TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!
Issue Books: Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?
On the surface, The Lord of the Rings might not seem to tackle “tougher” issues at all. After all, none of the characters deals with substance abuse or cancer or domestic violence–the sorts of issues we have come to associate with that phrase, as well as with our society. However, the book does have a lot to say on those sorts of issues we all face everyday–sacrifice, faith, trust, friendship, loss, redemption, and dying. Tolkien never gives an overt message, but his philosophy is clear both in the way his characters live and in the way his world works. When I need comfort, when I need hope, when I need strength, I always look to The Lord of the Rings.
I haven’t even finished the series, but followers of this blog know how impressed I already am with Suzanne Collins’s Underland series. She addresses poverty, war, prejudice, violence, all sorts of big themes–and she’s writing children’s books! Collins proves kids can handle these sorts of things (after all, many of them already do, in real life) if they are addressed in a mature manner. She’s sensitive and real, and her audience responds. Here’s my review of the first book in the series, Gregor the Overlander.
The Children of Húrin is, in many ways, a difficult book. At the beginning, Morgoth, the terrible enemy of Middle-earth, curses Húrin and his family. This shadow follows them throughout their lives and they never seem able to escape it. Worse, Eru (God) seems to allow it. For a long time, I didn’t understand. Then I began reading David’s posts on The Children of Húrin over at Lantern Hollow Press and I saw how Eru never abandoned Húrin’s family, even in their darkest hour. The story is wonderful treatment of how we can fail to see the big picture and begin to lose faith.