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Book 12 of 80

February 8, 2010

This book was recommended by Carrie B. We’re going from Albania to Bosnia & Herzegovina with The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. I’m intrigued by this book and by its popularity — I realize that most of the books I have picked out for Europe deal with war and/or communism. This book won’t offer me a reprieve from the dark realities of a war-torn Europe — but it also seems like a small/easy book to read. The reviews are solid; It is also inspired by a true story — although, I think it is still billed as fiction.

I have a student whose parents are from Bosnia; she tells me repeartedly that she hates the country — she won’t talk about why. She just says that she hates what the wars did to her parents; they fled the country for Germany right before she was born. I cannot imagine being a young woman, pregnant, a mother to a toddler, and fleeing the ethnic cleansing of my country — the Bosnian genocide is devestating to read about. My student says she is being forced to return there this summer with her family; after nearly ten years they are ready to return. These stories remind me that each of my students come to my classroom with such diverse backgrounds; some of them have already been through more than I could ever understand. It’s a powerful reality.

A bonus to this challenge is that my kiddos see the books I’m reading and it starts these types of conversations. My student has already asked to borrow this book when I’m done. How cool is that?

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