November 13, 2017 by TinyNavajo
The Reader by Traci Chee
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
This has been one of my favorite books to read this year! And that’s truly saying something, with how many I have read!
The main message from The Reader is that words and reading have power. I wholeheartedly agree with what the characters in this book say. But it’s the magic that the words bring to life that is so amazing! In this world where The Reader is set, no one knows how to read, or how to write. If you want to remember something or someone, you need to be able to recite their tales, their legends, their life. This is a very oral language culture. And Sefia learns the hard way that there is someone out there that wishes to make sure that no one can learn to read.
Sefia and her Aunt Nin have been traveling throughout the country, staying out of the line of sight of the authorities, hunting and stealing what they need in order to survive. They have been doing this ever since Sefia came home one day to find her father murdered. But something goes wrong, and those that have been chasing after Sefia kidnap her aunt, leaving Sefia alone to try and figure out what’s going on with those that want her and the object she carries. Eventually, Sefia figures out that the object she carries, heavy and square with a circle symbol embossed on the front is something more important than she ever thought. It is a book. A book, from which she learns to read; in learning how to read, Sefia learns that there is more to her parents’ life and the strange book that they lost their lives for then she ever knew.
Sefia travels to find her aunt and to find out what the strange symbol on book means and why those who carry it have been chasing her for nearly her whole life. As she, and a boy she rescues from a group of men that carried the same symbol, chase after it and all that it signifies, she learns that the book she’s been carrying is not only full of stories, but it is full of real-life stories. Stories that are written down, lives that are recorded in something more permanent than memory, something that isn’t done in the world. This changes a lot of what Sefia believes, and this changes the way she goes forward with her mission to try and save her aunt and figure out who her parents were.
I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book to see what else the book does for this world. To see words and written language as the chosen form of magic is beautiful! I need to own these books!
What book has truly impressed you before? What impressed you about it? Comment below and let me know!