Jean Fritz' Homesick describes her childhood in China during the 20's around the time of the first revolution. It's funny, perceptive and touching. She's a spirited girl of 9 or 10 years old who likes some aspects of life in China, but not all. I loved how honest and real her writing was. This book is geared to young readers, but appeals to all because she doesn't sugarcoat things or spare her readers from the hardship life can throw at us. She weaves the history in so that it doesn't come across as pendantic, rather it's just natural.
I wanted to read more. That's the sign of a good book.
Jacques Barzun's Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning is terrific. He examines education from grade school to grad school pointing out the ridiculous and offering better solutions and perspectives. Although it was first written in the 70s and updated in the 90s, its still current (sadly). It's a fun, intelligent read and highly recommended for anyone with a serious interest in education.