Welcome to the Saving Montgomery Sole Blog Tour organized by the lovely Nori at ReadWriteLove28.
Book: Saving Montgomery Sole
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
In sight not see
black light not be
This is the curious instruction that comes with the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet that Montgomery Sole buys online for $5.99. It’s also the next topic of discussion at Mystery Club (members: Monty and her two best friends, Thomas and Naoki), dedicated to the exploration of the strange and unexplained.
When Monty wears the Eye of Know, strange things happen, all targeted at people she despises. Maybe it will help Monty take down her newest enemy, a preacher who has come to save her town from so-called sinners—sinners like Monty’s moms. Or will its mysterious powers mean the end of the friendships Monty cherishes most?
Mariko Tamaki has created a thoughtful, funny, and painfully honest story about family, religion, ignorance, and other unsolved high school mysteries. (via Goodreads)
Why we need stories like these
I was planning on reviewing this book today. Unfortunately, my book is stuck in the mail somewhere and has not yet made it to my mailbox. So, as my book hasn’t yet arrived, I can’t very well tell you what I thought of it.
What I can tell you, is why I signed up to be a part of this Pride Month blog tour and why I want to read this novel. After the events of this past weekend, I think this is even more important.
I wanted to read and review this book during Pride Month because I believe in the importance of exploring the experiences of people who are different than us.
We all grow up in homes and families that have a system of beliefs. We may or may not accept our family’s belief system, but we do absorb it as we grow. It influences us. The homes we grow up in may or may not be open to people, experiences, and beliefs that are different. And this is why reading is so important. Science backs this; people who read are more empathetic. I’ve written about reading building empathy before. And today, I’m writing about it again. It’s that important.
Saving Montgomery Sole is a book about a child of a lesbian couple and the prejudice they experience in their everyday lives. From what I’ve gathered, they experience this prejudice from the very people who are supposed to be filled with love for others.
I grew up in a fairly conservative Christian home. I love my family dearly and share many of their beliefs. Homosexuality and the LGBTQ community were not topics that we discussed. They were strange topics to me. Unknown. A little scary. Other.
As I’ve matured, have moved to different cities, and broadened my experience of the world, I’ve met some amazing people. I’ve met some pretty cool members of the LGBTQ community and have learned more about their experiences. But not enough. We need to read. We need to hear their stories, and their families’ stories, and put ourselves in them. That’s why books like Saving Montgomery Sole are so important.
No matter where we are from, we need to read their stories and hear their voices and imagine, wonder what life would be like if we were them.
It isn’t important to learn about just the LGBTQ experience. We need to place ourselves in the stories of those of different abilities, different cultures, different skin colours, different faiths, different first languages, immigrants, parents, grandparents, bosses.
We should be reading the stories of anyone who is different from us.
A friend came out to me a few years ago. She was afraid to. She was afraid that I would judge her. We had similar upbringings and she didn’t know if I would respond to her with condemnation or with love. This made me so incredibly sad. It’s a legacy we need to change. As Christians, Christ followers, we are called to love. Love your neighbour as yourself. But we haven’t always done a good job at this.
Fear of the other is not okay.
Politicians seem to be constantly spouting rhetoric about fearing the other. Fear of someone simply because they are different from you is not okay. Hating someone who is different simply because they are different, is not okay. Uncertainty, though, is okay. Different can be uncomfortable. That’s okay. Not being sure what to say or how to act, that’s okay too. But we need to remember–people are people. We all deserve respect. We are all human. The ability to learn about one another, to share stories, both written and verbal, is what makes us human.
The events in Orlando this weekend made me feel sick to my stomach. The horrendous actions of one man have destroyed so many lives. But we can hope that this event has highlighted these important issues, bumped them up in the queue, and that this will lead to change.
Fear of people who are different from us, who live differently or believe differently, is something we can fix. We just need to hear each others’s stories and imagine ourselves in them.
Check out the rest of the stops on the Saving Montgomery Sole Blog Tour!
- June 13th – Read Write Love
- June 14th –Trisha Jenn Reads
- June 15th – The Paper Worlds
- June 16th – Books, TV, and More – Oh My!
- June 17th – Books and Ladders
- June 18th – Aphonic Sara
- June 19th – Bayy in Wonderland
- June 20th – YA Under My Skin
- June 21st – Read Sleep Repeat
- June 22nd – Shooting Stars Mag
- June 23rd – Stay on the Page
- June 24th – The Queen Reads