Ruth’s review of Room > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Thank you, Ruth. I wondered about this also.

message 2: by Rhea (new)

Rhea Tregebov Oh Ruth, thanks so much. I'm trying to take it off my "to read" shelf (so many books, so little time) but haven't figured out how. But trust your view and will give it a miss. Rhea

message 3: by Rose (new)

Rose Boehm My novel is based on a similar idea. No cutesy cutesy speak there...Every one who's read it so far agrees that is works - and works well. The voice starts small, the world starts small, the child grows and so does its voice and its context. If I could get my novel to you, would you review it? (Even if you don't like it)

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez I said I wouldn't read it, but I did. I think you summed it up nicely in one word - "Gack!"

message 5: by Sheila (new)

Sheila I'm so glad to find someone who agrees with my view of this book. I was so disappointed. I can't believe it's got so many good professional reviews, and was shortlisted for the Booker.

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant Nice one, Ruth!

message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Just curious, have you ever hung out with a 5 year old boy? I have 3 boys, the youngest is 5. I thought the boys voice was authentic. And Jack's thought process was dead-on for a 5 year old.

message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Had one of my own, Barbara. And he talked the junior version of the way I talked, not some patois that came out of thin air.

message 9: by Rose (new)

Rose Boehm I've had two and they were incredibly 'wise' and very astute (and not because they were mine - their friends as well) and I was sometimes in awe of their observations which also gave me a new twist on things.

I don't remember who it was, but someone said when asked how to treat children:
'Like honoured visitors from a foreign land who don't yeat speak our language...'

I haven't read the book but what Ruth said about it (that cutsey stuff of Hallmark fame) made me sure I won't want to.

message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara I think there was some "cutesy" language. However, skimming through the book again I didn't feel that it was constant or outside the normal range of language for a five year old.

As a mom currently in the trenches with a five year old, Jack's voice and throughts were authentic to me. If I were a few years removed from parenting a five year old it might not have seemed as apparent.
My son is articulate, polite and uses proper grammar. However, there are words he still pronounces incorrectly and grammar rules he applies when an exception exists. In my experience, this is fairly typical for his age. There are times where he seems so much older and wiser than his age and others when I'm brought back to the reality that he is only 5. In my opinion, the author's portrayal of Jack was genuine.

message 11: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Your description of how your son speaks, Barbara, is dead on. And it's how the child in this book should have spoken. Five-year-olds have more sense than people often give them credit for. True, they often make creative use of grammar, but they do not speak in the weird syntax of the kid in this book.

message 12: by Allison (new)

Allison I don't agree at all, just to give an alternative viewpoint. My daughter has a seven-year-old friend who is slightly speech delayed who uses the exact same construction Jack does -- "what you did at the party?". I didn't think his speech was cutesy at all, just not totally adult. And I thought it was interesting to see the split perspective on captivity and freedom between the mother and the child who had never known anything else.

message 13: by Ruth (new)

Ruth what you did at the party?

Jack would have said "what you did at Party?" As if Party were an individual.

message 14: by Allison (new)

Allison Because Room and Rug and Bed were the only instances he knew of any of these objects, it seems logical that they were proper nouns to him.

message 15: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Doesn't make sense to me. Even kids who aren't imprisioned don't make individuals out of nonindividual but unique objects.

message 16: by Sheila (new)

Sheila I think it is "Dora-speak" from Dora the Explorer.

message 17: by Ruth (new)

Ruth You've got me there, Sheila. Dora is outside my realm of experience.

message 18: by Sheila (new)

Sheila But not Jack's.... :-)

message 19: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I still didn't like the book, tho. It made me want to go wash my hands.

message 20: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Belsham Ruth wrote: "Even kids who aren't imprisoned..."

You know a lot of imprisoned kids then? That seems like a pretty far-out statement.

Fair enough to say you didn't like the book, but I'm sure that none of us are experts on how an imprisoned child would speak after spending his entire life in a wee little room.

It seems valid to me that a child with no other experiences would assign an individuality to the few objects that were in his realm of experience.

message 21: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Basile I agree Ruth. I put it up there with one of THE worst books I have ever read.....

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