Have you ever found a writer you like and then immediately need to devour everything they’ve written? I’ve just discovered two authors I’m into: Kathy Harrison and Jodi Piccoult.
I just finished Kathy Harrison’s One Small Boat. I found this one even more interesting than Another Place at the Table (my post here). . . probably because this book is more focused on one particular foster child. I love Kathy’s heart for children and her incredible honesty with her fostering and adoptive journey. She needs to write another book!! (I see she wrote one about preparedness, but I’m not as into that.)
Another author I discovered is Jodi Picoult. Now, there are aspects of Picoult’s work that I don’t appreciate – such as some language and sexuality — and perhaps I will find more of that the more I read of her work. But I have loved the stories she’s decided to tell, and how she’s told them. My first read was My Sister’s Keeper. I can’t believe that they didn’t stick with the story when they made the movie! I read House Rules next. Because of my interest in Aspergers, this was a fascinating read for me. I just checked out Plain Truth from the library and we’ll see how I like it. I feel like I’m doing a dance between wanting to read novels that make me think . . . and novels that make me wonder if I should be reading them, let alone blogging about them. I’m just so tired of “Christian” novels that are about girl meets boy with a little bit of church thrown in.
How do you decide if a book is something you should be reading, (or shall I use the term “appropriate?”)
Finally. I had been looking for a book like this for years: Another Place at the Table.
Kathy Harrison shares from her experiences as a foster parent. This is not an easy book to read; the children came into the Harrison home from very difficult pasts. I’ve read multiple books written by previous foster children, but this is the first book written by a foster parent that I’ve been able to get my hands on. Although the individual stories are obviously different than the stories of the children that have been in our home, so much of Harrison’s story was the same as mine.
The love for the children. The difficulty.The broken heart from hearing their stories, and the broken heart from saying good-bye. The phone calls and quick decisions. The relationships with biological parents. The meetings with therapists and life-altering court decisions.
Not knowing if you can handle another child from the system, and not knowing if you can handle NOT having another child from the system.
This is part of the journey Josiah and I are on. We’re glad we don’t walk alone.
I found Sold when I was searching for books about human trafficking. I put off reading it because it is fiction, and I wanted to read more personal accounts. I discovered, however, that Patricia McMormick researched extensively before writing. I am glad that I did take the time to read it. And really, it didn’t take that much time; it is a quick (though heavy) read.
As I read Sold, I kept reminding myself This is fiction and that didn’t really happen to Lakshima. But the more I thought about it, I realized that although the details are made-up, the overall story is repeated around the world more often than I would wish.
Lakshima, a 13-year-old girl, lives with her family in the mountains of Nepal. After a series of difficulties, she is sold from person to person, eventually winding up in a brothel in India. McMormick tells Lakshima’s story as a series of vignettes. I love her style. She also handles the topic and events sensitively, but I would still only recommend the book to mature readers. My local library places Sold in the young adult section.
Check out my posts on these related books: I am Nujood, Age 10, and Divorced and The Slave Across the Street.
I’d like to read Forgotten Girls and Slave at some point. (And Patricia McCormick’s other books). I think I will always have a large list of books to read.
But really, its not so much about what I’m reading, or what I want to read. What am I doing with what I know? How am I growing in active compassion?
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui
I discovered this book when I was searching for books on human trafficking on Amazon. Fortunately, our local library had a copy so I could check it out.
Nujood Ali, a 10-year-old girl from Yemen, tells her story of being married, abused, and divorced, all before the age most American girls have a boyfriend. Apparently it is common in some areas of Yemen for very young girls to be given in marriage, with the understanding that the husband will wait for sexual relations until the girl reaches puberty. Nujood’s husband did not wait. He also abused her physically and verbally.
I wish I could say that Nujood’s life got immediately easier and better after her divorce, and maybe today she is doing well.This CNN article shares more, but even that was written in 2009. I pray that Nujood would continue to be a courageous woman who inspires many.
What I learned or gained from this book:
- a window into life in rural Yemen
- a sense of compassion for families like Nujood’s, who find themselves in very difficult circumstances with difficult choices
- a reminder of the incredible gift that my childhood and education was AND how precious my husband is
- a desire to look into ways to help others. . . especially women. This ties into what I’ve been learning about Hope International and their small business loans. How can I really help people around the world, instead of just giving easy hand-outs?