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Literacy Month: Team Yello and Friends Share Their Favourite Books

by Maia Muttoo Sep 16, 2019

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On 8 September the world celebrated International Literacy Day, a day to re-read favourite stories, discover new books and embrace the learning potential that reading offers.

The Yello Editorial team is celebrating books all month long! Here are some of our favourites and those of our friends. We hope you’ll love them too.

Stephanie Koathes (Yello, Jamaica)

Photo by Stephanie Koathes.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone isn’t my favourite book because it’s the most beautifully written or the most poignant novel I’ve ever read. It’s my favourite because it opened the door for me to see how incredible books are.

At age seven when I read it for the first time, I went from a little girl who liked books to a girl who fell in love with stories and discovered how every novel is a doorway to another world. The world JK Rowling created is one I’ve never stopped loving, from butterbeer to snitches and all the quotable lines in between.

Lisa Beauchamp (Yello, Guernsey)

Photo by Lisa Beauchamp.

When I visit my mother for my annual vacation, I immediately seek out her library of books and ask for her recommendations for a ‘good read’. Last year she selected The Island by Victoria Hislop. An apt title for me as I have lived between Bermuda, Cayman, and Guernsey for the past few years! 

The Island is a historical novel set in Spinalonga, an island off the coast of Crete, which at the time of the story, is a leper colony. It’s a story of love and families torn apart by tragedy, and of course, there is passion and heartache along the way. I believe the book was adapted to become a TV series in Greece. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and I have since sought out other books written by Hislop, including The Thread and The Sunrise.

Maia Muttoo (Yello, Cayman Islands)

Image via Amazon.

I’m guilty of buying books based on their cover or title. Dan Simmons’ Hyperion caught my eye while I was browsing my local bookshop’s science fiction section almost nine years ago. My fascination with ancient Greek culture attracted me to the title, so I arbitrarily purchased it. Little did I know it would become one of my favourite books of all time!

Hyperion tells the respective stories of seven individuals from across the universe who gather for a pilgrimage to the mysterious planet Hyperion on the eve of the apocalypse. Written in the style of The Decameron, Hyperion has some of the most complex and well-written characters I’ve ever encountered in fiction. Simmons seamlessly weaves in references to literature and art including John Keats and Rachmaninoff while maintaining a unique voice. It’s a compelling read that will have you feeling every emotion under the sun; I certainly didn’t hesitate to pick up the sequel!

Lou-Ann Jordan (Yello, Grenada)

Image via Amazon.

My favourite book is The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley. It’s my favourite not for his politics, but his resilience, sincerity, and strength. He had the courage to say he’d made a mistake when owning it would have brought public ridicule.

Here’s a quote from it: “People don’t realise how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book” – Malcolm X. 

Karen Rollins (Yello, Barbados)

Photo by Karen Rollins.

My chosen book is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The last lines are my favourite: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have known.”

I love this book because just like most of Dickens’s works it transports us to another time and place entirely. 

The novel is set in London and France in the late 18th Century, and the backdrop is the French Revolution. The language is colourful, descriptive, and vivid.

Amidst the bigger political drama of the poverty-stricken proletariat rising up against the excessive and wasteful bourgeoisie, we are introduced to three main characters and their relatable story of love and sacrifice.

The book provides a simplified version of the conflict in France, but it is still historical and educational. The death of Sidney Carton at the end, in place of Charles Darnay, is so moving and stays with you long after you’ve stopped reading the book along with the last lines which are, in my opinion, some of the most memorable in English Literature.

Kayla McKenzie (Jamaica)

Photo by Kayla McKenzie.

My favourite book so far for 2019 is Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess. PIRATE is an acronym: Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation, and Enthusiasm.

I love this book because it gave some useful tips on enhancing student engagement and how to stay motivated as a teacher when challenges arise. I chose this book to read because of the title. I seek to always improve on my skills as a teacher and increasing my passion means I have to be adventurous, creative, and innovative. There were some similarities with teaching strategies highlighted that I could relate to and this book also offered great ideas on how to implement them in my classroom.  

Karlie Lovinggood (Cayman Islands)

Image via Amazon.

Justin Cronin’s The Passage fed the hunger I never knew I had for dystopian science fiction. It takes our worst fears as a society and turns them into a story about endurance and human resilience.

The Passage shook me by my shoulders and painted pictures in my imagination. I took my time in reading this 800-plus page novel and, despite its mixed reviews, I was well satisfied when I closed its back cover. Although I’m not a fan of the second and third books in this series, if you ever want to escape from this reality into an inflated, distantly plausible, dark counterpart, pick up a copy of The Passage.

What’s your favourite book? Whether fiction or non-fiction, romance or mystery, September is the month to pick up your beloved reads and enjoy them all over again. Maybe we’ve even inspired you to try something new.

Happy Literacy Month from us here at Yello!