Friday, December 15, 2006

latest book

Once again I've finished a great kid's book that I'm almost certain Big Brother won't read. As I've mentioned, because I spend most of my library time in the kid's section, I tend to read a lot of books from that section. And for some reason, Big Brother very often doesn't read the books I pick that I want to read. I have in mind when I pick books, and I know if he read my picks he'd enjoy them. He does read the books I pick for The Boy and enjoys them, but those I pick for me he ignores.

The real reason for my j fiction reading is that I insist on going to the downtown branch library in which the kid's section is most of the basement. It's pretty cool because the kids can get a little crazy and loud and not disturb any annoying grown ups. The librarians downstairs are usually great with the kids and not afraid to assert their authority if I or other parents don't catch our kids (I mean me, and I mean The Boy) in the middle of something uncool. At any of the smaller branches I could most likely peruse the grown up shelves and be within sight and/or hearing within a second or two. But I just love driving downtown and walking the two blocks.

This installment of j fiction-I-just-finished is about yet another Laurence Yep book, The Earth Dragon Awakes: the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Considering the trauma of the event on so many people, I hate to say I enjoyed it, but I did. I've loved so many of his books, though this is only the second of this type I've read. It's a very short book, based accurately on a historic event, though told to some extent through fictional characters.

The book tells the story of the earthquake both as it happened as well as through the eyes of two friends, the fictional characters as well as their families, struggling with the situation. One is a white American while the other is his Chinese friend. Chin's father works for Henry's parents, and Chin and Henry have become best friends. The earthquake happens as Chin and his father are getting up and getting ready to go to work for Henry's family.

This book touches on so much that came up during this disaster. It's what I love about history without the boring school parts. It's a story of the time and the people as they would have been. The book presents situations that could only have happened in the San Francisco of the time, but they are situations driven by parts of human nature that exist regardless of time and place on top of the natural disaster.