This book was a recommendation from a student,but it wasn’t so much for its magnificent quality. I was very intrigued by Jem,  the main character, and her unique gift, the ablity to tell a person’s day of death. This is a major burden as anyone could imagine. She refuses to tell anyone about this “gift” and as an orphan, really refuses to let anyone in, until she meets Spider. You can’t help but root for this relationship but it gets a little graphic for a middle grade read. After witnessing a terrible catastrophe Spider and Jem are on the run. I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. Jem is a difficult character to understand and I feel like she was constantly making the more difficult decision instead of the easy and obvious one. I wanted there to be more to her character development . Nan, Spider’s grandmother was an interesting character that I hoped Jem would confide in more. Perhaps there will be another opportunity for that relationship.  It was a unique science fiction novel that is a part of a trilogy. The ending did leave me wanting more, but not enough to run out and get the next installment. This book only receives three out of five stars for me.


Goodreads Summary:

Embarrassed to Read by Donalyn Miller

Nerdy Book Club

A recent National Literacy Trust report found that 17% of children surveyed would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading.  According to a dictionary, “Embarrassment is an emotional state of intense discomfort with oneself, experienced upon having a socially unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others.” Embarrassment is tied to our need for social acceptance. If you have ever chased a naked toddler, you know that children aren’t born with an understanding of socially acceptable behaviors and must learn them from people who understand society’s rules.

So, where do children learn that reading is embarrassing?

Children receive the message that reading a lot isn’t cool from adults. When parents don’t model reading, teachers consider reading a school job, and communities and schools close or defund libraries—we communicate to children that reading isn’t important.

In modern society, children’s future success depends on their acquisition of literacy skills…

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