Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer 2011 Read-Along: Roots by Alex Haley WEEK 1

Pages 1-100 or Chapters 1-20

If you are looking to tackle a MASSIVE book with others than this is the one to do it!

Here is what I thought:

The book starts off in 1750 and without giving too much away; the first 100 pages (20 chapters) go into vivid detail of Kunta from birth until the age of eight rains (I am figuring that means eight years of age).

There were tons of interesting facts about the customs and rituals that he was brought up in. Being a lover of history, the story kept my interest the entire time. There are some reviews that I have read that states this part of the book which speaks of his life before being capture as boring and did not really get into the book until after he was captured. If that is the case, it was not for me. While it was not fast paced reading, the book did not come off as some dry/hard reading material.

We learn about the village he was born in and the relationship between him and his parents, his kafo mates, grandmothers and younger siblings. Throughout the reading of these pages, I felt like I was getting the point of view of a child and not the author telling us about the child. Kunta was innocently ignorant, but caught on fast to the role he played in the village and with his family. Kids today could relate to the young Kunta from centuries ago. His feelings of bonding with his father and making his family proud, feelings that no one takes him serious as a child and having a young irritating sibling who you secretly love that he looks up to you.

There were tons of things that stood out in the book, but again I do not want to give everything away. However what stood out the most was Kunta’s village and surrounding villages’ views on slavery. One day while with his father, Kunta asks him what slavery is. Omoro (Kunta’s father) describes that people could become slaves in different ways and that no should never speak of slaves in the presence of slaves. Only slaves that were despised were convicted murders, thieves, or other criminals and they were the only slaves that could be beat or punish by their master’s discretion. As well as it was easy to buy your freedom or gain freedom by marrying someone in your master’s family.

Lastly, during these pages we read where Kunta learn about the “toubob”. I am assuming that toubob means “white people”. This is where we get to the subject of how they obtain villagers and take them aboard a boat. The villagers believe that the future slaves were taken to another country/place to be eaten, but little did they know that these people were taken to a new land and on one of these boats, Kunta would join the others and be a part of American’s ugly history past!

What did you think about the first 100 (chapters 1-20)?

What was the best part?

Was there anything that you hated?

If you did not have a best/hated part, what stood out to you?

Do not FORGET to go check out Book Snob's blog for her review of the first 100 pages!!


Sherrie said...

My post of the first 100 pages is posted at my place. Have a great day!

Just Books

Booksnob said...

Hey Bre, Great review. I am putting a link to all the participants of the Read-A-Long on my post today. Let me know if I miss anyone.
PS. I am totally loving the book, my post is up now.