Cracking the Hub: Annie Sullivan, The Round House & Juvenile in Justice

I finished The Hub Challenge just before the deadline.  The nineteenth book I read for the Challenge was Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert.

No doubt we all have heard about Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.  They made education history when Annie Sullivan was able to break through into Helen Keller’s world, introduce her to language, and help her communicate with others.  As one of the Great Graphic Novels of the year we see this transformation, in pictures with few words, from the perspective of Annie Sullivan.
It’s been awhile since I learned about Helen Keller and her teacher.  Most of what I have learned until this point was about Helen Keller herself.  This graphic novel puts more emphasis on who Annie Sullivan was, her challenges growing up, her forthright personality that made living in the South difficult, and her attachment to her student and companion Helen Keller.  This was a fascinating read and thoroughly explores what it must have felt like for them both along their journey.
My twentieth book, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, was an Alex Award winner this year.  The book is set on a North Dakota reservation and begins the day 13-year-old Joe’s mother is viciously attacked.  Joe and his three friends decide to investigate the crime, and their efforts lead them to uncover evidence leading to his mother’s attacker.  By the end of the summer three more people are dead and Joe’s life has been forever altered.
This was a fascinating read.  There is mature content here, some of it quite shocking.  Erdrich also weaves in facts about the convoluted laws and jurisdictions involved in seeking justice after such brutal crimes on reservation lands.  In many ways Joe is a typical 13-year-old, but he makes a questionable decision that will haunt the readers of this book.  If I had to sum this story up in two words I was say it was spectacular and troubling.
Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross made it onto two lists this year: Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and the Alex Awards.  The book is 192 pages long and is filled with 150 pictures taken of youth in juvenile detention centers.  The author spent five years visiting over 1000 children and teens in juvenile detention centers in over 31 states.
It’s a quick but heart-breaking read as you learn the stories of these incarcerated children and teens.  Some have been charged with horrific crimes and some have not.  What these juveniles do have in common is a lack of resources and power.  After reading this book I have even more respect for the folks at Pongo Publishing who work with incarcerated youth.

4 thoughts on “Cracking the Hub: Annie Sullivan, The Round House & Juvenile in Justice

  1. Teresa

    I’m sad to say that I haven’t heard about the Hub Challenge until today. I know it ended today but I looked at the list of books anyway. The only book from that list that I read was the Heist Society. Ally Carter is amazing. She’s written two of my favorite series, the Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls. Ally writes in a way that is detailed, real, and very intriguing. I believe she even wrote a short cross over book for her two series, Crossed. Both series are so similar but are still different: thieves or spies, school or on your own, family or teams, as different as they might seem the Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls have the same themes, adventure, love, missions, and danger. We also have a set of different characters In Heist we have Katrina who is trying to get away from the whole thieve business, whereas in Gallagher Girls it’s Cammie’s dream to be a real spy and go on a real mission. Or Hale W.W III in Heist is the rich boy who runs away to go on a live of dangerous, adventurous missions with Katrina whereas in Gallagher Girls Josh is just an average boy who knows nothing about spies or that the Gallagher Girl Academy is for spies in training but then there’s Josh who is the son of an assassin and goes to the boy’s spy school and would be perfect for Cammie if his wasn’t so dangerous. The settings in both books are extremely different. In Gallagher Girls they’re almost always at the school unless they have a mission or sneak out. But in Heist, Katrina is traveling the world stealing things and looking for stolen things. The again, in Crossed Hale W.W. III and Cammie’s friend Macy are at the same rich person party because Hale W.W. III’s family owns a company and is crazy rich and Macy’s dad is so sort of government person. I think he’s the senator but I’m not sure. It’s actually very possible that Heist and Gallagher Girl series take place at the same time but not in the same place. Both series are amazing I enjoyed both but if you end up reading the Heist Society you might as well read the series: The Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals, and Perfect Scoundrels, and you might as well read the cross over book Crossed , but because it’s a crossed over book you have to read the Gallagher Girl series: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy, Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, Only The Good Spy Young, Out of Sight Out Of Time, and the new and last book that comes out in the fall 2013: United We Spy. Hope you enjoy Ally Carter’s amazing writing!

    1. Cheresse

      Hi, Thanks for going back and looking at some of the other books I read for the Hub Challenge. This was my first year to attempt the challenge – to read 25 award winning or honored books for teens from the previous year. If you select the category “cracking the hub” from the box on the right side of the page you can see all the other books I read for this challenge. Even though I finished a month ago, my last few books will be coming out in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more.

  2. Teresa

    I’m so sorry to say that I have a TYPO in my last comment: whenever you see the word Crossed as in what I thought the cross over book was I ment Double Crossed, I just finished Ally Condie’s Crossed from the Match Trilogy. Whole different series, author and story line. Sorry for the confusion 😦

    Crossed= Double Crossed in previous post

    1. Cheresse

      I also really like both of these series by Ally Carter. I didn’t know that there is a cross over title. We don’t have Double Crossed in our catalog yet, but I’m going to suggest that SPL buys some copies for the library!


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