This was a little hard for me to get into at first with the switching perspectives but once I got used to the format the story was engrossing and moviThis was a little hard for me to get into at first with the switching perspectives but once I got used to the format the story was engrossing and moving. Historical Fiction is not always my thing but I enjoyed this very much. Ordering for the library today :)...more
I saw this book on Net Galley and I saw that it was by Elizabeth Wein and I knew I had to have it. I adored Code Name Veri*Copy provided by NetGalley*
I saw this book on Net Galley and I saw that it was by Elizabeth Wein and I knew I had to have it. I adored Code Name Verity so I was very excited to try this one out.
It started a little bit slow for me and I almost put it down but something told me to stick with it. I was very glad I did. It took me several chapters to realize it was a King Arthur story and once I realized that I was hooked. I love King Arthur and anything to do with his legend. I loved the characters and I loved the story.
In the end the book really won me over but I question whether or not it will be popular with students. I had the same problem with Code Name. I’m talking in general of course. I can think of a couple of students that will eat this up and completely love it but in terms of general popularity I don’t see it being a huge hit. I however cannot wait to find the sequel. ...more
I wanted to love this book I really did but I just couldn't. It wasn't awful but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be either. I am always interestedI wanted to love this book I really did but I just couldn't. It wasn't awful but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be either. I am always interested different takes on a story. I must admit my knowledge of Jesse James in limited to movies and Cher songs but I was very interested to hear how someone imagined the lives of those he left behind. The writing was fairly good and the characters were okay but it just didn't all come together like it should have. What seemed to be missing the most was reasons. Why was she so drawn to Jesse? Why was he drawn to her? Why would she wait at home when she was so craving adventure? Would being married to Jesse really give her the excitement she craved if he left her behind all the time? I just didn't understand. I knew that Jesse treated her differently than most people at the time and that made her happy but was that really all she wanted? I feel like it wasn't at least it wouldn't be for me. Overall an okay read nothing exceptional but not bad enough that I had to put it down. ...more
I have to figure out how to review this book without giving to much away. It's like walking through a minefield, while beinCopy provided by Net-Galley
I have to figure out how to review this book without giving to much away. It's like walking through a minefield, while being bombed, and carrying grenades.
Let me start by saying that this book is not a quick read. If you are expecting to sit down and read it in one sitting you will be sorry. It is not not that the story drags but it is so involved it requires you to take your time. I often found myself going back and re-reading sentences and sections because I was sure I missed something. At first I was frustrated because I saw all the great reviews and I couldn't figure out what was taking so long. Then I realized it was taking so long because I was taking my time, making sure I absorbed every detail. It wasn't the book it was me.
I became invested in the characters, even before I fully understood who they were. I'm not sure how you can know so much about a character but not really know anything at all. By the end of the book I felt like I had known them forever. Others I was constantly surprised by, I never saw that one coming. (I can't tell you more than that.)
Historical fiction often has the potential to be dry and sometimes extremely boring. Characters and story can get lost in huge information dumps. It's hard to find that fine balance between telling me what I need to know to understand the story and keeping the story moving. Wein seems to have no trouble walking that line.
The Verdict: I'm still debating about putting this in my library. There isn't anything that makes it inappropriate for 5th and 6th graders. I fear the required attention to detail and the pace might lose them. Places where I went OH WOW* they might not make the connection. I would definitely place in any high school or junior high library.
I tried to imagine myself as a 13 year old boy reading this book. I'm pretty sure if I was it would be a four or five star book. As an adult I had toI tried to imagine myself as a 13 year old boy reading this book. I'm pretty sure if I was it would be a four or five star book. As an adult I had to give it three maybe two and half.
Noah is orphaned (small pox) in 1944 and is sent to live with his only living relative, his uncle. An uncle he didn't even know existed until Noah was on the train to meet him. Turns out Noah's uncle is part of a mostly unknown military outfit called the Phantoms. Phantoms are a skiing military unit in the mountains of Colorado. For Noah, from Texas and raised a pacifist, this a big change. He is forced to decide if he wants to go against everything he has ever known and train with the Phantoms or take his chances with an orphanage.
The Tenth Mountain Division was an actual outfit during World War II that fought in the mountains of Italy and helped turn the tides of the war there. Also interestingly enough from what I can tell (please someone confirm if you know) they are now stationed at Fort Drum. I had no idea and will be doing more research in the near future! This makes for an excellent selling point with boys in this area.
For the most part I enjoyed the book there were a few things that bothered me. First there was the end, I felt like the entire book was building to some great climax and when I got there it was over. Just like that. I had to read the last two or three pages three times before I figured out what happened. It was really disappointing. I wanted so much more from this book. I wanted to see how Noah reconciled his pacifist upbringing with the horrors of war he was now witnessing. I felt the same way about losing people. It's war, people die, but give me a chance to really mourn them.
Like I said it has the potential to be a big hit with young boy readers but for me it fell short emotionally. It was interesting learning about the training and learning to ski with guns and while shooting and being shot at. Noah is a likable character and so are the others in his outfit. They have some pretty crazy adventures which, according to the author, were pulled directly from actual events.
Verdict: My copy is already in the library. I book talked it and three boys fought over it. It hasn't come back yet with an "I don't like this. I can't read it."...more
Choppy dialogue, and a gargantuan cast of characters made this book very confusing. Because of the huge cast of characters the author couldn't go intoChoppy dialogue, and a gargantuan cast of characters made this book very confusing. Because of the huge cast of characters the author couldn't go into detail about anyone's motivation. So we end up with a cast of flat, one sided characters that no one really cares about. At least I don't. ...more
Even though it started out slow with a slightly annoying narrator it grew into something heartwarming and enjoyable. At first Doug was kind of irritatEven though it started out slow with a slightly annoying narrator it grew into something heartwarming and enjoyable. At first Doug was kind of irritating and kept using the same words over and over; "you know how that feels?" and "I'm not lying." But as time went on he grew on me, became the loveable underdog and I couldn't help but cheer whenever he came out on top. ...more
**spoiler alert** A really powerful and moving book about a life with Anne Frank. I wish I remembered more of The Diary of Anne Frank. It's been so lo**spoiler alert** A really powerful and moving book about a life with Anne Frank. I wish I remembered more of The Diary of Anne Frank. It's been so long since I read the book that all I really remember is how it made me feel.
Peter appears to be a very typical 16 year old boy in a very atypical situation. I say appears because I have, of course, never been a 16 year old boy but he seems to be in line with most of what I know about them. He struggles with "doing nothing" as they hide away while the rest of the world is fighting. He struggles with being punished for something that he happens to be.
Probably the hardest part about reading this book is knowing the inevitable ending. They survived for so long only be lost mere days before liberation.
The author states in a notes at the beginning and end of the book that it is unclear how long Peter survives in the final camp. I think she twists the knife just a little imagining Peter living through liberation and dying just as he is finally free. I understand she wanted to show the camps and how awful they were as well as the liberation. Sometimes I wish we could just rewrite history. ...more