Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman

I picked up this book while I was in LA visiting The Last Bookstore. When I saw it I just knew I had to buy it because the story takes place in Poland, which is where my family is from; plus I’ve always wanted to read books about Polish history.
    Let me just say reading this book which revolves around some Holocaust heroes absolutely is amazing. Not only do you see that no matter what the circumstances were at that time there were still people that wanted to help; even if this meant that there would be some serious consequences. One thing I really enjoyed about this book is that Polish terms were used throughout the entire book. Ackerman would not only just words expecting the readers to know the terms but she put the meaning either in parenthesis or she will explain the meaning of that particular word in a sentence.  Another amazing thing is that are pictures that are included that showed the life of Zabinski family while at their zoo.
    On top of many, great aspects of this book; Diane Ackerman did an amazing job writing this story. She also did a ton of research about Jan and Antonina Zabinski to make sure she got every aspect of this couple's amazing story down correctly. Reading this book has inspired me to pick up more books about Poland's history, this way I can learn more about the place my family comes from.

Book reviewed by Paige

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Let me just say this you can never ever go wrong by reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie work. Now let me just say this Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is a definite must-read for feminists. Chimamanda touches on the core of what it means to be a feminist, “Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of men and women or you do not”.

The book was originally written as a letter to a close friend who has just given birth to a daughter. Chimamanda’s friend has asked her to describe how to raise the daughter to be a feminist in Nigeria, a male-centered country. Trying to raise a girl in a male-centered country, does not only apply to Nigeria. Here in the United States women, especially women of color often face adverse circumstances in the workplace, school, outside of the home and even at home. Chimamanda spells out how to raise a feminist daughter in fifteen steps. You do not need to be a new mother to read this book, what Chimamanda is saying applies to all of us.

Not only is the book wonderful, it is a fairly easy read. Plus, some of Chimamanda’s quotes are priceless Can I just say this book is going to be a modern-day classic?

Book reviewed by Raisa

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

For this month’s Book of the Month club I picked The Leavers by Lisa Ko and I found it fitting to this book to be my first review. I found the description to be very appealing especially with the political climate in the United States. What happens when an undocumented parent goes to work and never comes back? This is precisely what happened to eleven-year-old Deming Guo. Deming’s Chinese immigrant mother named Polly goes to her job at the nail salon and does not return. Deming gets adopted by a couple who try to provide the best they could for Deming, who later is named Daniel. As the story unfolds, we learn what happened to Polly. I found the book to be interesting because it deals with the immigration experience, which is mostly from Polly’s point of view. It was interesting to read how Deming/Daniel shifted between both names. As a child and adult, he struggled finding his identity. First, as the son of immigrant parent and then as an adoptee.

I am normally a fast reader, but this book I took my time reading it because I wanted to take my time understanding all the characters feelings.  Reading first how Deming first felt scared, then angry and ultimately abandoned it is hard to imagine. The Leavers granted me even further empathy for the plight of immigrants, children and adoptive parents. I highly recommend this book, it starts off a bit slow but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Book reviewed by Raisa