2020’s First Book Read

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This is the first book I read in 2020, beginning it on New Year’s Day.  I chose it because one goal I have for 2020 is to deplete my TBR shelves. Sanchez’s novel has been sitting on a TBR shelf since it was chosen as the “required read” of all freshmen at UHCL, where I teach, a year or so ago. It is both humorous and heart-warming, plus according to students who read it, authentic.

Julia, the younger sister can not live up to her parents’ expeditions for her to be like Olga, her perfect older sister. When the novel opens, Olga has been killed in a horrible accident, and the family is unraveling in the wake of the tragedy.  Lorena, Julia’s best friend does her best to bring Olga out of her grief and anger at her parents’ demands, but Julia sinks lower and lower into depression and begins to find out mysterious things about Olga’s life. Maybe Olga was not so perfect after all. Maybe Julia will never achieve her dream of gong to college and becoming a writer. The Latino culture and the family’s issues and relationships provide good reading for anyone interested in an engaging story.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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