In the aftermath of the Anna Karenina Effect (the hours spent thinking about why I'm glad I was not born in any other time period on earth, despite my sometimes-wish to be Elizabeth Bennett) I read some of the Young Adult novels that I ordered for my classroom. I love that there are books who have true female heroines: teenage characters who are human, therefore not flawless, think about romance, but who are also creative, smart, daring and question the world around them. These are the books that I'd want my daughter to read, if I had one. (An excellent bridge to these books for younger girls is anything by Sharon Creech--Walk Two Moons, The Wanderer, Chasing Redbird-- whose characters are a bit younger but so so wonderful.)
The Disreputable History or Frankie Landau-Banks A girl at a boarding school in Massachusetts finds herself proving in ridiculously creative ways that girls are extremely capable at brainstorming and putting into action means of peaceful protest and general mischief.
Kiki Strike series: a band of smart, creative girls battle mysteries not limited to the secret world beneath the streets of New York City.
In other reading news, I read my first Manga this week (the Japanese-style graphic novels), Deathnote. Pretty resistant to reading manga at first, I actually enjoyed it after my eyes got used to reading left to right and back to front and used to reading pictures as well as words. I was surprised by the presence of so many philosophical issues within it. I am currently taking a class where we are studying the kid-phenomena of manga and how it affects their reading levels and it all points to good things...a surprise even to us more progressive educators.
Anyway. My book club (er...partnership) is reading The Brothers Karamazov. Off to that.