#LPReads: Les Miserables

Sari Barocas, ESOL Teacher and Site Coordinator

Sari’s summer reading pick is Les Miserables. Read more to discover why this classic novel continues to amaze her. 

Why did you pick this book? Why would you recommend it to others?

I recently saw the latest version of the movie on PBS and it rekindled my interest in reading the book. I would highly recommend this epic novel because it includes all elements of human nature and it shows compassion for everyone’s struggle to survive.

What is your favorite quote from this book? Why?

“But I gave you the candlesticks, too.”

This one act of empathy by the priest not only saved the poor man, who was desperate and alone, from a life of suffering and hardship, but also enabled the man to transform himself into someone who could take positive action to help others. Consequently, many people’s lives were saved.

What is your favorite memory of summer reading growing up?

Reading enabled me to enter worlds where people had deep feelings and reactions to the things going on around them. It was as though a candle was held up to everything I was experiencing in daily life; the characters’ emotions and responses helped me to understand my own life and to make sense of the things I observed.

What was your favorite summer reading book as a child?

I remember reading Nancy Drew books. I think there was always a mystery to be solved and she had the curiosity and courage to pursue and solve them.

What does literacy mean to you – why is it important?

Reading what others think helps me to understand myself and to grow, either in agreement with or in opposition to what I read. Writing helps me to clarify what I think.