LOTS of books this week

Hunger by Michael Grant

This was the second in the series that began with Gone.  In this book the Freaks (kids who superpowers) are not only at war with the bad guys who want control of Perdido Beach, but also with the Humans (kids without superpowers).  The bad guys are wanting to help out the Darkness, while the Freaks are fighting it.  I really expected the autistic 5 year old to play more of a role in this book, but he didn’t.  It really does speak about how cruelty and addiction seem to be such a inherent part of the human race, no matter the age.  The next book in the series is Lies, and I’ll be reading that one, too.

Three nonfiction memoirs I’ve read this week deal with special needs children.  Torey Hayden wrote both Twilight Children and Somebody’s Child.  In both, she serves as a therapist for children who exhibit elective mutism.  She also is primary therapist for a girl who had been abducted for two years, a “Big Sister” to her “Little Sister” within the Big Brothers Big Sisters  organization, and a consultant on an elderly stroke victim.  I don’t know how one person can survive so much emotion and intensity without melting down herself.  When I go into the classroom this year, the one thing I really want to remember and act on all year is that kids have so many issues that I’ll never see; just the results of them in the classroom.  It’s terrifying.  And dealing with parents of said kids…by itself, that is one of the most frustrating aspect in many cases.

The other book in this category was The Trouble with Alex by Melanie Allen.  This was the account of an adoption of a little girl with Radical Attachment Disorder.  I’ve seen parts of this child in my room in various years.  The ones who seem so sweet and compliant, but are so passive aggressive and manipulative that they are just terrors to deal with.  I always wonder what the real story is…you can’t just take one side and walk away thinking you have the truth of the situation.  But I can sure see this family’s frustration, desperation, and pain.

The last is The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver.  I’ve followed this series of murder-forensic mysteries forever.  If you’ve ever heard of The Bone Collector, this is the same series.  It’s about a brilliant detective who became a quadrapeligic through an on-the-job accident.  He’s to the point now where he and his sidekick, Amelia Sachs, are in love, and work cases together with the help of his tremendous caretaker, Thom, and other very able detectives.  This one involves the use of electricity as a method of serial killing.  I actually understand the difference between volts and amps now!  Great background info, nice pace, and a pretty scary realization of how powerfully electricity controls our lives. 

Just so you know, I did actually work this week….just not as much as I needed to!

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