To Sir, With Love by E.R Braithwaite

(via Goodreads)

Rated it: 4 stars                                Recommended it to: Everyone, especially teachers and their charges.

Goodreads blurb

He shamed them, wrestled with them, enlightened them, and – ultimately – learned to live them. Mr. Braithwaite, the new teacher, had first to fight the class bully. Then he taught defiant, hard-bitten delinquents to call him “Sir,” and to address the girls who had grown up beside them in the gutter as “Miss”.

He taught them to wash their faces and to read Shakespeare. When he took all forty six to museums and to the opera, riots we predicted. But instead of a catastrophe, a miracle happened. A dedicated teacher had turned hate into love, teenage rebelliousness into self-respect, contempt into into consideration for others. A man’s own integrity – his concern and love for others – had won through.

The modern classic about a dedicated teacher in a tough London school who slowly and painfully breaks down the barriers of racial prejudice. It is the story of a man’s own integrity winning through against the odds.

“A book that the reader devours quickly, ponders slowly, and forgets not at all.” – The New York Times

I read this more than a week and a half ago so I’ll admit my memory and initial impressions aren’t that fresh. Also, this would be the third attempt to review this because two times already when I was about to save it everything was wiped almost squeaky clean. Need I say more? To Sir, With Love is in part an autobiography and part fiction set in what I average to be somewhere near the late to mid 1940s or early 1950s in the lesser fortunate parts of London at the Greenslade Secondary School, which I think is fictional too.

When it begins, on his first day Mr. Braithwaite was commuting to the school in the company of a busload of lively and sociable housewives, we the readers confront the first instance of the major theme in the book: racism, one many of us know only too well. Continue reading “To Sir, With Love by E.R Braithwaite”

Little Women (Little Women #1) by Louisa May Alcott

We Heart Reading

Rating: 5/5 Stars

After reading this wonderful book I kept wondering, “Why don’t we all live and love like the March family?” It’s the story of the four March sisters: pretty Meg, tomboy Jo, dear Beth and little lady Amy and not forgetting ‘our boy’ Laurie. My favourite March is Jo she’s so funny, energetic, and caring and maybe because I know how being a tomboy feels and are constantly being told that it isn’t proper for young ladies be running, jumping and talking slang. I love how she plays mother over Beth.

Each of the girls had little problems of their own that needed fixing for instance, Jo tended to be more like a young man not caring for a that fussing young ladies always seem up to, Meg was tired of her ministrations as a governess and wanted so badly to be rich someday to bask in…

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Image via Goodreads.com

My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads blurb

Little Women is the heartwarming story of the March family that has thrilled generations of readers. It is the story of four sisters–Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth– and of the courage, humor and ingenuity they display to survive poverty and the absence of their father during the Civil War.

My Review

After reading this wonderful book I kept wondering, “Why don’t we all live and love like the March family?” It’s the story of the four March sisters: pretty Meg, tomboy Jo, dear Beth and little lady Amy and not forgetting ‘our boy’ Laurie. My favourite March is Jo she’s so funny, energetic, and caring and maybe because we both love reading and writing and I know how being a tomboy feels and are constantly being told that it isn’t proper for young ladies be be running, jumping and talking slang. I love how she ‘play mother’ over Beth.

Mrs.March teaches her girls and us too that we shouldn’t love for money and looks, we shouldn’t change ourselves to suit the world. Their ‘experiments’ only prove the dear old lady right for she’s had experience but the girls prefer to learn the hard way. We see that the poorest of souls are the happiest because they have each other and such happiness cannot be given by money (even though it’s always welcome) and other worldly materials. We are reminded that every life is touched with sadness as well as joy.
In the end they might not have gotten everything they’ve wanted but something much, much more that being each other, their families, warm homes and love to last for eternity.

Here’s the link to Little Women on Goodreads.com.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Image via goodreads.com

Read: July 10th, 2011

My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads blurb:

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
From the Hardcover edition.

My Review:

Today, Sunday the 10th July, around 1:55 AM, I had finished the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. A book, though breathtakingly beautiful, showed mankind at its worst and its best. How? I have no words that could tell you. Maybe the words were there, but they weren’t enough, no amount of them could ever be.I couldn’t find one word that could that could describe the way this book made me feel as I burned through its pages full of life and death and as I read every single word it held so dearly.

Continue reading “The Book Thief by Markus Zusak”

The House on Prague Street by Hana Dementz

The cover of The House on Prague Street
Cover via Goodreads.com

Rating:5 Stars

My Review

This story takes place during the second World War in Czechoslovakia where Helen’s, a young girl through whose eyes we witness the heart wrenching events, sunny and care free world comes a-tumbling down when the Western parts of Czechoslovakia, known as the Sudetenland, were tamely handed over to the Nazis.Helen’s German father refused to divorce his Jewish wife despite the pleas of his parents who had disowned him for their marriage.

Czechoslovakia lost its independent status and became a German Protectorate under the German Reich Protector Konstantin von Neurath. So life got tougher on them like it had on the rest of the Jewish population with the passing of demeaning decrees restricting access to transport, goods and services and a whole lot of other things. Helen grew up having everything she once had, the people, places and the things she had loved snatched away from her. The House on Prague Street deeply touched me and would always have a place in my heart.Sad as it may be, it’s a book I’d re-read over again.

It’s one of my favourite World War II novels despite being sad,but grief is rather an unavoidable emotion, especially during such a frightful time caused by the warped beliefs of the self-righteous.

Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2566076-the-house-on-prague-street

**Crossed posted from my reviews on goodreads.