Why a good book is a secret door

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Author: Destinee Garcia

Destinee Garcia: Blog 7 (YA & Millers Chapter 5)

Destinee Garcia: Blog 7 (YA & Millers Chapter 5)

A. In Chapter 5 of “Reading in the Wild” the section of keeping track of your reading life really resonates with me. In the text, students are to read 40 books of various genres and visually track their progress. I think this is something I should start doing now to challenge myself. By doing this I can focus on the genres I tend to avoid and try to a way to enjoy these books.

B. What I’ve learned about myself as a reader is that I find myself so consumed with social media and filling my empty space with un-necessary knowledge and the knowledge I should be seeking, is that in books. My reading preferences have changed from spiritual books to young adult novels and history books. I will continue to grow as a reader by keeping books on me and allowing myself access to them. As a teacher of reading I am going to start growing my teacher library now.

C. The young adult novel that I chose to read was “The Hate U Give” By Angie Thomas. I definitely loved this book and enjoyed the writing style. The relevance of this book is what kept me intrigued and wanting to keep reading. The message of police brutality was an important root of this story and really shines light to a real, raw form of activism. I would recommend this book to everyone who is interested in activism and books with a female lead. I feel strongly that non-African Americans need to read this book because of the perspective we receive from Starr and how she deals with police brutality. This book offers us a point of view that most of us do not have nor will.

The main character is Starr Carter who is a 16 year old black girl who lives in the poor neighborhood of Garden Heights.  She attends a predominantly white school across town and feels the tension of both worlds. She feels that she is too “ghetto” for her white school and “Too good” for her poor neighborhood.

She interacts well with students at her school and is even dating a white male. Starr is a basketball player that gets along well with her teammates. When interacting with her friends and family in Garden Heights it becomes filled with learning legal rights, what and what not to do in terms of safety as the stakes are higher there. After she witnesses her childhood best friend Khalil being murdered by a police officer her worlds start to clash. At home, people are protesting in Khalils honor and bringing awareness to police brutality. At school, no one is talking about the case and her good friend even defends the cops choice to shoot.  To summarize the book, Starr learns to find her voice amongst her role in her clashing worlds. She becomes stronger and proud to be in the situation she is. Starr learns how to use her voice to shine.

“As long as I play it cool and keep to myself, I should be fine. The ironic thing is though, at Williamson I don’t have to “play it cool” — I’m cool by default because I’m one of the only black kids there. I have to earn coolness in Garden Heights, and that’s more difficult than buying retro Jordans on release day. Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” – Starr Carter

Destinee Garcia: Blog 6 (Graphic Novels)

Destinee Garcia: Blog 6 (Graphic Novels)

From exploring the Diamond Bookshelf website I was excited to see all the lesson plans available to use with graphic novels and the how updated the content is. Something to admire is how the lesson plans provide you with a summary to alter the lesson to other age ranges.

C. “Smile” is a graphic novel written by Raina Telgemeier. The story follows Raina’s life though junior high to high school with an orthodontic journey, boy drama and changing friendships. This book was an easy book to be devoured in because as Raina, I currently have braces and can relate so much to all the orthodontic work.

When reading a graphic novel it is easy to read it with looking at the words, looking at the photos or both. For myself I found myself reading the words and racing through each page without taking an in-depth look at the illustrations. I caught myself missing the bigger picture by doing this. Below is a good example of words telling the story and the illustrations as well.

You can easily read the words and make a conclusion of the cause and effect of Raina experiencing the discomfort. When you just see the illustrations you are letting your eyes and mind create your conclusions. From this I would conclude the physical touch of her newly tightened braces provides an excruciating pain with just the slightest touch.



Destinee Garcia – Enchanted Air

Destinee Garcia – Enchanted Air

A) For this make cycle I am reading Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle. I initially chose this book because I came to find that the author is writing this as a memoir of her own life. Her love for Cuba and being raised in the United States has caused her to question who she really is and where she belongs. As the story goes on the hostility between both nations is underway. I love that I can relate to this story because I am 3rd generation Mexican-American and I stop and question who I really am and what culture defines me. This book is so eye opening to the struggle of identifying within two cultures. I appreciate the fact that Margarita Engle wrote this and how her story crosses borders and resonates with many people.

The book itself is written as poems but continues to flow as a text. Each poem is structured into the book but could also be taken as one individual story. It was a little confusing to follow at first but I just think of it as very small chapters. I would use this book and others in my classroom to: introduce poetry, talk about hispanic heritage month, highlight minority authors, present a diversity unit. Overall, I love this book so much and I can probably think of many ideas with incorporating it into my class.


So much depends


an old book

filled of stories