WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. The three W’s stand for the following questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? To participate, make a post or comment answering the three questions, link up to the host (Sam)’s post, and check out what others are reading and talking about! I typically participate once a month, approximately in the middle of the month, as a halfway check-in on my monthly reading goals.
What Am I Currently Reading?
📚 You Are Not Your Own by Alan Noble
About: “You are your own, and you belong to yourself.” This is the fundamental assumption of modern life. And if we are our own, then it’s up to us to forge our own identities and to make our lives significant. But while that may sound empowering, it turns out to be a crushing responsibility–one that never actually delivers on its promise of a free and fulfilled life, but instead leaves us burned out, depressed, anxious, and alone. This phenomenon is mapped out onto the very structures of our society, and helps explain our society’s underlying disorder. But the Christian gospel offers a strikingly different vision. As the Heidelberg Catechism puts it, “I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” In You Are Not Your Own, Alan Noble explores how this simple truth reframes the way we understand ourselves, our families, our society, and God. Contrasting these two visions of life, he invites us past the sickness of contemporary life into a better understanding of who we are and to whom we belong.
It’s slow going and I may end up returning this to the library until I can afford to give this book more proper attention. It’ll be worthwhile whenever I get through it, though!
📚 Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac; Children’s Historical Fiction
About: It’s 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. Cal likes being a knight of the road with Pop, even if they’re broke. But then Pop has to go to Washington, DC–some of his fellow veterans are marching for their government checks, and Pop wants to make sure he gets his due–and Cal can’t go with him. So Pop tells Cal something he never knew before: Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma called the Challagi School.
At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings. Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people’s history and heritage. He learns their language and customs. And most of all, he learns how to find strength in a group of friends who have nothing beyond each other.
I picked this book up for class, not realizing quite how long it is (320 pages may not be that long in the grand scheme of things, but when I have to read 5 books per week, it is!). However, I’m hooked, and now even if it didn’t count for class I would want to finish it.
What Did I Recently Finish Reading?
📚 Stay by Bobbie Pyron; Children’s Fiction
About: Piper’s life is turned upside down when her family moves into a shelter in a whole new city. She misses her house, her friends, and her privacy-and she hates being labeled the homeless girl at her new school. But while the shelter, Hope House, offers her new challenges, it also brings new friendships, like the girls in Firefly Girls Troop 423 and a sweet street dog named Baby. So when Baby’s person goes missing, Piper knows she has to help. But helping means finding the courage to trust herself and her new friends, no matter what anyone says about them-before Baby gets taken away for good.
Told in the alternating perspectives of Piper and Baby, this uplifting friendship tale celebrates the importance of hope, the power of story, and the true meaning of home.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
📚 Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz
About: After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today.
When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone. With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
📚 Katie the Catsitter by Coleen A.F. Venable
About: Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead while her best friends are all away at camp–something that’s way out of Katie and her mom’s budget, UNLESS Katie can figure out a way earn the money for camp herself. But when Katie gets a job catsitting for her mysterious upstairs neighbor, life get interesting.
First, Madeline has 217 cats (!) and they’re not exactly . . . normal cats. Also, why is Madeline always out EXACTLY when the city’s most notorious villain commits crimes?! Is it possible that Katie’s upstairs neighbor is really a super villain?
Can Katie wrangle a whole lot of wayward cats, save a best friendship (why is Beth barely writing back? And who’s this boy she keeps talking about?!), AND crack the biggest story in the city’s history? Some heroes have capes . . . Katie has cats!
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I love this book so much. There is a sequel planned to come out early next year, which I hope to read!
What Might I Read Next?
📚 The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
About: Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library–along with the thirty thousand books within it–will be destroyed forever.
In a war-stricken country where civilians–especially women–have little power, this true story about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries. Illustrated by Jeanette Winter in bright acrylic and in.
📚 The Giver by Lois Lowry
About: In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.
What books are on your radar this week?
Until the next chapter,