Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

At first glance, it appears the novel is about a young girl attending boarding school, experiencing the trials and tribulations of growing up. But, as Kathy continues to tell her story, the reader soon realizes not all is as it seems.

Over the course of the novel, various clues reveal that these children will not have a regular adult life, but instead are created, cloned in fact, to exist only as organ donors; the boarding school, Hailsham, is basically a body farm. Yet, what makes this novel so unsettling is the nonchalant way Kathy tells the story, as if she has always accepted her fate and, in fact, believes that this is the natural order of things. This is made even stranger by the seemingly normal social relationships seen throughout the novel. These kids are experience life and love, just like any normal teenager; how can they be so blasé about their looming end?

That is only one of the many questions unresolved at the end of the novel, not to mention such themes as the moral and ethical use of clones for harvesting organs. Are clones less human than the people receiving the donations? Ahhh, this definitely left me deep in thought.

This book is an interesting, yet disturbing, look at what our own future may hold.

Flight of the Hummingbird - Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

This wonderful little book is an inspiration; one that, because of it's simple message and elegant illustrations, provides the understanding that all is not lost, that the damage caused to the environment can still be repaired. If the little hummingbird has the courage and endurance to fight the forest fire alone, drop by drop, even one person's willingness to do their part will change the face of our world for the better. And, if one person can make a change, others will follow.

The introduction by Wangari Maathai, as well as the wise words from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, make each individual's role in the fight to reclaim our environment seem so easy. It is my hope that this story will be widely read and that the image of the hummingbird will act as a reminder that every little bit counts. Our wish for a sustainable environment is indeed within our reach.