We all have read books throughout our lives that grew us into the readers we are today. There are three books that I’ve read that grew me into the reader that I am now. They’ve all took me through adventures that either involved realistic-live situations, historical events, and fascinating worlds of golden lions with wings and dome shaped buildings. These three books are Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Copper Sun by Sharon Draper, and last but not least The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.
I’m going to start talking about my favorite book out of the three… well, I loved all of them but my most favorite has to be Copper Sun by Sharon Draper. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially if you like historical fiction books that go back in time to the slave trade. I say everyone because whether you’re the type of person that thinks “Well.. nope I don’t really like Historical Fiction”, trust me, this book will make you think twice about that. I know from experience because I was that type of person who wasn’t really interested in historical fiction, until I came across Copper Sun. That’s how this book grew me as a reader. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by trying new genres. Copper Sun is also a Coretta Scott King- Award winning book. The book has two points of view that switch on and off, which was somewhat new to me. Having two points of view really opened up not one, but both of the main character’s feelings on what was happening in the story, and it helped me compare and contrast what they felt at certain points in the book. The way Sharon Draper decided to structure the book with multiple points of view reminds me of the book Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio, because the author also included a variety of points of view. Well anyways, that’s how it grew me as a reader but I’m guessing you’re wondering what Copper Sun is about. Copper Sun is about a teenage girl named Amari who lives in Africa. Everything was once perfect. Until one day, “pale strangers” enter Amari’s village. These strangers have come to capture the strongest, healthiest villagers and murder the rest, including her family. In the time it takes a gunshot to fire, Amari’s perfect life was gone. She finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is then bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present. Amari suffers and endures much pain, and it seems that survival is the only thing she can hope for. Until cruelty gives her a chance for escape. Amari flees away with an indentured servant named Polly to Fort Mose, Florida in search of freedom and sanctuary from everything else. It’s up to you to figure out if both girls will sustain the dangerous journey for their one dream. To be free. ← I loved this book! It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me shed tears of anger, sadness, and joy! There wasn’t a point throughout the book where I didn’t think,” Wow, what if that had been me?” Or “ How would I have coped as a 15-year-old slave?”. I learned more about slavery and I wanted to learn more. I also learned more about both White and African cultures which was great. I love this book and you should so read it, because there’s no doubt that you’ll love it as well.
Another book that has made me so happy while reading and grew me as a reader was, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. This book is a children’s novel, and I recommend it to anyone who loves, adores, loves, adores, and LOVES fantasy and a great mystery. This book is set in Venice, Italy and includes words in Italian. Along the way I encountered words like “Dottore” meaning doctor, “Grazie” meaning thank you, and many other words in the Italian language. It was new, to read a book that includes words in another language, and it was challenging to find the meaning of it sometimes. Although there was a glossary at the back of the book that I haven’t seen, and it would’ve been much easier for me to understand if I’ve seen it! Oh well. The way the author thought about structuring or including words in another language really set the tone of the book. This book built up my vocabulary in English as well as Italian and that’s how this book helped me grow as a reader. I loved this book because it was full of fun, and mischief caused by a group of kids my age. I had great laughs, sympathy, and a great urge to figure out a mystery! It sure was a page turner. The Thief Lord is about two young brothers ,Bo( 6-year-old) and Prosper( 15-year-old), who run away to Venice after being orphaned and dumped in care of their cruel aunt. The boys hide in valleys and alleyways of the city until they’re befriended by a group of kids and their mysterious leader, The Thief Lord, who takes both brothers under his wings. In order to support themselves the kids steal from the rich, and as they do, they catch the eye of a detective who becomes a threat to the band of rascals. A bigger threat occurs when the group of kids have to steal a magical object for a mysterious man. They deal with obstacles, unanswered questions, and secrets. You won’t believe what happens at the end! But of course, you have to read it to figure it out !
Monster by Walter Dean Myers has to be the book that challenged me the most! Despite the difficulty, I loved it. The book had multimedia genres that included screenplay, diary entries, and recollections. I think that having multimedia genres made things a bit challenging for me because I’ve never read anything in that way. Having multimedia genres opened up the characters personal feelings, and portrayed a good view in my head on what was going on by using screenplay. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe that’s why the author chose to involve screenplay. Because in a court case there’s lots of dialogue and having it in third person would’ve been so much harder and longer to include what every character had to say. Monster grew me as a reader by giving me a multimedia experience, and pushing me out of my comfort to read something new. Monster is a young-adult novel, that’s won plenty ofawards, these include:
- National Book Award
- Michael L. Printz Award
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor
Monster tells the story of Steve Harmon, a sixteen-year-old boy who’s on trial for murder. Two young men Richard Evans, and James King rob a drugstore. It’s unclear on how much Harmon’s involved in the crime, but he suggests that he only just listened to the two young men plan. While waiting for the trial, Harmon is imprisoned with fourteen-year-old, Osvaldo Cruz. Harmon realizes how hard life is when you’re imprisoned, and wonders if life will ever be the same again. Will he be proven guilty? Or will he be proven innocent? Read to find out!
Even after finding out whether Steve Harmon is guilty or not, the author leaves you thinking on why a certain thing happened at the end of the book, but then again I can’t say what’s going to happen because that’s for you to figure out. I loved this book because it made me think a lot. I compared my life to Steve Harmon’s life a few times and I just sat there and thought. lt must’ve been hard for Steve to cope inside a cell at a young age. If I were in jail I’d feel guilty of just sitting in there, even if I was convinced that I did nothing wrong. Just like Steve Harmon thought of his family, I would as well. It would’ve broken my heart to think about my mom and dad, at home sad, and in tears. Because I know that it hurts them even more to see their child in a place like jail, especially when they’ve done so much to raise me. They’ve taught me from good and bad and all for what!? So I could end up inside a cell, dying on the inside from guilt? Whenever I do something wrong, I think about my parents and how disappointed they’d be in me, because they raised me right, it was just I that made the wrong decision.
I get deep in thought and sometimes I feel cheesy but, we all can be sometimes. Monster is a great book, I so recommend it.
In conclusion, these three books helped me grow as a reader by expanding my thoughts, teaching me new vocabulary, opening myself to new types of genres and multimedia. I will continue to read books that will help me thrive more as a reader.
List of Books I want to read:
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo