It’s 1875. Cap Cooper is a 12 year old whose mother is pregnant with another child. She is weak and sick. Cap and his dad just want to be able to pay for her medicine, so they pick up a job of grave digging. Not to put bodies into, but to take them out. They are stealing the bodies to sell to medical facilities. It’s good money, for some rather unsavory people. Cap feels bad about it. Then one of the bodies comes back to life! Did he cause that? Does he have some paranormal power? Or was she buried alive?
This book is told in 3rd person omniscient, distant. The effect is that it sounds like someone telling a fairy tale. The prose is filled with delightful adjectives. Stephen King would absolutely hate this story for that reason I think. It made the story feel full of childish wonder. The Bear and the Nightingale By Katherine Arden Narrated by Kathleen Gati At the heart of this story is a battle of belief. Christianity versus the old gods like the domovoi who lives in the oven and protects the house. The vazila who is the spirit of the horses. The Winter King. Death. A creature in the water. An old Oak Tree in the forest. Vasalisa (Vasya) is the main character. She is born to a mother who has the sight and knows that Vasya will be special. She is a wild uncontrollable child who thrives in nature and will not be tamed.
Not everyone has the privilege of being a teacher of such diverse populations, but there is no better way to learn how others think and view the world than by reading what they write. So this month I recommend that you read at least one book that is written by someone from another country or someone from a different culture than your own.
I love this book! I usually love action packed stories. This one is not what I'd call action packed but I loved it none the less. This is a story to savor and delight in the beauty of the prose. This is unbelievably Kelene Wecker's debut novel. In the US we typically say Jinni (Jee-nee) … Continue reading The Golem and the Jinni
Here is my first guest blogger! Dianne McBride is a dear friend of mine and a fellow teacher of middle school students. She is reviewing a book that earned a Newberry Metal in 1990. It's a book which has been a go-to book for both of us over the years because it is so well-written … Continue reading Number the Stars