Saturday, June 6, 2009

Heart of a Shepherd, The Shadow Club, Shadow Club Rising

I started reading again at 7 a.m. this morning. I just had to finish Heart of a Shepherd. I could not put the book down. I cried and cried at the end. I know that books reach people in different ways and people get different messages from them based on background experiences. The story is of a young sixth grade boy nicknamed 'Brother'. His three older brothers are either in the military or headed off to board in high school. His father is being deplopyed to Iraq. He is left with his grandparents to take care of the ranch. He is trying to figure out where he fits in the big picture of things. He is unsure of his future. One of the ranch hands tells him he has the heart of a shepherd when he finds Brother with the young lambs who have lost their mother. Brother doesn't think he is cut out to handle ranch life or the military. He can't stand death, he is afraid of so many things. When fire from storms threaten their ranch and livestock he draws strength from his grandfather, friends and his faith. When life throws him a terrible twist he handles it like a man. Doing so strengthens his faith in God and shows him the path that God has for him. My own belief system was lifted up as I read this book. I will definately recommend it to all of my friends and students.

Before I went to bed last night I read The Shadow Club and Shadow Club Rising by Neal Shusterman. It was the story of a group of teens who had been second best at what they felt they should have been best at. The problem wasn't just that they were second best but that the person who was best rubbed their noses in it. We have all had people who treated us unjustly and all had thoughts of what we would like to do to them or have happen to them. None of us usually act on those thoughts. These kids do by pulling what start out to be harmless pranks on each other's enemies. The leader of the club , Jared, suddenly realizes how far off track their club has gone and by the end of the book they have all been caught and admitted to their wrong doings. They disband the club.

In the second book people have not forgotten who they are and what they had done just a few months before. Unfortunately some people have jumped on the bandwagon and things have gone from bad to worse. Jared is once again in the the assistant principals headlights. Mr. Greene is sure that Jared and his club have started up again and they are responsible for pranks being pulled on the new kid in town who seems to be good at everything he touches. Jared is faced with the task of trying to find out who is doing this and letting him take the blame. It isn't until a prank almost kills someone and Jared's enemy stands up for him that Mr. Greene believes it is someone else. I won't give away any other information. The book takes several unforseen twists and turns. Jared finds out there is a new Shadow Club and that they don't have the same conscience he and his friends have. He sets out to disband it and make things right. Awesome read.
I am now going to start Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher and follow that up with Double Helix by Nancy Werlin, The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson and If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney, and finally in this set of five The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.
More Later.

1 comment:

  1. I am sooooo glad to hear it! I just picked this book up!