Ever since reading The Handmaid’s Tale, I”d been thinking about reading more Margaret Atwood books, but hadn’t been actively searching. Recently, I happened upon Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and realized that it was the same author so of course I had to read it. Margaret Atwood must really love writing about dystopian societies because this one was a very dystopian society to the point where the main character Jimmy (who also goes by Snowman) didn’t even though if there were other real people left on the planet.

In the book, you are pulled back and forth from the present when Jimmy has named himself Snowman to the past during which Jimmy is growing up with his parents, going to college, and operating in a world he thinks is normal. To us today, the world seems horrible though not entirely impossible. Corporations have taken over everything. There are all kinds of genetically created food processes. There are crazy cross-breeds of animals that scientists created to get rid of one problem but as a result created a new problem. They then try and solve that problem by cross-breeding other animals. As you can imagine, the result is chaos. For a good chunk of the book, you don’t even know who Oryx and Crake are or if they’re people or characters at all. Eventually you do though and the story line becomes even creepier. Yikes! Dystopian societies where animals and humans are modified to be specific way are scary to think about!

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When I saw this book as an option on my kindle, I knew I wanted to read it. It sounded so familiar, too. As realized as I started reading that I had actually read this book before (many years ago), and that’s why the title and general plot seemed so familiar.

I like how this book is written from the viewpoint of various characters from the book. It gives voice to each one without an omniscient third person point of view, which is actually quite refreshing. Since there aren’t too many characters, the switching back and forth doesn’t become too confusing.

Ultimately, this story is a struggle story, but also one that’s very sad. Imagine being a daughter that your parents only chose to have, and specifically designed (genetically) in order to save the life of your older sister. Now isn’t that a little messed up? Wouldn’t that put anyone (once they found out and understood that reality) over the edge a bit? I would think so. Well, that’s the story of the younger sister in this book. And it’s quite the tantalizing tale, with a plot twist at the end that’s all too fitting, but never expected. I won’t say any more than that though!

[room 209m] break time

March 29, 2018

It’s spring break this week. Last week was one of the toughest, but thinking back to moment like this make it all worth it! Excuse me while I continue to not think about teaching!

I have finally finished Pierce Brown’s first Red Rising trilogy. The third book is called Morning Star and is named for the last bright star that you see in the sky before the sun officially rises. Of course Darrow is the Morning Star. This was perhaps my favorite book in the trilogy because it shows just how imaginative and creative the author is. When you’re in the thick of it all, you think, oh wow these characters are just so clever in their ability to manipulate situations and know what’s coming in the future or their ability to guess how others will react to certain situations. Of course it’s really the author who has already thought up all of these scenarios and has led his audience into these thoughts. I don’t want to say much more but Brown’s ability to create situations like this is amazing and really shows his genius as a story teller. I particularly how Morning Star ends with a really fun twist that while does wrap up the trilogy, allows for more of the story to be told. I’m so excited for the next three books!

This year, I decided to teach about all four seasons: one week per season. The first season we learned about was winter because I was able to easily transition from learning about African American Heritage Month to winter by reading the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. For our winter week, we read The Mitten by Jan Brett and Winter by Ron Hirschi. On Friday, we created a beautiful mural about winter. Take a look!


Our winter mural


In the winter, we play snowball fight.


It is white.


In the winter I drink hot chocolate.