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nerd teacher [books]

whatanerd@bookwyrm.social

Joined 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Anarchist educator who can be found at nerdteacher.com where I muse about school and education-related things, and all my links are here. My non-book posts are at @whatanerd@todon.eu or emailed at n@nerdteacher.com. [they/them]

I'm a secondary teacher (on hiatus), so expect a ridiculously huge range of books.

And yes, I do spend a lot of time making sure book entries are as complete as I can make them. Please send help.

nerd teacher [books]'s books

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2021 Reading Goal

35% complete! nerd teacher [books] has read 14 of 40 books.

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Decolonizing Anarchism (Paperback, 2010, AK Press)
4 star

Decolonizing Anarchism looks at the history of South Asian struggles against colonialism and neocolonialism, highlighting …

A good introduction.

4 star

I think, as a white person with a grounding in anarchism in North America and Europe, this book is absurdly necessary precisely because of its title. It's so easy to find information about the white men who discussed and organised under the anarchist banners, but everyone else seems to be strangely missing (from this ideology that, in many ways, is based on culturally stolen concepts that go unacknowledged).

This book highlights the ways in which anarchism (and similar ideologies) were at play in South Asia (specifically the places we know today as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) both before partition and before independence. It's incredibly interesting as an introduction and has definitely prompted me to look into many of the people discussed (and to revisit the few I did happen to know).

It's also brilliant in that it shows the ways in which anarchism is truly a global movement and that …

A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door (2020, New Press, The)
3 star

A trenchant analysis of how public education is being destroyed in overt and deceptive ways—and …

Frustratingly Binary

3 star

If you listen to the Have You Heard podcast, this book is going to be super predictable. It focuses largely on the GOP's push to dismantle US public schooling, and it focuses on Betsy DeVos more than anyone else. While DeVos definitely was responsible for harming schools, this has been a long process that has taken place over decades. It's frequently bipartisan, too.

The book has a strong liberal-conservative framework. Because of this, it smashes a lot of people into the same categories for the same reason without actually understanding the nuance behind beliefs. For example, they keep saying that people who want to dismantle public schools do so because they want to generate profit! Well, that's not true when you include people who want to dismantle public schools because they see school abolition as being part of the path to justice and freedom.

There's a lot of scare quotes …

Zahrah the Windseeker (Paperback, 2008, Graphia)
5 star

Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to …

Beautiful!

5 star

God, I loved every aspect of this book. The storytelling is wonderful, and it only makes me want to read more by Nnedi Okorafor; it was so beautiful in every way, and I literally couldn't put it down unless forced to do something besides read.

There are so many topics discussed in the book: friendship, loyalty, finding one's self, etc. It weaves together a tale so fantastical but also so very real; it's beyond gorgeous, and I don't want to write more for fear of genuinely spoiling it.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press)
1 star

The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually …

I have one word for this novel: Rubbish.

1 star

Here are my main issues with this book:

  1. The protagonist is 9-years old at the start; he's the child of a high-ranking Nazi official. Despite the fact his SISTER, who starts as 12-years old, knows what's happening, he has zero clue. Now, having worked with children, I'm about 100% certain if ONE child knows what's going on, then the OTHER child knows; it also makes no sense how he's so clueless about what his father does.

  2. His lack of knowledge makes his friendship with Shmuel feel absurd, not just because of the fact that his father is a high-ranking NAZI OFFICIAL (which also makes it feel ridiculous). He's making false equivalences that, even at 9-years old, he'd know are false equivalences. "Gee, I wish I could wear an armband! No one ever gave me one!" As if he'd have no clue what the Star of David is? Or the Nazi …

Henri Matisse (Paperback, 2002, Grosset & Dunlap)
4 star

Keesia and Henri Matisse have the same birthday—New Year’s Eve! That’s why she picks him …

Super adorable.

4 star

Fictional stories in picture books about artists are... oddly common, but this one is so well done! Instead of fictionalising the life of the artist, it combines a non-fiction element of who Henri Matisse was and what he did with the story of a fictional young girl who seems to be doing a biography about him.

This is a wonderfully creative way to treat a biography of a person or a story of an event.

Batman (Paperback, 2007, DC Comics)
3 star

"A man doesn't live forever-- a legend does. From the moment he declared war on …

Frank Miller is garbage.

1 star

This book is boring, and the issues it brings up? It doesn't even address them. It's strange because this is one of those books (or collections) that is held up as being part of 'the best' of Batman.

It makes me wonder if anyone could even conceive of an interesting Batman, if that's the case.

Like, here are some issues brought up:

  1. Adultery and figuring out how to deal with emotions and relationships. It's not really addressed. Only handled as a "This was going to be a secret, but I had to tell my wife because someone threatened to out my cheating." Vague mentions of the marriage counsellor. The other half -- dealing with it -- isn't even done at all; it's just the typical Men Writing Men Who Think of All Attractive Women As Objects of Sexual Desire (and not quite as people). Even by the mid-1980s, this ... …