My Master's Degree Program is finally winding down, and I am beginning to have free time in the evenings. Unfortunately, most of this time has been spent watching Netflix (Ms. Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Doc Martin) rather than reading. I have been getting back into the swing of things, but have found myself mostly tied up with YA or middle school novels (Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Wonder, Diary of a Part-Time Indian).
Books that deal with the issues of slavery, racism and segregation are always so difficult for me to read. Ironically I read two books that addressed these topics from very different perspectives. Counted with the Stars by Connilyn Cossette and Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper.
Counted with the Stars tells the story of a young girl that is sold into slavery after bad business choices made by her father. Kiya has some very demeaning experiences, but still doesn't face the circumstances of the Hebrews around her. How many of us have really thought about what it means to be a slave? I shudder to think of it and Connilyn does a great job of conveying the emotions of the slaves, Egyptian and Hebrew. The anger, disgust and shame! Another thing I thought about when reading this book was how it must have felt to experience the plagues. The author made me realize that the common folk must have had no idea what was going on. The rumors that must have swirled around. I hardly read biblical fiction because there is so much room for disappointment, but Connilyn Cossette did an excellent job. (A free copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers.)
Stella by Starlight will be a read aloud for my fourth grade class next year. I think my students will be able to fully understand how blacks living under the yoke of racism and prejudice must have felt. It has some scary moments as life does, but is a must read.
Reading is fun! I am reminding myself of this more each day, but I realize that it is more than fun. It can open your mind and help you to imagine clearly events that have shaped your reality. I look forward to tackling more difficult times and topics through the words of these authors.