March was a slow month for me in this regard. Too many distractions, I guess.
What I Read in March
Black and White by Paul Volponi
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Volponi's book came recommended by other English teachers as a book that students liked. I felt it was decent, but it didn't blow me away. In fact, I was more than a little annoyed by both protagonists and felt that their crime was so unjustified that I felt little sympathy for their predicaments. The book is written in alternating first person narrative.
In the story, "Black and White" are the nicknames of the two main characters, Marcus and Eddie. They've been friends for all of high school, inseparable on and off the basketball court despite racial tensions that seem to loom close to the surface in their school and community. Their nicknames relate to their respective races. Neither boy has the same economic means as some of their fellow teammates and when the entire team decides they need a certain expensive shoe rather than get a job at McDonald's (which both boys seem to believe is "beneath them," after all they ARE the stars of the basketball team), they decide to rob people at gun point in broad daylight. What a surprise when they get caught! Sheesh. The level of stupidity is a bit amazing to me.
What follows is a breakdown of who gets blamed and how each boy handles the situation, how it affects their friendship, how it affects their future prospects. Their struggle even spills over into other problems in the school that reflect back to an ugly incident a few years earlier when a student was killed at a basketball game.
I guess if students are interested in any of these topics this may be a book to recommend. In our book club, several students expressed a distaste for the ending and found much of the book rather ridiculous. However, we'd just read Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" and this book suffered by comparison.
Reading in progress:
Errors in the Script by Greg Williamson
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman
Eat This Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide by David Zinczenko
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
What I Watched in March
The Family Stone (rewatched -- When Meredith inadvertently gives them all that perfect Christmas present, I just break down... funny film with touching moments.)
What I Was Listening to in March
Neko Case Middle Cyclone
I'm loving this CD. It's been my apartment overhaul soundtrack. She has such evocative lyrics.
"I love your long shadows and your gun powder eyes..."