I began this summer with the intent to read at least 10 books. Yes, you read correctly, 10. However, between the worlds of work, motherhood and wifedom (the estate or domain of the female head of household), I have only read three in their entirety. The summer isn't over yet, though. :D
I highly recommend this brilliant, amazing memoir. Ishmael, at age 12, is enthralled by the hip hop culture of the United States and sets out on a journey to a talent show in a near-by town in Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, he experiences loss of family, youth and innocence. Ishmael is immersed in the horrors of warfare. For three years, he will live the life of a child soldier. Ishmael witnesses and commits unspeakable horrors. But in this tale of so much tragedy, there is still light. Ishmael goes through rehabilitation and ultimately immigrates to the United States.
I began reading this memoir in June with my students and was able to finish it in early July. This story has a complexity in its themes (family, war, loss, genocide) that transcends cultural barriers. It has opened my eyes to the horrors that children can face in war-torn countries. My students were very touched by Ishmael's story and began a cry for help from their school and their community. This tale is not only insightful but quite profound.
I found this book to be a bit jarring at first since I am not familiar with Swedish culture. However, the mystery and action-packed plot helped to move me along immensely. Mikael Blomkvist, a ruined financial reporter, is given a second chance to resurrect his name by a rich, old Swedish tycoon, Harold Vanger. However, Blomkvist must first investigate the forty-year-old disappearance of Vanger's grandniece, Harriet Vanger. Blomkvist is assisted by Lisbeth Salander, a tattooed superhacking genius.
I am currently reading the continuation of the trilogy, The Girl who Played with Fire. Although I am really enjoying this series, it is clear that Larsson did not complete the editing process of his novels before his death in 2004. I believe that this contributed to the problem I had when reading first reading his works (smoother transitions were needed). However, despite this, Larsson weaves a wonderfully suspenseful tale.
What else could Artemis Fowl do when his mother is dying and the only cure is in the brain fluid of an endangered species? Go back in time, of course! This fourteen-year-old genius travels back in time to undo a wrong he has committed - selling the last remaining lemur to an Extinctionist group. He manipulates his best friend Captain Holly Short, a pixie in the Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance (LEPrecon), into helping him capture the elusive primate. They are assisted by the ever-flatulent, dirt-eating dwarf, Mulch Diggums. Artemis must outmaneuver his 10-year-old self and discover who is the puppetmaster pulling the strings of the Extinctionists before he runs out of time.
This is a hilarious, action-packed fiction novel that will not disappoint. I very much look forward to reading the next installment of the series, Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, in August.
I found these books to be great reads. Interested in any of the books above? If so, which one(s)? If not, what books do you recommend?