Saturday, February 6, 2010

Books We Love - The Diamond of Darkhold

I finished reading the Fourth Book of Ember, The Diamond of Darkhold last night.  I started it on Thursday night, so my inability to read books a couple chapters at a time seems to remain stong.  I thought this was a good book to wrap up the series, but it wasn't my favourite of the four.  There were moments that the plot seemed manipulated a bit to fit the situation, and I HATE when children's book authors feel the need to write a final chapter giving the happily ever after of the characters and what happens to them as adults.  I think that is better left to the reader's imagination, even if it does drive my students crazy.  They couldn't believe that the first book ended when it did.  But the fourth book continues the themes of the first 3: survival, hope, community, and persistence, and Lina and Doon continue to be unsatisfied with the hard times faced by their community and have the drive to do something about it.  All in all, I have been impressed with the entire series.

I have read the City of Ember to several of my classes and am now reading The People of Sparks to my class this year.  They have enjoyed both, but I am not sure I want to read them out loud again - it may be time to move on, and put They City of Ember into my literature circle collections.  The City of Ember allows for students to practice inferring as their are lots of moments where things are left partially explained and the reader needs to fill in the rest.

I am currently on the hunt for some good read-alouds that will get my students thinking and discussing big issues.  I am also making a list of 'dystopian' novels for young adults and would like to do a novel study on that theme.  I would need a long list, with many titles at different levels for it to work out...

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