Breathtaking is a word that is often used to express praise, but how often is it literally used? I will take an oath in a court
Also posted on my blog.
Breathtaking is a word that is often used to express praise, but how often is it literally used? I will take an oath in a court of law, that there were actually times while reading this book that I forgot to breath. There are some moments in this book that are so frightening, that if I was a thumb sucker, I would be missing a digit. This story is also packed with moments of such beauty, joy and love, that, as a reader, I was reminded by the aching in my chest, why the heart is credited as our emotional center. With my limited ability I don’t know how I can ever do justice to Appelt’s phrasing. In describing when the girl kitten is given her name - “She sat straight up and tried it on.” Her use of words is so delightful and sensual, I wanted to cut out her phrases, sentences, paragraphs and chapters, toss them in the air like feathers and let them caress me with their subtlety, cleverness, and beauty.
I walked away from this story dizzy with its splendor. I may need a little grounding. The brutality in the story, while not explicit, is very traumatizing, making it unsuitable to younger readers. I’m not sure what the cut off age would be, it would depend on the child, but I would stick to 5th and 6th grade. And just so you know, you really shouldn’t read past chapter 31 if you are standing in line at a Shannon Hale book-signing. Large, middle-aged, women, openly sobbing can be quite disturbing.
I gave my Sixteen-year-old this book as an antidote to the obsessive vamipire relationship of her other summer reading. Van Draanen offers up a much mI gave my Sixteen-year-old this book as an antidote to the obsessive vamipire relationship of her other summer reading. Van Draanen offers up a much more grounded and realsistic teenage relationship book. My daughter liked both....more
What is the one thing that excites the imagination of a 12-year-old more than anything else on the planet? It’s not sugary substances in colors and flWhat is the one thing that excites the imagination of a 12-year-old more than anything else on the planet? It’s not sugary substances in colors and flavors found nowhere in nature? The diabetic pull on the tastebuds is lessening by this age. Neither is it yet the delights of the opposite sex? Let me tell you what will get the average tween to sit up and take notice above all else. It is cold hard cash. I discovered this the first time I read Gary Paulson’s Lawn Boy to my 6th grade classes.
The 12-year-old protagonist is given an old riding lawn mower, and through a perfect storm of circumstances he becomes the neighborhood lawn service. Within the first 10 pages the character has figured out the math of mowing lawns every moment of the summer, and it adds up to over 7,000 big ones. Once that little bit of arithmetic has been figured out, I have a captive audience for the next few weeks as we finish the book. Throw in a marketing expert, a more robust economy than we are presently enjoying, a few villains, and a heavy-weight boxer the size of a Toyota and I have what I like to call the perfect way to end sixth grade.