Book Chat

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This month’s book reviews:

I’ve been off-and-on reading Teaching the Gifted Child.

Commenter Leona, who I taught with for several years, was nice enough to give me several books she was getting rid of. She had a teaching endorsement for gifted education, which interests me since my kids are now in a gifted school program, and high-ability education has always fascinated me anyway. Leona read the book in 1985, but much information of this type doesn’t change significantly.

I really enjoyed it. The author speaks about the importance of an appropriate education for the gifted:  Failure to help handicapped children reach their potential is a personal tragedy for them and their families; failure to help gifted children reach their potential is a societal tragedy, the extent of which is difficult to measure but which is surely great. How can we measure the loss of the sonata unwritten, the curative drug undiscovered, the absence of political insight? They are the difference between what we are and what we could be as a society. Brilliant – and I agree totally. I love his take, because it seems that often “gifted” programs are viewed as elitist and therefore expendable.

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Thirteen Moons was another find from the “free books” table I happened upon several months back at my kids’ school. I loved it!

It’s the fictional tale of Will, an orphan who ended up somewhat loosely adopted by two Indians of different tribes back in the 1850s. We follow him through the day-to-day of life, although his life is far from typical: he studies on his own to become a lawyer, travels to Washington in hopes of brightening the plight of the Indians, encounters Davy Crockett, and pines for years and years after his elusive love, Claire.

The real draw of the book is the writing. It’s beautiful; descriptive of the land, the people, and that era of time without becoming boring. Will is telling the story when he is about 90 years old, so he’s also looking back and imparting wisdom, circle-of-life type stuff, all that. It’s beautifully told and was a pleasure to read.

I learned that the author, Charles Frazier, also wrote Cold Mountain. I’d heard of that book but had not read it. Now I will need to.

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You Were Made to Make a Difference is a devotional book aimed at teens; thanks to BookSneeze I got a review copy. I have been using it with my kids during our Sunday School class and I like it. It’s written by Max Lucado of Christian book fame, and his young adult daughter Jenna.

I like it, and they do too – it’s written as a journal (even looks like a composition book), with places to record thoughts if you’re reading through it on your own. It has plenty of relevant (I dislike the overuse of that word in many current evangelical circles) information, but also lots of scripture.

It helps tomorrow’s adults remember that they can make a difference in this big world.

7 thoughts on “Book Chat

  1. I love finding free books–how exciting that you have a “free books” table at your kids’ school. It sounds like Thirteen Moons was a keeper!

  2. I’ve seen You Were Made to Make a Difference on a couple of lists! Max Lucado is a great author and it sounds like a good book.

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