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Joined 2 years, 7 months ago

Secondary English teacher in Aus, with a personal interest in Sci-fi, crime, graphic novels, educational theory, novels worth teaching to students!

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Duckus's books

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Safdar Ahmed: Still Alive (GraphicNovel, Twelve Panels Press) 4 stars

In early 2011, Safdar Ahmed visited Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre for the first time. …

This graphic novel was a thoughtful and interesting read. It’s very much a documentary recount of key events, but it captures the horrors of Australia’s immigration policy since the 80s, but particularly since 2000. It’s well-researched.

It’s not a strong narrative. It’s not a strong story. But it’s fairly uncompromising in its depictions of the trauma inflicted on human beings.

I’m glad I read it. I’m not likely to teach it with a class, but I might show some excerpts.

Neal Stephenson: Termination Shock (Hardcover, 2021, William Morrow) 4 stars

Termination Shock takes readers on a thrilling, chilling visit to our not-too-distant future – a …

Content warning No specifics, but general mention of ending

Brendan James Murray: The School (Paperback, Picador) 4 stars

A good book, written in a very engaging and friendly voice. I feel like it’s a similar voice to my own when writing, which might be why I’ve enjoyed it.

The last half focuses on the medical issues faced by some students, which - yeah, sure. It’s important to understand context, and students as whole people. But it really disconnects from the daily school routine narrative and looking at the challenges of the institution itself.

Which is not to say these additional tales aren’t valuable or valid, just that they don’t really do what the book cover says it’ll do.

As the novel is organised into four sections - each term of the year - the final two ‘terms’ don’t actually look much at what’s happening in the school at that time.

Nevertheless, glad I read it. It certainly reminded me of the reasons I love being a teacher. Time …