IST Parent Book Club pick — “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang

IST Parents, join us on Friday, September 23rd at 9:15 to discuss this month’s book club choice, The Vegetarian by Han Kang. If you would like the library to order a copy for you from Book Depository, email Eleanor_Surridge@istianjin.net before Wednesday, August 24th.

2016 Man Booker Prize Winner

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Originally written in Korean and recently translated into English, The Vegetarian was awarded the 2016 Man Booker Prize—one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards. Here is the announcement from Man Booker chair of the judging panel, Boyd Tonkin:
The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith, is an unforgettably powerful and original novel that richly deserves to win the Man Booker International Prize 2016. After our selection of a diverse and distinguished longlist, and a shortlist of six truly outstanding novels in first-rate translations, the judges unanimously chose The Vegetarian as our winner. Told in three voices, from three different perspectives, this concise, unsettling and beautifully composed story traces an ordinary woman’s rejection of all the conventions and assumptions that bind her to her home, family and society. In a style both lyrical and lacerating, it reveals the impact of this great refusal both on the heroine herself and on those around her. This compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers. Deborah Smith’s perfectly judged translation matches its uncanny blend of beauty and horror at every turn.’

Summer Reading for the Adults

Thank you to all the community members who came to the IST Parent & Community Book Club meetings this past year. We had some in-depth discussions on a variety of themes including war, murder, love, friendship, intolerance and inclusion. The multicultural insights have broadened all our minds. Thanks so much.

The next meeting is tentatively set for Friday, 19 August at 9:15 am in the library. The book that was selected is The Ghost Bride by Yangtze Choo. It’s available on Kindle.

ghost bride

 

Happy reading from Jinx Morgan!

The IST Parent & Community Book Club is open to any reader who is interested. We have members from many different nationalities.  If you would like to join in our lively discussion, please come to our next meeting or email: eleanor_surridge@istianjin.net.

Parent Community Book Club News

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Ten members met last Friday. We selected the final two books of the school year. We will be meeting on Friday, 22 April to discuss The Martian by Andy Weir. This is a science fiction novel that was originally self-published in 2011 and went on to be made into a major motion picture. It is ironic that on Earth Day 2015 we will be discussing the stranding of an astronaut on Mars 2035!

The_Martian_2014

Our final read will be The Firemaker by Peter May and we will meet in May. Another irony!

IST Book Clubs Are Thriving

The IST Library supports 3 book clubs:  one for grades 3/4, one for grades 6-9, and one for adults.

Harry Potter (HP) MYP Book Club

Despite appearances, we do more than eat cake in the HP Book Club! We are full to capacity at 10 members, many of them being HP experts who design the meetings themselves. We have discussed themes (good vs. evil, orphans), symbolic meanings of names (the Latin root of Voldemort), character development, etc. We have looked at fan fiction and videos and written our own. Most recently we ran a scavenger hunt. Enthusiasm, imagination and a love of fantasy make this a great CCA.

Grade 4/5 Book Club

This year is the first time we have offered a book club for upper elementary students and what bookworms we attracted! In the first week, students brainstormed ideas of what they wanted the club to look like and they decided that thinking and sharing their ideas about books and authors should be the most important focus of our club.

Each student then chose a book that the whole group would read between our weekly book club meets. So far we have read and discussed five books. Members have also written their own reviews of the books on the library’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC ) during our club sessions, so head to the OPAC  and read about their recommendations!

February: IST Parent Community Book Club

Our selection for February 2016 is Chronicle of A Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, 19 February, at 9:15 a.m. in the library. The club is open to any IST parents of Tianjin expats who love reading; we meet monthly, usually on a Friday morning. Our members all have different mother tongues but we manage to have very insightful discussions.

Children’s Choice Book Award Winners & Finalists for 2015

The winners of this American award are chosen by kids and teens of all ages. This is the only national book award chosen this way. Voting ran through May 3. The full list of all category winners may be accessed through this website:

The winner of Teen Book of the Year is one that is very popular here at IST: The One by Kiera Cass. This dystopian novel is Book 3 in The Selection series, commonly described as “Hunger Games meets Cinderella.” It’s a lovely fairy tale and romance set in an intriguing futuristic world. The novel is available on four of the library Kindles. Book 4 in this series was released May 5th. Odds are it will be one of the 2016 finalists!

A popular series!

A popular series!

 

 

Author Visits

After a great visit to IST secondary last week by Bali Rai, the importance of author visits has really been highlighted. An in-house visit, when done right, provides a learning experience that is as special as any other.

The excitement builds!

The excitement builds!

The MYP Book Club with author Bali Rai

The MYP Book Club with author Bali Rai

Mr. Rai conducted four one-hour workshops for Grades 11, 10, 9, and 8 respectively. He taught creative writing and delineated the “road map” of a story. Reinforcing an idea that “The Two Steves” brought to IST last year with their author visit, Bali asserted that no story is original; stories are based on a set of road maps, or basic structures,  particular to their genre.

For example, there are 3 basic road maps for a romance. In the first, the male and the female are together, there is a conflict, and they end up back together. In the second, the couple is not together, there is a conflict, and they end up happily ever after together also. In the third, the couple is not together, there is a conflict, and the couple does not end up together. (This is the least popular road map and the one Mr. Rai employs).

Bali went on to dissect the basic frames of mysteries, dramas, horror stories. He also connected road maps to popular trilogies and their film versions. The movies Kung Fu Panda and Ratatouille also provoked discussion of literary devices such as personification.

The learning became very visible when Mr. Rai helped Grade 10 students with the short stories they had just drafted. Students volunteered their road maps, Mr. Rai asked constructive questions, and ways of improving these stories developed.

Students get very excited when an author visits. And they look forward to more.  Already, Grade 8 student Esther Nicol has “tumblred” with popular YA author Cassandra Clare about a possible visit next year. Thanks, Esther!

This is a tumblr.

This is a tumblr.