Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best in which our lovely host chooses a book and participants take it from there: creating a chain of books, each connected to the one before. Seeing where we end up is half the fun!
I had such fun putting this chain together last month that I had to do it again. This month begins with The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I read The Outsiders when I was a young teenager and fell in love with the characters--and the movie. I went on to read as many of S.E. Hinton's books as I could get my hands on. Considered a classic today, The Outsiders is often required reading in schools. While somewhat dated, the underlying themes in the book still apply to our society today in many respects.
Gangs and violence play a role in Angie Thomas's poignant novel The Hate U Give. Like S.E. Hinton hoped to do with her novel, Angie Thomas gives a voice to those who have too long been voiceless. The Hate U Give tackles racism and police violence, two topics that are very relevant today.
Another book taking on the subject of sexual assault is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. In this case, the main character, Amir, who was just a child at the time, witnesses the crime and does nothing. It weighs heavily on him. The Kite Runner centers around the themes of guilt, redemption and atonement set during tumultuous times, spanning the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban to the flight of refugees from the country, seeking safety and a better life.
Immigrants face many challenges when moving to another country, such as clashing cultures and conflicts of assimilation among other things. Like Amir and his father immigrated to the United States in The Kite Runner, so did Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli in The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.
The focus of Jhumpa Lahiri's novel is, in part, about the American born Gogol's relationship with his immigrant parents, Ashoke and Ashima. Similarly, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, focuses on the relationships of four Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters. Old traditions war with new ones and the gap between generations has never seemed so large as for these women.
Although a very different type of book, White Oleander by Janet Fitch also delves into the relationship of a mother and daughter, that of Ingrid and Astrid. In this gut-wrenching novel, Astrid longs to be loved and find acceptance, as she moves from foster home to foster home while her mother serves time in prison for murder.
Each of these books are ones that made a big impression on me even long after I read them. They all touch on heavy subject matter in one way or another. Would you be surprised to know every book in this chain was at one time challenged or banned?
Have you read any of these? Which six books would you choose to link to The Outsiders?[Next month (November 3, 2018), we’ll begin with Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.]
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Love the diversity in your links this month. I adored the Joy Luck Club at the time & went on to read all of Tan's novels as she published them. I even had the pleasure of reading one in China when I travelled through there in 1996.ReplyDelete
Brona Joy - Thank you! I have missed a couple of Amy Tan's more recent books, but I have read her earlier work and enjoyed each one. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Well, you know what I'd link to!ReplyDelete
I've read a few of your books, besides the first one - The kite runner, The namesake and The Joy Luck Club. And liked them all. I was in an internet group years ago that did White Oleander too, but I didn't read it with them.
There's something lovely about reading links which include books you know!!
Whispering Gums - White Oleander was an online book club read for me years ago. It was quite an emotional book. I enjoy seeing the connections everyone makes between books as well. Thank you for visiting!Delete
Those first three sound essential reading for young adults. Always delighted to see a mention of The Namesake. One of my favourite books.ReplyDelete
Susan - I agree. Speak and The Hate U Give, especially--and not just by young adults. I really enjoyed The Namesake. Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Great chain! White Oleander is a book that I've been meaning to read for ages.ReplyDelete
Thoughts on Hate U Give being made into a movie? Will it work?
Kate - I am looking forward to seeing The Hate U Give movie. Movies are rarely as good as the books they are based on, but one can hope. :-) I hope you like White Oleander if you read it. It deals with some tough issues, and is well worth it. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I've read most of those books so I can say you did a great job. I think I need to re-read The Outsiders.ReplyDelete
Kathy - I would like to re-read it one of these days too. It holds such a special place in my heart. Thank you for stopping by, Kathy!Delete
I love connecting books to each other like this! Although I haven't read any of these books yet, a few are on my TBR! I'm excited to see the things you connect Vanity Fair to next month, as it is a favourite of mine!ReplyDelete
Jenny - I haven't had a chance to read Vanity Fair yet (although I want to!). I look forward to seeing what we all come up with! Thank you for visiting.Delete
I always love this meme, but most of the time I've found I don't really know the first book in the chain. I could actually do it this month... Hmmmm...ReplyDelete
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Nicole - This is only my second time doing it, and I am 50/50 in terms of having read the first book. I have a feeling it will be more the case where I have not. That does make it more challenging! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
When I think about it, it's not surprising that each of the books in your chain has been banned or challenged at some point, although I didn't actually know that until you mentioned it. Each one of them sounds like a fascinating read.ReplyDelete
Melinda - It really isn't surprising, given the difficult subject matter each book focuses on. Although that only makes them even more worth reading, I think. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I haven't read The Kite Runner, Speak, nor The Namesake. I have wanted to read Speak and The Kite Runner. I'll have to add The Namesake to my TBR. 👍✨ReplyDelete
La La - Both Speak and The Kite Runner are among my all time favorite books. I highly recommend them. The Namesake is good as well. I really like Lahiri's writing. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
That's a great list of books in your link list. I haven't read all of them, but want to read more! The Outsiders was always a favorite of mine. I was actually disappointed in my teen's reaction when she had to read it in school last year. She had nothing to discuss with me- she didn't care for the book because she kept thinking 'Socs' was pronounced 'socks' which made her laugh and thus she couldn't take the book seriously. What a shame.ReplyDelete
Jeane - I am sorry your daughter didn't enjoy The Outsiders more. I know there are books I wish Mouse was more drawn to (because I loved them) than she is. My hope is she'll grow in her tastes. Haha. Seriously though, you and I know the books that speak to us won't necessarily speak to our kids. It doesn't mean we don't want them to though! Thanks for visiting, Jeane!Delete
Great connections. I've actually read most of these and I remember how much I loved The Outsiders as a teen. I also remember going to see the movie and loving it!ReplyDelete
Iliana - It's such a great story, isn't it? I should re-read the book. I've seen the movie so many times . . . Thanks for stopping by!Delete
I love seeing how people make these chains!ReplyDelete
Lisa - I do too! And it's fun to do--although I probably spend too much time thinking about it. Haha.Delete
You read a few of mine, but I've read none of these. Interesting path you took though.ReplyDelete
Joseph - Thank you!Delete