The Impossible Knife of Memory

Written by Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Fever 1793, which won a Margaret A. Edwards award, The Impossible Knife of Memory takes a turn to examine the reality of war for the children of today’s soldiers. Hayley Kincain and her father have arrived back to the town where her father grew up. The main purpose of the move was so Hayley could attend a proper school, but it isn’t that easy for her.

Hayley has to deal with her supposed ‘step-mother’, Trish. Trish isn’t the best parental figure out there.  She raised Hayley while her father was serving the military but walked out on them years ago. Now she manipulates and attempts to control Hayley’s life, once again, by providing  the principal with information that her father was hiding.  Who does she think she is to interfere, now?

She’s not my stepmother. (…) She’s a cheating, alcoholic a**hole who can’t open her mouth without lying. She… You can’t talk to her about me. Can I go?” 

-Hayley Kincain to the principal, about Trish, page 27. 

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Due to her father returning from the war in Iraq, he isn’t in the most stable condition. Having no job and unable to escape from the evil spirits that haunt him, he isn’t the best father, either. He has PTSD and chooses to depend on drugs to escape from his terrible memories.

“PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, is a mental disorder that is characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event” (Mayo Clinic).  PTSD often affects soldiers, due to the fact that they’re in the battlefield witnessing many gruesome things that not many people can handle.

PTSD can cause anxiety and flashbacks, nightmares, and the inability to participate in something that can bring back the trauma. They may have behavior changes, emotional detachment and much more. Due to Hayley’s dad experiencing that, he isn’t the same father she had before he went to the army.

Picture this; Your father entered the army years ago and finally returned, but he’s not the same person anymore. He’s different. You could say he’s broken or being haunted, the past lurks, waiting to take its chance and pounce. What do you think would happen if that happened to your own father? Would he be able to handle it?

Hayley Kincain is honestly the most relatable character out of all the characters I’ve met when reading different books. Unlike many protagonists who have a life changing moment where they gain powers, meet their soulmate, etc, Hayley struggles to get over regular things. For example, she wants to help her father cope with PTSD and wants to think about the future. She has hope for the future.

Hayley is in conflict with her own self. If anything, we’re able to do a character analysis on Hayley Kincain, analyzing her entire persona, personality and choices. I believe that‘s the most interesting thing about it, the reason why I decided to keep reading. I recommend this book to anyone seeking to find a protagonist that doesn’t have powers or their lover to save them from their problems, to deal with the true reality of the world and it’s dark side. Find out what happens next in the library.

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Protagonist Parade

The Protagonist Parade is an event in our school where each class chooses a book and dresses up as the characters. Each class walks around the school to show off their costumes and their reading spirit. We do this to inspire each other to read different books out of our comfort zones and celebrate our favorite characters.

Here in Library House, past themes were Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, Greek gods and Divergent.  Past themes in the school have included Harry Potter, Cat in the Hat, The Giver, The Outsiders, Caps for Sale, Click Clack Moo, The Wizard of Oz, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Magic School Bus. 

We’ll give you one hint what our costumes will be this year…

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Image courtesy of http://community-sitcom.wikia.com

If you want to learn more about our characters, check out the books by Bill Watterson in the graphic novel section!

I Am Jazz

Jazz, a normal little girl talks about her story. Or is she a boy? Ever since he was born, Jazz knew that he was a girl in a boys body. He loved the color pink, he loved to dress up and watch princess movies with other girls. At first, his family was confused, they thought he was funny or just plain weird. When they went outside, his parents forced him to dress in his usual boy clothes. Though, at home, he was free to wear girl clothes whenever he wanted to. Concerned, his parents went to the doctor and the doctor asked Jazz questions. The doctor later reveals that Jazz, is in fact, transgender.

What does transgender mean? Transgender means when you don’t feel like the gender you are. For example, there are boys and girls that think they are meant to be the opposite geBook Review- I am Jazznder. It often leads to misunderstanding for the parents or other people. Fortunately, Jazz’s parents approve of him and support him to completely change his gender. This is where he gets his name, Jazz. He later completely dresses up as a girl and does whatever a girl does. At first, everyone besides Jazz’s family were confused, the school still considered Jazz a boy so they made him join the boys soccer team and such. However, they have finally concluded to think of him as a girl. What will happen next? Will there be any consequences for Jazz? Find out the ending in the library.

Reading I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel was very heartwarming. It’s a perfect book to demonstrate children how to understand the word ‘transgender’. Especially since it’s based on a true story, it’s very interesting to find out what would happen next. It kept me going and kept wanting to know what would happen next. Also,it exposes it so they can be able to know that being transgender is ok and that they shouldn’t feel bad about it or make fun of people because of it. This book is indeed, a excellent book that is for sure, a must read for all ages.

Sayaka Nagata- 2017 Write to read day presenter

Sayaka Nagata is a visual artist who will be presenting at this years write to read day at Chcs.  She was born in 1982 in Yamasaki, Japan. Growing up she wasn’t  really Involved With any animals, Even so now she is  fascinated the relationship between humans and animals. Many of her painting like the one shown below include both animals and humans. Now she lives and works in New York and is a Brooklyn-based artist. Nagata believes in language beyond words, Which she says is probably the reason why she picked up painting and art. Her relationship with her own animals (Two cats) are important and inspire her as well. Please check out her website and more of her amazing artwork by clicking the link below.  

Sayaka Nagata

BOB_PETEY“I cannot imagine a life without these relationships, where no human words are uttered yet thousands of sentiments are felt.”         -Sayaka Nagata

The Only Road

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When Jamie, hears a distant scream, he already knows that Miguel, his best friend and cousin, is dead. In Guatemala, everyone know someone that has been annihilated by the Alphas, a dangerous and powerful gang, and also known responsible for drug trafficking. Anyone, like Miguel, who disobeyed their wishes or refuses to work for them, was killed. Jamie worries and fears that he will be the Alphas’ next victim. Jaime along with his cousin Angela make the decision to make the long journey to the United States where he will stay with his older brother, Tomas.

Join, Jamie and Angela on Alexandra Diaz’ Only Road as they leave for the United States.

Wonder

Wonder is a children’s novel by R.J Palacio, It was first released in 2012. It focuses on 10 year old August (Auggie) Image result for wonder summaryPullman who was born with a facial deformity and has been home schooled his entire life- Until his 10th birthday. After a while of debating his parents finally suggest that he should attend a public school in order to receive a better education and some social experience. The first few Months are with no doubt difficult. During this time he makes both friends, enemies and finds himself in the center of a middle school war. While some of his classmates bully and tease him others stand by him. The story changes perspectives and is told by him and his friends/family, including  His sister, Summer- One of the students that befriends him, Jackwill (Another one of his friends), Etc.  Throughout the story he continues to face challenges which don’t all just have to do with him being different. The story Was inspired by placio’s Own experience with a girl who also had a facial deformity. When her three- year old began to cry because he was scared she imminently picked him up and left but not just because of her embarrassment but to protect the little girl. She continued to regret not being able to do something more like begin a conversation with the little and show her kids that there was nothing wrong, Soon auggies character began to  form in her head. After missing the opportunity to show her kids to “choose kind” She Wrote wonder Which continuously mentions what it is to choose kind and why it’s so important. A live film has been confirmed for November 17, 2017, So make sure to pick up Wonder at our library before hand!

Keisha’s Doors

Keisha’s older sisteKeisha's Doors.r, Monica was at first excited about playing with Keisha. She gave her attention for example, giving her toy blocks to play with and dolls so she and Monica can play together. However, Keisha walks away from Monica and refuses to play with her. This isn’t the only time where Keisha refuses to communicate. Her parents have tried talking to her but Keisha ignores them. It concerns them very much, which leads them to taking Keisha to a doctor. When the doctors are done with examining Keisha, they reveal that Keisha has autism. Keisha’s family were confused, what did autism mean? The doctor states that autism means that the person will need a lot of extra help learning to do basic things that are easy for us. It was tragic for Keisha’s family, especially the fact that they didn’t understand what autism meant and how it would affect her.

The doctor later recommends them a doctor so they would help support Keisha. When they do, the therapist examines Keisha and plays with her for a while. Then, when she talks to the parents, she says you have to do certain things in order for Keisha to listen to them. For example, she made Keisha’s hands touch the therapists cheeks. She said it would help her be able to listen to the speaker and to understand. She tells them to try practicing this technique at home with Keisha. Will this new technique work? Will Keisha be able to learn and such? Find out what happens next in the library.

Reading this book made me feel very curious about what would happen with Keisha. The truth about Keisha was a bit shocking for me and I thought it was sweet at the end. I really recommend this book to anyone seeking to read about children with mental disabilities and such. In conclusion, Keisha’s Doors by Marvie Ellis is a excellent book and should be read by all.