Sunday, January 29, 2017

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

Anita is a little girl growing up under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Its written like the diary of a pubescent girl and frankly focuses far too much on puberty to the point of annoyance.
The story of communist oppression, tyranny, and revolution in the Dominican Republic needs to be told. This book didn't do it.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This book is a compelling, well-written, fictional story. The overarching theme for me is that when we harm others, we harm ourselves.
However,  I decided that it's one I wouldn't choose to use at school. While the book makes several important points, I think when talking about this topic with young people, I will choose an non-fiction section.
This is a heartbreaking topic and an important topic and I wouldn't want a young person to think, "this is just a story."
Still, to those who are familiar with the real history, this story has something to add to the way we think about these kinds of events.