144: Celebrating Global Read Aloud
In honor of the final year of the Global Read Aloud, Unabridged Podcast revisits our episode from last year, in which we discussed Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves, Padma Venkatraman's The Bridge Home, and Kelly Yang's Front Desk. Join us in celebrating this fantastic program, which highlights books for young people and promotes global collaboration. What have been some of your favorite Global Read Aloud books?
Celebrating the Global Read Aloud
Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves
Padma Venkatraman's The Bridge Home
Kelly Yang's Front Desk
Mentioned in Episode
Roshani Chokshi's The Gilded Wolves
Mark Oshiro's Anger Is a Gift
Alexis Hall's Boyfriend Material
Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare
Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony
Cormac McCarthy's The Road
Peter Heller's The Dog Stars
Neal and Jarrod Shusterman's Dry
Mindy McGinnis's Not a Drop to Drink
Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven
Alan Gratz's Refugee
Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Give Me One - New Find
Ashley - American Gods
Jen - 800 Words
Sara - Olive and June and Speed Cubers
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Jen shared that she is reading an egalley, courtesy of NetGalley, Roshani Chokshi's The Silvered Serpents, the sequel to The Gilded Wolves. Because it's difficult to talk about the book without spoilers, she just shared the barest of outlines: "The Gilded Wolves is about this group of late teens, early 20s kids who are trying to bring off all these heists during the Victorian era, and they live in a magical world. There are all these magical houses that are very regimented and pretty snobby, so it's really hard to get into the upper echelon of each of these houses. The leader of the gang Séverin really wants to break into the top of the hierarchy. And so the heists are all working toward this this ancient object that he is convinced is going to just crack open all of these magical secrets, and then he's going to be able to get in there. So that's in the first book, and things happen that really impact Book Two, but I don't want to tell you because if you have not read The Gilded Wolves. You should, of course, read that one first. If you like a heist novel or a heist movie, these are a lot of fun.
"I appreciate the books because Chokshi switches between the characters' perspectives, and they are all quite diverse in multiple ways. So they are racially diverse. We have LGBTQ representation. We have people who think a little differently, and there are people from different classes. It's really interesting to see these distinct points of view develop around this heist."
Ashley was reading Mark Shapiro's new one, Each of Us a Desert. This one also came from NetGalley, and it was published on September 15. Though Ashley hadn't read much, she said, "Xochital is the main character, and she is essentially a storyteller in what seems like a post apocalyptic world. She gathers people's stories and collects them and then has to do things with them, and if she doesn't do that, there are consequences for their society. So, she's really living this very lonely existence and carries a lot of burdens and responsibilities for her society essentially."
She continued, "It is a very interesting setting, and it also is an interesting integration of language. A lot of the narration incorporates Spanish words throughout, almost as if their language is different than the way our English is today.
"I love Mark Oshiro's stuff. I think Anger Is a Gift is a book where he just takes on some really important issues, and he promotes activism, and he promotes acceptance of a lot of different types of people and representation of those people. So I'm interested to see where this story goes."
Sara said, "I'm currently listening to The Switch by Beth O'Leary, and it is so good! The audio is fantastic. In fact, Ashley and I were talking about it today, and there is a theatrical element to the narration that is just great. So there are two narrators. This is a story of a younger woman in her 20s and her grandmother, and there are two voice actors who do each of the character's voices. And it is tender. It's funny. It hits your heartstrings. . . . It's basically about the relationship between the woman and her grandmother. There are some family dynamics. There's been a tragedy in the family that everybody is working through.
"I wanted to also say that I received this through the ALC program through Libro.fm; they provide this service that we can listen to brand new audiobooks so that we can talk about them, so I wanted to make sure that let you know that I listened to it through that program."
Main Discussion - Celebrating Global Read Aloud
Sara introduced our main discussion: "So we are now going to let you listen to a conversation we had last year about the Global Read Aloud. This is the last year--Pernille Ripp, who created the Global Read Aloud, has said this will be her last year, so e wanted to leave you with this conversation we had about last year's books. The books that we are going to be discussing in this episode are The Marrow Thieves, The Bridge Home, and Front Desk. So we hope you enjoy this conversation."
Jen shared a summary of each book, beginning with Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves. she then said, "I thought the power of story woven through the book just had a huge impact on my reading. I read a lot of American Indian literature in college and beyond, and it harkened back for me to books like Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, where the story is just such an inherent part of the book and the culture. . . . I was marking quotations in every other sentence."
Next, we discussed Padma Venkatraman's The Bridge Home. Ashley said, "I right away was captivated between about the love between Viji and Rukku. I love books about sisters or sibling relationships, and so I really enjoyed that. I also really liked the commentary about why children wind up on the streets and how that happens and what that means for them and how they survive. I felt like that was, like Sara said about The
Marrow Thieves, that it's something that a lot of students that we teach here in America don't have a great sense of, and so I thought that that was all really rich. I also loved like we talked about with The Marrow Thieves, I loved the commentary on family. Like Sara said in the beginning, that family is who you choose, and that is what makes your family is the relationship that you have with each other and the things that you'll do for each other."
Our final book was Kelly Yang's Front Desk. Sara said, "I loved this book so much. I loved Mia with my whole heart. I thought she was this awesome character. She was a girl that had all of this drive and passion, and she did all of this stuff for her parents. I think it definitely feels younger, but I think older kids could enjoy it because there's just so much good information. And I love that it
was set in the 90s because I did not know the disparity between immigrating in the early 90s and then if you immigrated later, it was different. I just thought it was great."
Give Me One . . . New Find
We then concluded with our Give Me One segment, each sharing a recent new find that's making our lives just a little bit brighter. True to form, someone couldn't pick JUST one, so we actually have four recommendations to offer.
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