Monday, February 13, 2012

Ethical and Moral Dilemmas

Yesterday was Abraham Lincoln's birthday. We celebrated at the library with a cake, punch and some crafts for those in the mood. Our library has been busy for months with many programs that deal with the Civil War. The Head of Adult Services, Suzanne Fisher, has come up with a unique method in which to view and study the Civil War. She has arranged a tour of Albany Rural Cemetary to view all the Civil War soldiers and other people buried there with Civil War connections. She is hosting book discussions, a film series, textile lectures and workshops, and musical programs. What does this have to do with children's books? Well, when I think of the Civil War, I think about Lincoln and I always have that tall, almost sad, but steady gaze on me. What a remarkable man, an ethical man, with a moral compass that was able to write important words for a grieving nation. Those giant dilemmas are not ones any person should have to face, but sometimes the small stories of ethical dilemmas can point the way to a moral compass later in life.

My 7th grade friends have been reading books with moral dilemmas, although we call these stories coming-of-age. Enjoy their reviews!

Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion. New York: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 2003 Print.
Imagine you lost your parents in a fire. It’s just you and your little sister. You’ve been split up with different foster parents. Find out what happens in the exciting novel Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. The story takes place in Lonnie’s neighborhood in present day. Lonnie uses poetry to deal with his feelings.
Lonnie comes of age when he and his sister get split up and have different foster parents. When his parents passed away he became more mature and moved on with his life. This book would appeal to ages 10-13 years old. I loved this book and I encourage you to read it. If you like poetry then you will love this book too!~Summer

Weeks, Sarah. So B. It. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2005. Print.
Have you always wondered what your past is like, but you just can’t figure it out? This is how, Heidi It feels. Read about her life in Sarah Weeks wonderful book So B. It. This action-packed and drama-filled book takes place in Reno, Nevada where mysteries are everywhere, in Heidi’s mind. Heidi is one of the funny, crazy and weird characters. All the characters in this book have their own problems: Heidi who knows nothing about the past, So B. It who is mentally challenged, Ruby who is filled with sorrow, Bernie who has AP and Thurman Hill who is scared and worried about the past.
Throughout this book Heidi begins to grow up. But, when she has a talk with Thurman Hill her life changes forever. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes drama, action, adventure and funny people. I think those people would like this book because it’s all that and more. I personally think that this was a great book, but the choice is yours. ~Patrick

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York: Dell Publisher, 1995. Print.
Have you ever thought what it would be like as an outcast? Now meet Ponyboy in The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Ponyboy is on the wrong side of the tracks and just witnessed a murder. Ponyboy must either face the consequences with the gang and police or runaway. In this book there are socs and greasers. Ponyboy is a greaser along with his two brothers and gang. Greasers stick together like family and don’t get much while socs get the “cool” stuff. Socs and greasers don’t like each other and have fights.
Since he witnessed a murder he has to make a choice to stay or runaway but his choice may have consequences. Ponyboy grows up by facing reality and to stick together with his brothers and his gang. If you like a simple read, but a realistic story, true friendships, and some action, then you should read this book. It is also a book that loops around so that you could read it over and over again. ~Kailee

Preller, James. Bystander. Harrisburg: RR. Donnelley & Sons, 2009. Print.
What would you do if you were the new kid in town and you were surrounded by kids who were bigger than you? I don’t know what you would do, but Eric Hayes handles this situation on his own in the book Bystander by James Preller. This book takes place in a modern day school in Long Island, NY. Here Eric Hayes starts his journey to adulthood. Eric is a middle school student who runs into another kid named Griffen. Griffen and Eric have a very interesting and conflicting relationship. Throughout this book Eric becomes more aware of his surroundings and he gains a lot if self-confidence throughout the process. Personally, I didn’t like this book. I don’t think the author did a good job explaining what he wrote; for example he will give an idea and then not support it with any details. I think this book may be appealing to a school councilor, a teacher, or someone who has a problem with a bully. ~Miles

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