Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Saving Grace by Lee Smith

Saving GraceMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good fiction. In talking about children's reading habits, I frequently hear that "it doesn't matter what they read as long as they read." I have always disagreed with that sentiment, because I believe it does matter - on many different levels -- what children and young adults read.

What we read eventually affects our value-systems, our vocabularies,our thought patterns, and even to some degree our approach to problem-solving. Observing a book character (a realistic human being) move through the complications of the story, meeting and solving his/her problems, helps young readers develop their own system for dealing with life issues.

As an educator, parent, grandparent, and citizen, I believe that this is the kind of reading that young people need to be reading. There is some language and situations inappropriate for young children. The book contains some religious cynicism that young children are probably not mature enough to sort through. However, from the standpoint of learning life-skills from literature, this book is a good one for teenagers and young adults. Realistic Fiction like this book show characters with whom readers can identify, deal with life events with which readers have some experience, and reveal outcomes of the character's decisions. Young readers then draw their own conculsions about the efficacy of different ways to approach life problems.

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