Crash, Rooftop, and Other Convergences

Finally saw Crash last night. The entire time my stomach was clenched like a fist. My take? The movie had enough deus ex machina to remind me of a Grimm's Fairy Tale, except that the hero was the villain was the victim was my prince. You couldn't really blame anyone, and you sorrowed over the plight of everyone. I found it interesting which characters were left with hope, and which were left devastated. With hope (after suffering): new Americans ... Persians, Mexicans, Chinese, and Cambodians. Without hope (still in the midst of suffering): African-American men and working class white people.

I'm also reading Rooftop by Paul Volponi aloud to my sons (a gripping, wonderful story), and recommend the combination of Crash with this novel to spur discussion about how racism is changing in America. (Warning: the movie's rated R for some graphic scenes, and Volponi uses street vernacular with skill.)

Speaking of changing times, who could have predicted a decade ago that a South Asian literary magazine for kids would win a prestigious award for publishing? Well, dreams do come true. Kahani magazine was honored this weekend with a Distinguished Achievement Award by the Association of Educational Publishers, and we're all going a little wild.