Monday, January 25, 2016

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

     Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan introduces the world to Norse mythology through the journey of mortal Magnus Chase. Magnus has not lead an exceptional life. He has lost his mother, he never knew his father, and he has been living on the streets for the past two years. In one day, when Magnus turns 16, his life is completely turned upside down. He finds himself on a bridge battling a fire giant named Surt and unearthing a sword no one has seen in decades. This leads Magnus to the Norse afterlife of Valhalla where he learns of his unclear fate and must go on quest to stop the world from falling into 'Ragnarok' too soon. Will Magnus complete this quest and finally find his place in the world after all? 

     If you are a fan of Rick Riordan then this story is again a must read. I absolutely love that we have left the familiar world of Greek and Roman mythology and headed into the world of Norse mythology. I learned so much through the course of the book and realized how much more I want to learn. With a whole new cast of crazy characters, like Blitz and Hearth, and witty, humor-filled chapter titles, it is hard to put the book down. I must say though that this book does hit a slow patch towards the middle. I think it is easy to get lost in all of the characters and the new mythology, but it definitely picks back up the last 150 pages. I say this so you stick with it, I promise you won't regret it. I cannot wait for Magnus' next adventure in his search for Thor's hammer. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Who Is Malala Yousafzai?

     Who Is Malala Yousafzai by Dimah Brown is the story of a young girl from Pakistan who stood up to the Taliban when they tried to take away her right to go to school. Malala grew up in a peaceful village where her father helped build schools for girls and boys. Malala loved learning from an early age and decided she would do anything to go to school, and so she did. But when war tears her country apart, and strict Taliban beliefs ban all women from going to school or even leaving their homes without a male relative, Malala must stand up for what she believes in. Through writing and speeches, Malala shares with the world how education should be the right of every child no matter their race or gender. She will inspire you and remind you how lucky we are to have the rights that we do.

     This book is a must-read for every child. I believe this because it shows that age means nothing when it comes to changing the world and standing up for what you know is right. My goal is to have all of my students, girls especially, read this book before the end of the year. It is hard not to be inspired by this young girl who stood up to Taliban and almost lost her life for it. Malala shows us all what it means to be brave. I think what will stick with me most from her story is the reminder of how lucky we are in the United States to have rights for women/girls. School and an education should be given to everyone across the world, but it isn't. Malala reminds me to appreciate what I have - the right to go to school - every day because you never know when things can change.