Thursday Jul 12, 2007

Young Readers, the Apprentice and the Potter

In the last stretch of our drive back to Silicon Valley this past week, we had a chance to listen to the audio version of The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman, and the story ended, very conveniently, as we drove back onto our garage way.

Cushman's book reads not only like a wonderful novella but also as a meticulous work of historical analysis. It certainly has a very good potential for becoming a great movie---I would imagine, much better than any Harry Potter.

Perhaps, someone has already made such a movie, and not being much of a movie-goer, I just don't know about it.

I think the main premise of Cushman's book is that only through pain, suffering and persistence can one disclose new worlds and give birth to what is worthy of being.

Fear, in particularly fear of failure in its various forms, remains the greatest sin.

Harry Potter deals with fear as a hero among idols would but the midwife's apprentice awakens to the sinfulness of fear in its very opposition to the greatest gift given to everyone---life itself.

 

Wednesday Feb 14, 2007

Children, Rich and Poor

 

UNICEF has released a report on the condition of children's lives in rich countries. (The Child Poverty in Perspective report can be found here.) The report, which ranks the U.S. and the U.K. at the very bottom of a list of 21 industrialized nations, starts with the following note:

The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children – their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born.

You can also view the UNICEF's The State of the World's Children 2007.

This includes a little report and video on Zahra Yaghobinezhad's activities in Iran's Persian Gulf port city of Bandar-e Langeh. There are also other stories on activists from the U.S., Romania, Ethiopia, Brazil, Chad, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

 

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