It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts.
The Story of Mankind, the first Newbery Medal winner, by Hendrick Willem van Loon, updated by John Merriman. I'll admit, I was very reticent to start this. It's a nonfiction title from 1921 and clocks in at over 650 pages. I was wrong. It's amazing. I was never a good history student. While I was often interested in specific incidents, nothing about the way it's taught stuck with me. Van Loon's style puts everything in context in a way that really resonates with me. I think it's the fact that everything starts not with the "what," but with the "why." He's telling the story of people, who just happened to have shaped history, not events that affected people as a sort of byproduct. He's also not afraid to insert his thoughts and feelings into the narrative, which apparently some find off-putting, but I think is charming. I've completely fallen in love with him to the point that I actually was nearly moved to tears reading about his death (which is not in the book, just my research). In case it wasn't obvious, if you're at all inclined to pick up this book, I recommend you do it sooner rather than later.
This week, I'll be finishing The Story of Mankind, then moving on to Horde, the third book in Ann Aguirre's Enclave trilogy.
What are you reading?