November Reading Challenge Reflections

The BHS Reading Challenge is off to a great start. Students, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, librarians, parents, and alumni have chosen to make reading diverse texts a priority. 

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting some of our participants’ reflections on the books they chose for the November Reading Challenge: Read a Book Written by a Person of Color. If you’re looking for book recommendations, we have you covered.

Brad Bond (BHS parent):  The book Things Fall Apart describes the imposition of rational legalistic governmental order on a native people. I believe this speaks to the current political unease with the amount of government in people’s lives. DECEMBER BOOK:  Man’s Fate by Andre Malraux about an uprising in China during the late 20’s.

Renee Dacey (World Languages Department Chair): Trevor Noah’s book Born a Crime was fantastic. I highly recommend it to adults and young adults because of the perspectives and life experiences that Mr. Noah shares chapter by chapter as a child, teenager, and young adult growing up in South Africa. Without a doubt, this book is a page turner that one cannot put down! The part of the book that was most significant to me was his view on why parents name their children after historical heroes or villains. For example, one of his childhood friends was named Hitler. At first, the reader ponders, why would a parent name his or her son, Hitler? Immediately, Mr. Noah gives a profound reason why his friend was named after such a person. Why? Well, I will not share that reason…you just have to read the book to find out! DECEMBER BOOK: TBD

Amanda McCombs (BHS Senior): The book I chose for the November challenge was When Dimple Met Rishi by Indian-American author Sandhya Menon. This contemporary romance book follows the protagonists Dimple and Rishi, whose parents set them up in an arranged marriage and they meet at a web developing summer program. I appreciated how Dimple is an empowered and independent female who rejects her mother’s traditional beauty values and is one of the only girls at the web developing program. Rishi is more sensitive, proud of his Indian culture, and talented at drawing comics. One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the inclusion of Indian culture, language, food, etc., which in my opinion is an underrepresented ethnicity in young adult literature. Although the novel could be very cheesy and predictable at times and the writing was not outstanding, I still enjoyed it and breezed through it. DECEMBER BOOK: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Katie Whitcomb (Math Department Chair): I loved Homegoing. I loved learning about life in both Africa and the US through the eyes of Yaa Gyasi’s vibrant characters. The book really keeps you on your toes, moving quickly between characters and generations. It could be confusing at times, but there is a family tree at the beginning of the book that helped me to navigate. Despite feeling a bit disoriented, every time it switched characters, I was quickly hooked and invested in this new person’s life and perspective and experiences. It was a great read! DECEMBER BOOK: The Girl from Everywhere  by Heidi Heillig

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