdays will be to create a soundtrack for the book they’re reading. (If you love this idea, head over to author David Arnold’s website where he has created a soundtrack inspired by his novels Mosquitoland and Kids of Appetite.)

I’ve thought about this for a couple of days—as I’m sure students will have to—and realized that even with such a huge heart for music and musical background, it’s a challenge to decide which songs appropriately represent this novel. I had to think about context, characters, setting, and emotion. It was no easy feat, but accomplished nonetheless. It made me appreciate the countless number of hours I’m sure music directors put in to choose music and create soundtracks for movies. It’s a job that interested me in the past, but I’m certainly not envious of. Well, maybe just a little.
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For everyone’s sake, my DIR: Soundtrack for The Female of the Species is more of an EP than LP. (If I were fancy, I’d upgrade my blog site plan to include audio so you’d just be able to press play. But I’m not that fancy today, so you’ll have to go find it on Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, or whatever streaming service you prefer.)  I’m feeling slightly fancy and hoping it pays off. Just click on the link 👇🏽 to hear the music.

TFotS Soundtrack 🎶 🎙 📻  🎧

I’m awful at spoilers so you’ll have to read The Female of the Species to understand why I choose these songs. Oh yeah, the parental advisory is there for a reason. Happy listening! ✌🏽 ❤️ 🎵

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Indulge me a little…

PLEASE! And if by the time you finish reading and you’re thinking “that was way off,” do me a favor and keep it to yourself. LOL. JK. No . . . really . . . don’t tell me how you really feel.

I’m gonna (yes, I wrote gonna; don’t judge me) take a HUGE risk and make a text to text connection here, which will lead to me encouraging you to read this book if you haven’t already. If you’re just tuning in, this is part 3 of my blog posts about Mindy McGinnis’ The Female of the Species. (read: go read my first two A New Approach and What Happens Next?) So here goes.

DIR: Make a connection

Did you absolutely love Laurie Halse Andreson’s Speak? Yep, me too. Except there were so many moments while reading that I kept saying “why don’t you just say or do something?” And “how is it no one knows this girl has gone through something?” By the end of the novel, Anderson’s protagonist Melinda had (subtly) found her voice. Finally! Here’s where I make the connection to TFotS. While both Melinda and Alex (TFotS) are similar—outcasts, limited voice, experienced tragedy—Alex is secretly who Melinda wishes she were. Melinda’s rape experience has caused her to shut down. She often thinks of how she’d respond to those around her—especially her attacker—but she can never seem to get the words out. Alex, on the other hand, doesn’t have to say a word. Her actions speak volumes. She’s ripped part of a boy’s ear off. AND KILLED SOMEONE for crying out loud. This girl has totally found her voice! And she’s speaking for her friend Peekay, her dead sister Anna, Melinda (in Speak), and all other females of the species whose voices have been silenced.

Do yourself a favor and stop reading my post and read the book; it’s much better.

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What Happens Next?

So yesterday I somewhat introduced you to what I’m #currentlyreading. The Female of the Species has been a pretty quick and interesting read thus far. It’s definitely outside of my normal genre preference, but has not disappointed. Told in three alternating voices, it’s the story of how loner Alex Craft befriends two classmates that remember details of her sister’s brutal murder three years prior all too well. Although Alex has preferred a life alone, her mindset is beginning to shift as she gets to know Peekay, the girl she share’s job duties with at a local animal shelter for their senior year experience. Until the first day of senior year, Jack hadn’t given Alex a second thought. Now, he’s smitten with her. Although they’ve become comfortable as friends, there’s still something Jack and Peekay can’t quite grasp about Alex. But what is it?

DIR: Predictionfullsizerender-22

Alex has practically just manhandled a group of older guys, preventing them from taking advantage of Peekay at a party. While Peekay is grateful, in the following days, she finds herself defending her friend Alex to those who believe she’s crazy. My prediction for the next part of the book: Peekay and Jack will find out if Alex has been violent towards males in the past…and if so, just how much. Could this female of the species be more deadly than the male? To find out, you’ll have to read Mindy McGinnis’ The Female of the Species*.

*For mature readers; intended audience grade 10 and up

img_4436On another note: a “cool kid” gifted me this “Reading Nook” scented candle for Christmas and I’ve burned it all in my three sittings with TFotS. Boo hiss. Heading over to see what other book inspired scents FromthePage (Etsy) offers. Oh yeah, and contemplating tomorrow’s post; it’s a challenge. Stay tuned. Happy reading!

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A New Approach

WOW! It has been over a year since my last post. 🙈  Time certainly flies by faster than we’d like to think. I haven’t stopped reading; over the past few months, I’ve been journaling my reading experiences via Instagram. I am happy to say that thanks to what was supposed to be me scheduling book speed dating/booktalk dates for some English classes led to an impromptu conversation about student assignments, and magically✨✨✨…the decision to include blogs as part of students’ DIR (daily independent reading).

I get the honor of working with these students next week. Can you tell I’m über excited about it?! 🤗  I absolutely love engaging with students—especially about awesome books— and am so enthused to be able to introduce them to what could quite possibly be their first blogging experience. I really hope they like it. 🤞🏽

To kick things off, I had to dust off my chops, of course. What better way to start blogging again than to start by using their requirements as an example?! So, here’s my first one for the novel I’m currently reading—The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis.

DIR: Quotefemale

“He’s lonely. So when I stop for the first time ever, I almost feel bad when his face lights up. Almost. Because immediately following that pure smile of a human being who craves the company of another human being, his eyes flick down to my tank top, where my breasts heave up and down as I catch my breath. And we’re not two human beings anymore. We’re a male and a female. Alone in the woods.” -Alex, the female protagonist, as she comes into contact with a man during her run around town.

Although this passage is from early on in the story, I love it because it’s the moment when I realized…OOOO….It’s. About. To. Go. Down. In this particular moment is when the author magnifies the intensity of the opening line “This is how I kill someone.” Not only do you realize the protagonist is out to get someone, you can tell that someone is a man. “We’re a male and a female” set a tone that says this girl has an issue with the male species; now I just have to keep reading to figure out why.

Intrigued in the slightest by this quote or my post? Stay tuned. Follow my blog for updates or just check back tomorrow. I’ll be updating with students’ next DIR task: make a prediction.