The Naughty Corner

From Evelyn Summers

Title:  The Naughty Corner

Author:  Jasmine Haynes

The book seemed a little backwards to me.  Very unrealistic, and the beginning occurred at the end of the story.  Not a very good read.

Somewhere Between (DVD)

From Ellen Druda
Somewhere Between (DVD)
Filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton has created an incredibly touching documentary about adoption.  The film stars four teenage girls adopted from China who have either never known their birth families or only have very scattered memories of life before America.   Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang seem like typical teens, but as we get to know them we see their inner struggles with identity are both personal and universal.  Because of China’s “One Child Policy” these girls were given away to orphanages or simply left on the street, and although they have good lives now, they still carry hurt and confusion and a strong sense of something missing.  Haley and Fang get to travel back to China and find a way to connect.  Ann begins to question her complacency, and Jenna tries to come to grips with her feelings of abandonment.  All the girls are articulate and intelligent, and as they open their hearts, it’s impossible not to feel moved as they question deeply who they are. This is a fantastic film about gender and race in America vs. China and how adoptees feel “somewhere between” their birth families and their new lives.

Defending Jacob

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  William Landay
Defending Jacob
A teenage boy is murdered.  Andy Barber is the assistant district attorney on the case.  His world, and his family, is shattered when his fourteen year old son, Jacob, is charged with the murder.  Is he guilty?  Was he framed?  How far will a father go to protect his son?  Is his son a monster?  This is a  riveting, suspenseful legal drama that has a truly shocking ending.

The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates

From Rita Gross
author: Moore, Wes
The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates
The author was born in Baltimore, just blocks away from another young man with the same name.  They share many of the same experiences and life situations, growing up without fathers in a time of rampant drug violence.  The author became a Rhodes Scholar, served in the United States Armed Forces, was White House Fellow and today is a prominent businessman. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and murder.
These men’s stories are told in parallel narratives, showing us step by step the paths their lives followed.  What were the defining moments that led to the divergence?  What were the choices that led to their ultimate fates?  Who in their lives influenced their behavior?  What role does one’s environment play?  This book describes the lives of a generation of young, urban Black teenagers and raises many questions about the choices we make early in life and their ultimate outcomes.