Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What I Meant - Marie Lamba

I got a nice note from the author of this book recently sugesting I might enjoy it, and she was right. It's a book that has a lot going on. There's a cultural element (the main character's father is Indian and her mother is American), there's a boy/girl element, there's a friend struggle, and there's a bit of self realization happening as well.

Interestingly, I expected the boy/girl element to do something different than it turned out to, and I was quite pleasantly surprised to be surprised. What did happen that's quite typical and annoying, but undoubtedly quite true to life, is that the girl went for the cute boy who's pretty much a jerk. WHAT was she thinking? But anyway, she did finally figure that out.

The Indian culture part (you DO remember I was from India in a former life, right?) was, as always, fascinating. The Indian aunt in this story, though, was unbelievable. Not that I didn't believe the writing, I just couldn't believe the nonsense she was pulling AND getting away with! The dad was too, in some ways, although I'm typically going to believe an adult over a child (sorry, kids), too, so his was easier to believe. Plus Sang, the main character, did do some stupid stuff she shouldn't have.

I felt really bad for Sang about the rift between her and her former bet friend. It was very strange, and sad, because her friend clearly needed someone, but she was hurting too much to really know what to do. At one point in the story Sang tells Gina's parents about something Gina has done, and Gina gets SUPER angry with Sang. But it was the right thing to do, and it took a lot of courage. Some really bad things might have resulted if she'd held back what she knew. Growing up can be really hard, because sometimes friends do things that might endanger themselves or others, and then you have to decided whether you can risk the friendship by telling. But really, you do, even if it's hard.

I will be ordering this book for the library in the future. For now it's available at the Multnomah County Library..


Anonymous said...

Mrs. F-B !!

Please, no need to publish this comment, but I need your help. I am new to teaching (former journalist) and do not have a lot of time to read YA books as I am also new to mothering 2 little ones. I teach 7th grade standard and GATE/advanced students. If you don't mind, will you PLEASE send me a list of the top 5 or 6 books you'd recommend teaching to standard 7th grade readers, and then another 5 or 6 to the more advanced readers. Perhaps some would work for both. I bought about 20 books to read over the summer and have only gotten to 3 of them. If possible, I'd like a mix of styles/genres (maybe even throw in a graphic novel to lighten the load). This might not be such an easy question considering how much your brain would have to sift through, but I would really appreciate a response. Basically, if you could only teach 4 novels in a year, which ones would they be. (Any books above that would serve purpose for literature circles.) Of course, I have to be quite careful to more mature topics involving sex, drugs, etc ....... Please respond to my email at rox_stites@yahoo.com or rmartin@rcsdk8.org Thank you very much. Ask me any questions you'd like. Roxanne Martin

Ms. Yingling said...

The cover looks like something else I read, but I don't think I've seen this one. I'll have to take a look. Good luck with the beginning of school.