Friday, October 2, 2009

451 Fridays

451 Fridays is based on an idea from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. In his novel, a group of people (Bradbury calls them Book People) are trying to keep the ideas found in books alive. Instead of actually saving the books, the Book People each "become" a book - memorizing it, word for word, and passing it down to the next generation.

451 Fridays asks what books you feel passionate about. What book do you think is so important that you would be willing to take on the challenge of "becoming"?

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Jenera to 451 Fridays. We first became acquainted when she won a contest here on my blog, and I've enjoyed getting to know her better. Jenera has a couple of blogs - a book blog and a photography blog. She takes some beautiful pictures - you should check them out! Welcome, Jenera!

A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt ~ Originally written in 1983, I read it for the first time in the 4th grade when I was about 9 or 10. It was the beginning for me of my love affair with books. This book was about a a boy who goes through the divorce of his parents, an inheritance, and growing up. Cynthia Voigt captured everything there is to be a kid and eventually a teenager. I read this several times throughout my teenage years and loved it every time.

"Jeff always watched for the first glimpse of the Professor, because he always knew he might not return. "He doesn't know much about being a father,' Melody had told him, 'so you can't expect very much from him, Jeffie."' Chapter 1, p. 20.

Even as just a young kid, this quote from the book always struck me as heartbreaking. To be a kid and have to have that kind of worry about your parents opened my eyes to a whole new world of hurt.

Izzy Willy Nilly by Cynthia Voigt - This book is another from the late 80's but I read it in middle school for the first time. It's about this high schooler Izzy who loses her leg in a car accident. Izzy is a popular cheerleader with everything going for her. After the accident her life changes and so do her friends. The so very average Rosamunde becomes her friend and main support through this time as she deals with her new life.

This book spoke to me in a way no other books had up to this point in my reading career. I could have easily been this girl in this book. If I was in an accident, lost my leg, would my friends still be there? Could I handle it?

Cynthia Voigt has a way of writing to young adults that makes them look inward and examine themselves. I know I did with this and several other of her books.


This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti - Growing up in the church, I was always aware of 'spiritual warfare'. I had a great Sunday School teacher that was open to so many things, questioning everything, looking at every side. She gave me both these books when I was in 8th grade as a way to understand what might be going on around us.

Both books center on two small towns where it's townfolk are struggling. With crime, infidelity, lies, you name it, they've got. Basically every day life. Frank Peretti offers an insight to the possible world of angels and demons and their battle over human souls. His descriptions of the heavenly bodies fighting to the death was so vivid I can remember actually picturing them in my head.

Though deemed a 'Christian' book it was a great novel to read.


The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom - I must have read this book a hundred times throughout my teens. It impacted me like no other. It is raw, gritty and so very real.

This book details Corrie Ten Boom and her sister's experience with World War II and the concentration camps. Her family owns a watch shop and first helps hide Jews, steal ration cards, and other 'illegal' activities. Eventually the family is set up, the watch shop raided and they are sent to prison.

"Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you."

It was the first I had learned of the concentration camps and the struggles of the people imprisoned. I had no idea things like this could go on in our world. As a young kid, maybe 11 reading this, I was changed by her story. Not only did I now see that there is evil in the world, but I learned of the compassion of others. The strength of a survivor and the lengths people will go to protect their own.

If I had to memorize any book to keep it alive, this would be the one. Not only for the impact on my life, but the way it can open a person's mind and thinking.

Jenera, than you so much for taking the time to share with us YOUR list of books which must be saved. I'm always looking for more participants - if you'd like to share a list, leave a comment and I'll contact you!


bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any of these books, but I think I need to add Cynthia Voigt to my "must check out" author list.

mar10123 said...

Yes - The Hiding Place should be on everyone's short list. In the face of unspeakable cruelty and inhumanity, the power of love and forgiveness and God's grace.

Jenners said...

I usually recognize at least one or two of the books or the names of the authors in most of these posts but not in this one. Thanks for opening my eyes to some new books.

Anonymous said...

I just read The Hiding Place for the first time a few months ago and agree with you. It is a must read. I'm so glad you included it on your list :)

Beth F said...

Wow! I am almost always familiar with the 451 lists, but I don't don't any of these.

Serena said...

I haven't read any of these books before. I'm going to have to check out Voigt!

Zibilee said...

A good friend recommended This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness just recently, and now here's a second recommendation! I think I am going to have to check out those books very soon. Great and eclectic list!