This is not one of the authors strong works, and it can't even compare with the others which are thoughtful and well written.
This is a story of a littThis is not one of the authors strong works, and it can't even compare with the others which are thoughtful and well written.
This is a story of a little girl whose parents went away to a conference, leaving her and her brother in the very capable hands of their Aunt and Uncle.
The Aunt and Uncle are non traditional and furthermore, don't dote on every word and action that the little girl does. She seems to be a brat who gets her way, until the relatives put boundaries on her.
Told from the perspective of nine year old Anna, in 1933, her secure life becomes shattered as she and her family flee Berlin. Her father, a well-knowTold from the perspective of nine year old Anna, in 1933, her secure life becomes shattered as she and her family flee Berlin. Her father, a well-known writer, finds it impossible to support his family as increasingly his articles are not allowed to be printed.
Insightful, fearful, he knows he must take his family and leave all behind before it is too late. Moving from Germany to Switzerland, then France and finally England, Anna finds it difficult to adjust. Middle class and sheltered, she has no reference for the difficult life they face as the family learns different customs and languages.
While the book is well written, I felt it lacked depth. As others were dying in concentration camps, starving and losing all contact with loved ones, Anna's family is fortunate to be able to leave.
In comparison to other nine year old children, Anna is very naive regarding just how frightening it is to exist under Hitler's reign of terror. ...more
A children's book that transcends all ages. When 600 pound Zachary Beaver arrived in sleepy little Antler Texas via a tiny, teeny trailer, the town foA children's book that transcends all ages. When 600 pound Zachary Beaver arrived in sleepy little Antler Texas via a tiny, teeny trailer, the town folk paid $2 each to see the "freak. "
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town and was abandoned by his agent the town folk who previously gawked at him now leave food, wash his clothes and find help.
Set in the 70's and the Viet Nam era, This National Book Award winner is a coming of age story containing many wonderful lessons learned by a trio of three young boys.
Dealing with difficult issues of abandonment, loss and grief, this is a powerfully written story....more
Incredibly well written, dealing with the complicated issue of adolescent starvation, bulimia, self cutting, and self images that foster this tragedy.Incredibly well written, dealing with the complicated issue of adolescent starvation, bulimia, self cutting, and self images that foster this tragedy.
Lia is loved by her father, step mother, mother and younger step sister. Still, it isn't enough for her to stop destructive habits that almost cost her life.
She crumbles and falls apart when her fellow Wintergirl, best friend Cassie dies alone in a hotel room after sending more than 30 unanswered phone calls to Lia. Wintergirl is their term for the limbo life they lived wherein they are not dead, but not alive either.
As Lia continues to lie about her eating habits and sets unrealistic goals for what is a healthy weight, she falls into a dark hole of despair as her weight plummets to 90 pounds.
Previously institutionalized, in therapy, nothing is helping her. When she hallucinates that her friend is speaking to her from the other side of life, increasingly she becomes out of control.
As her parents do everything in their power to help her, they cannot pull her back from the brink of death.
Only Lia can make a decision to live or die.
This is a fascinating look at the difficult subject of a self image that can not be realistic and of a condition that increasingly causes death in those who are not able to see themselves as anything but fat....more
A story of a boy, a dog, a loving family, a wonderful community, and the fact that a major hurricane is about to hit New Orleans.
When it hits, young SA story of a boy, a dog, a loving family, a wonderful community, and the fact that a major hurricane is about to hit New Orleans.
When it hits, young Saint Louis Armstrong Beach, is more concerned for the roving dog, whom he claims as his own, than he is about his own survival.
While his mother and father prepare to help others, Saint Louis leaves the car of his Aunt and Uncle that is heading out of New Orleans. Searching frantically for his beloved dog, he finally finds him. Seeking shelter at an elderly neightbor's house, the three of them are in for the terror of their lives.
As the diabetic medication of Miz Morgan runs out and the water rises into her attic, help must be found.
I loved the way in which the author painted the love of family, the love of New Orleans, and the love between a boy and his dog....more
This book packs a lot of very difficult issues. A mother who doesn't seem to get her act together was very troublesome for me. There are two young dauThis book packs a lot of very difficult issues. A mother who doesn't seem to get her act together was very troublesome for me. There are two young daughters struggling with little or no help from the mother. I found it sad and difficult to read about this family living in a trailer park, made fun of in school, having a hard time getting through.
The story is told from the perspective of Star who longs to know who her father is. She has a memory of she and her sister riding a Ferris wheel while their mother is on the ground talking to a man. She wrongly assumes he was her father, when in reality it was her sister's father. When her sister goes to this man for help, though he lives in much better circumstances, he seems reluctant to help and clearly doesn't want her.
I finished the book, but simply wasn't in the right space for this much angst with no solutions. ...more
I read this earlier in the week, and because it is such a wonderful story, I wanted to take time to sift through the emotional impact and pull my thouI read this earlier in the week, and because it is such a wonderful story, I wanted to take time to sift through the emotional impact and pull my thoughts together.
What a mix of characters! What an incredible writing style! What a superb story line!
In comparision with the Newbery award winning The Year of Billy Miller which lacked depth, I'm surprised Counting by 7s was not a Newbery recipient.
Willow Chase is off the charts genius level. Perceptive, magical and wise beyond her years, she is loved by her adoptive parents. When a freak car accident involving both parents occurs, she becomes an orphan. With no family members to contact, she finds assistance from Dell Duke, a misguided, insecure guidance counselor and Mai, a Vietnamese classmate.
Grief stricken and stunned, she rolls along with the tide of those in her path who try their best to assist. A relatively new acquaintance, Mai, takes Willow home to her mother Patti and brother Quang-ha. Living in a warehouse, with few means of comfort, Patti remembers those displaced in Vietnam, and opens her home and heart.
The book is stellar for many reasons, mainly because of character development. Patti runs a nail salon, and Willow, emotionally unable to return to school, spends the days with her, observing Patti's fortitude and ability to love.
Mai is bossy and confident and accepts Willow unconditionally. Brother Quang-ha is reserved and belligerent. Guidance counselor Dell Duke is caught up in the whirlwind of bossy Patti and Mai who insist on moving into his apartment in order to provide the perception of stability to the authorities who seek to place Willow in the foster care system.
Moving down the hall, Dell visits the members of his apartment. Soon, he relates to Quang-ha and the family and gradually finds confidence.
When Willow meets a cab driver name Jairo Hernandez, his life is magically changed as well as Dell, Quang-ha, Mai and Patti.
An expert gardener, Willow metaphorically gradually plants roots via sunflower seeds in an area at the apartment complex. Soon, all members are involved in planting, growing and changing.
Touching, poignant, a tad sappy, at times tear producing, this is a book that haunts long after the last page is read....more
Reading this book completes the goal of reading all 2014 Newbery Medal and Honor books.
There are many things I liked, and some that I didn't.
This is aReading this book completes the goal of reading all 2014 Newbery Medal and Honor books.
There are many things I liked, and some that I didn't.
This is a story of a young boy who defines himself by his disability. The inability to speak without stuttering is all-consuming in every part of his life, in his interactions at school, and all relationships with children and adults.
I liked some of the relationships:
Vince has a wonderful friend whose name is Art, allowing Vince to call him Rat because it is easier to say, Art/Rat understands and emotionally supports him.
Mam is an adult person of color hired to help with housework and Vince. It is through this wonderful relationship that Vince finds courage and strength.
Mr. Shapiro, a kind elderly man who speaks in a fascinating way and loves books, enables Vince to define himself in other ways than his impediment.
------------------------------- I liked the setting of 1959 which allowed the reader to go back in time to small-town life, and through interactions we see racial tensions in the way in which Mam is treated.
------------------------ When Art/Rat goes on vacation, Vince takes over his paper route. This provides ample situations for Vince to interact with adults which takes him out of his comfort zone.
Vince meets Mr. Shapiro, a positive role model, and conversely, he experiences an abusive situation of a neighbor woman who is an alcoholic, and learns that not all is well behind closed doors.
When his pocket knife is stolen by a near-do well character, Mam comes to his rescue and pays a high price for her defensiveness.
I didn't like paths taken that did not led to an ending and were not followed through:
Vince learns his father is not his biological father. This is thrown out and then not developed.
We learn that Vince's parents are building a new home, and there are hints that Mam's future with the family may end, yet, once again, there is no follow through.
Overall, this is a strong beginning for a first-time author. ...more
This is the first book by the author, and she's started out flying fast when the gates were opened with a Newbery Honor award at the end of the race.
WThis is the first book by the author, and she's started out flying fast when the gates were opened with a Newbery Honor award at the end of the race.
With the backdrop of the 1871 wild pigeon migration in Southern Wisconsin, the story of young Georgie Burkhardt unfolds. When Georgie's older sister Agatha runs off with a group of pigeoners, the sheriff goes to find her. Sadly, he returns with a body wearing the beautiful dress her mother sewed. The face, unrecognizable from decay, gives hope to Georgie that this is not the body of Agatha.
Tenaciously stubborn, without her mother or grandfather's blessing, she buys a mule from Billy McCabe, the man who loved Agatha. Feeling guilty because when she saw Billy kiss her sister, she went straight on to Mr. Olmstead, a prominent man in town who was slated to marry Agatha. It was this betrayal that set in motion Agatha's desire to leave Placid Wisconsin.
To find forgiveness and to follow her intuition, Georgie daringly, bravely sets out on a journey of discovery. With Billy McCabe in tow, they travel together in a quest to find answers.
The quick banter between the two, the struggles of traveling in dangerous territory, the soul searching that occurs along the journey, renders this a tale of part mystery, part self discovery all wrapped together in a wonderful package.
The writing is top notch. Told from the perspective of Georgie who is humorous, sharp shooting, vulnerably stubborn and defensive, the reader laughs at the quick to the draw sling-shot comments and roots for the good guy/girl in this marvelous poignant story.
No stranger to the production of award-winning books, Henkes received a 2004 Newbery honor award for Olive's Ocean, a Caldecott medal in 2004 for KittNo stranger to the production of award-winning books, Henkes received a 2004 Newbery honor award for Olive's Ocean, a Caldecott medal in 2004 for Kitten's First Full Moon and a Caldecott honor for Owen.
He is notably recognized by the American Library Association.
The Year of Billy Miller is the tale of Billy who is nervous about second grade. The summer before returning to school, while on vacation, he fell from a great height and sustained a concussion. Fearful he won't remember things, he is reluctant.
He has a cute sister and two loving parents.
This is a slow read with very little action. The parents are too good to be true.
I don't particularly care for this book, and I am wondering why it received a Newbery award. It is a trip down sugar coated Pleasantville.
I read it a few days ago and waited before writing the review to see if maybe the book would haunt me in some way, or I would find a revelation. Since this hasn't happened, I'm sticking to my initial impression.
One star because Billy and his sister are likable....more