My reading in the two books is going very well. I'd say I'm pretty active while reading my books. I will say that I'm more active in Ishmael Beah's book than I am in Sandra Cisneros' book. I find Beah's experience alone, to be more captivating than Cisneros' use of language. Overall the two books, in my opinion are good books. Beah's book does a great job at describing his childhood and the problems he faced. While Cisneros does a great job with her metaphors, the things that Beah sees and describes in his book really put the image in your mind and in some cases put you in the scenes. Personally, I prefer Beah's work because I find his experiences more captivating than living in the crappy neighborhood that Cisneros describes. But that's just me.
One survival skill that I noticed, not only from the reading, but from the whole book in general, was definitely the survival skill of traveling around from village to village in complete silence. This was brought to my attention in the beginning of chapter eleven, after the group of, now six, boys had been traveling all night until morning, that Beah describes them as, "....walking in silence through the night...." (Beah p. 89). I found this as an important survival skill because if they were not quiet the boys might already be dead because they've had to sneak past rebels and if they weren't quiet they'd be dead or captured.