Good books make me happy.
Good young adult books, exponentially so.
This post isn't about any particular event or kid.
It is about a book.
A book I didn't know existed until a few days ago.
I don't know how I missed it.
Actually, ok, yeah I do know.
As much as I adore YA lit., the past few years, I've gotten lazy.
I just don't read as much of it as I should, or used to, or want to.
Not sure why exactly, the habit has eroded.
I need to get back in the habit.
Mostly because in a couple of weeks my students will be reading in lit. circles.
We don't quite have enough copies of enough books for every class to get the same choices.
That makes it logistically more complicated.
This post is about a book we have about a dozen copies of I might be able to use.
It's called Muchacho by Louanne Johnson.
She also wrote the book that movie Dangerous Minds is based on.
When I found it, I was intrigued by the title and the description on the back.
Then I started reading.
And pretty much fell in love.
The book has an incredibly compelling narrative voice.
It has a surprisingly positive ending.
Unfortunately, it also has some pretty objectionable language.
There is cursing in both English and Spanish.
There is some sexualized language and a bit of pretty gruesome violence.
None of it seems egregious to me in context.
Taken out of context, it could be misconstrued as quite inappropriate.
I have to find a way to let kids read it.
It should definitely be possible with some administrative support and reverse permission slips.
Most kids probably wouldn't choose it anyway, so I only have to worry about the few that do.
No matter, I will find a way.
Even if that way to emphasize how much kids are NOT allowed to read the book...
while leaving the copies in easy to steal locations.
Good books are hard to find.
Not that there aren't tons of them out there, but finding them can be a challenge.
It takes work.
When I get busy I forget to do the work.
I forget how much I love to read.
It is nice to be reminded.
It is really nice to be reminded with a book I want to share with kids.
Such a good thing.