Sweet little book about five friends who live on a window sill and watch the world go by. I loved reading it to the Kinder classes because they were sSweet little book about five friends who live on a window sill and watch the world go by. I loved reading it to the Kinder classes because they were so surprised by every turn of the page. The pictures are beautiful.
I especially loved (view spoiler)[the visitor who couldn't say, because it was such a gentle way to teach kids that not everything that gets broken can be fixed. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is one of the Star of the North nominees I will be buying and reading to all of my Pre-K through 2nd graders next year.
I was okay with the ideaThis is one of the Star of the North nominees I will be buying and reading to all of my Pre-K through 2nd graders next year.
I was okay with the idea behind this book - it's a solid message that everyone doesn't have to be the same; however, the execution seemed heavy-handed and politically charged to me. I'm not sure how I feel about it being a 'mandatory' read-aloud. ...more
I haven't been able to finish this book. Every time a kid sees me reading it, they ask if they can check it out; and, being the good librarian I am, II haven't been able to finish this book. Every time a kid sees me reading it, they ask if they can check it out; and, being the good librarian I am, I let them. So, I've read a few chapters over lunch, then a couple weeks pass...then another one or two, and a couple weeks pass. Then I took it home for the weekend...and my sons saw it and took it from me. They both read it in a day (they are eight) and so got it back Sunday night. I read a few more chapters that night but a student was it when I returned to school...and that's as far as I have gotten.
I have really enjoyed what I have read so far...buy I may never get a chance to finish it, so I thought I'd write a review...just in case....more
We were lucky enough to have an author visit by Sarah Mlynowski, so I read this to get me into the swing of things before book talking her. This is anWe were lucky enough to have an author visit by Sarah Mlynowski, so I read this to get me into the swing of things before book talking her. This is another of the many 're-telling' of a fairy tale that are out today. I like this on because it was light an easy to read, and I loved that the brother took a main role in the book, so I could interest boys in it as well as girls. The main character was a bit whiny, but wouldn't we all in her situation. I hope that goes away as she gets more familiar with her new 'power'. I would not recommend this to adults, or even high-level readers, but this is a fun little book that a lot of elementary kids love.
I put this whole series in my library and it is constantly checked out. Not only by the kiddos who saw her speak, but by anyone who likes fairy tale retelling, princesses, and light and humorous books. Well done getting kids to read, Ms. Mlynowski...well done.
(These stars are hard. I want to rate it a 4 as a librarian, but I am using my personal enjoyment level in my ratings and want to keep them relative. I should have created two accounts...but it's not going to happen now.)...more
PERSONAL REVIEW: I loved the first chapter. More than love - will remember it forever! I loved a few of theLIBRARIAN REVIEW: Not for school libraries.
PERSONAL REVIEW: I loved the first chapter. More than love - will remember it forever! I loved a few of the characters, and liked the rest, except the few I should hate - which I did. I enjoyed the plot, although simple, it was pretty effective. I enjoyed reading this book. I liked that the 'spore' was well-thought out and somewhat plausible. I enjoyed that the main characters were people first and 'relationship fodder' second. I really wanted to LOVE this book, but there were some serious flaws.
I hated the amount of gratuitous swearing. (There was a lot of swearing that I had no problem with...and then there was so much added on top that it just got silly.) I hate the 'c' word, but used in context it can be very effective. A few of them should have a lot of power. In this novel a few of them were very appropriate...but then there are two dozen more that makes the usage mean nothing.
I was let down my the ending. It was too simple to withstand after the amount of detail everything else had. It was wrapped up with a nice little bow. I'd say I lost my 'love' of this book about 4/5th of the way through.
I hated the little trivial 80's and 90's references. They drew me out of the book. A few well placed tidbits would have been fine, but again...he overused a good thing to make it an annoyance. I get it, these are children of the 80's trying to survive the end of the world...oh wait, she's 28? That's not quite right...okay, that's close enough...i guess. But really, wouldn't she be a child of the new millennium? Um, okay...I can get over this one little thing...until you write it in again...and again...and each time I think she must be the wrong age.
I liked this book, but was greatly disappointed in it too. Such an amazing beginning, and then slowly went down hill...slowly...for the rest of the novel...and it's a long novel. (2.5 stars - rounded to 3 for the awesome first chapter and kick-ass female characters.)
Two stories told at the same time, every other chapter. One - a young girl writes an amazing novel and has to learn how to deal with the expectationsTwo stories told at the same time, every other chapter. One - a young girl writes an amazing novel and has to learn how to deal with the expectations of greatness, even though the book is a first draft. The other - A young girl gains paranormal powers after surviving a terrorist attack.
PERSONAL REVIEW: I LOVE Scott Westerfeld's books. I do. But this one was...soft. It had a malleable plot, a bunch of fuzzy characters, a wishy-washy setting. It was good, but not great. Unfortunately for this book I have come to expect greatness from Mr. Westerfeld. I enjoyed the book, but as I finished it I was left with a feeling of sadness that it was not as good as it could have been. He has a few amazing ideas, but they don't grow into anything...they fizzle. Sigh.
LIBRARIAN REVIEW: A book I think would be great for many young adult readers. It is an interesting way of explaining the realities of the publishing world. I would love to book-club it with some of my more mature kids. There are some amazing discussions that could come from reading this. I love his writing style, and a few of his characters are great. I like the setting of the underworld in the paranormal sections, and I think that a young reader would enjoy the book more than I, an older and more jaded reader, did.
Notes to those who are thinking of adding it to their library collection without reading it. You need to know...(view spoiler)[ The main female character is gay and has a wonderful (although not graphic) relationship with another woman. (I'm not hiding this because she is gay, I'm hiding it because finding out she is gay is a wonderful little scene in the book.)
Also, there are a lot of the word 'Fuck' in this book, a few in the early chapters, and more often as the book goes on. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The Danish Resistance was a part of the WWII history that I knew almost nothing about. I'd read Number the Stars, but other than that and a Danish friThe Danish Resistance was a part of the WWII history that I knew almost nothing about. I'd read Number the Stars, but other than that and a Danish friend (miss you ML) telling me a little about her country when she moved the the U.S. it was a footnote in my knowledge of the war.
First off, I highly recommend this book to adults. If you have any interest in WWII history, you must read this book! Fascinating stories and people in this book.
Second, the rest of this review will be about teaching. If you're not into education, you can read the above statement again and that's all you need to know. Read it!
So, teachers / librarians / educators - the rest is for you...
I am a huge fan of teaching the little stories that the 'tests and textbooks' overlook. This is a perfect book for that. There are dozens of people in here that would be a jumping off point for different aspects of WWII, non-violent resistance, and underground resistance movements.
I think the best idea would be to pick one of the people and pull their story out, rather than having kids read the book cover to cover.
SCHOOL LIBRARIAN REVIEW: LEVEL - Readers can tell this book was written for a younger audience because the violence is not sensationalized like it would be for an adult audience. Other that that it's written as if an adult would be reading it, and so I think it's best in a high school library.
LEVEL - There is one tale in the book which keeps it out of the elementary and middle schools for me. The final few chapters talk about the concentration camps. It it realistic, and vital to the understanding of the war, but there is on thing that is relayed that I don't believe a younger reader is prepared to hear...(view spoiler)[ At one point a survivor remembers the worst point of their captivity as being hungry...but not being able to get food. They remember a young mother being hanged for stealing food, and her baby hanging in a bag next to her on the gallows. (hide spoiler)]
ORGANIZATION - It has many characters who are hard to differentiate. It's written in a chronological order, and so a person might pop up in the first chapter, then the 12th and 15th and again in the final two. Meanwhile, we've learned the amazing stories of a dozen other great people, who also pop up here and there, all intertwined, but not often knowing each other. I couldn't keep the people straight in my head, not the places. Perhaps giving each student one of the people in the book to focus on would make this book easier to read. Or having images and names on a wall for students to refer to.
PRIOR KNOWLEDGE - There is a lot of prior learning that is expected here. This is not meant to be the first WWII source. It assumes a basic understanding of the causes, people and politics of WWII. It refers to Himmler, Hitler and Roosevelt in passing. Mentions important events in the war in a sentence or two, and moves on to how it affected the people in the book.
OVERALL - The reading level is 11th and 12th grade. The interest level (subjectively) is from 6th grade up, but the topic is for the more mature minds. I would recommend this as a teaching tool, but not as a free-reading book unless you know the student and are sure they will understand the global concepts.