First line If I'm still in this forest by nightfall, I'll never leave it again. p. 1
Anytime there is an academy where students must go and receive traFirst line If I'm still in this forest by nightfall, I'll never leave it again. p. 1
Anytime there is an academy where students must go and receive training I think of Harry Potter. In Pennyroyal Academy there are too many parallels to Harry Potter that I was often thinking more about Harry and his friends than Evie and her's. I did not enjoy the many references to princesses that I grew up with such as Snow White, Cinderella, Rose Red, etc. I had a difficult time imagaine how Evie and the girls at Pennyroyal Academy battle witches without magic. The princesses use only compassion, kindness, and courage (which somehow act as a shield) and their knight counter parts use steel. There were too many references, backstories, and lack of solid visual descriptions for myself to become apart of the story and really care about the characters. My favorite part was finding out about Evie's more unusual family. Perhaps more will become clear in the sequel. Harry Potter fans and readers of fantasy may enjoy this book. ...more
First line When I was sixteen years old I came home from school one day and found my dad crawling around on the kitchen floor in a big pool of blood.pFirst line When I was sixteen years old I came home from school one day and found my dad crawling around on the kitchen floor in a big pool of blood.p.3
Wow! What a beginning! I love that this memoir begins with such an incisive moment. Often, I had to stop and remind myself that this is a true story, or as Jason Schmidt says "...accurate to the best of my recollection.p. viii
Schmidt shares with us a perspective that is usually dismissed or one that 'straights' (people who work typical jobs and do not break the law) will quickly look away from and pretend doesn't exist. Growing up in poverty and raised by a single parent who has a drug addiction and struggles to hold down a job is a story that is more common than people want to admit. We can't sit back and pretend poverty, homelessness, addiction, and abuse away. Instead we need to begin to understand and realize there is a lot more to a person than their current state. This is a story that needs to be read. Pick up a copy. Then, tell all your friends to read it too. I promise you'll have lots to discuss! ...more
What's so intriguing about this book is that it's fiction but reads as non-fictFirst line: I met Addison Stone only once.p. 2
Book club group - January
What's so intriguing about this book is that it's fiction but reads as non-fiction. Addison Stone is a young, turbulent artist who is dead before we even meet her. The book begins with a fictitious newspaper clipping announcing her mysterious death surrounding an incident involving a billboard over a suspension bridge. The rest of the book tells her story through interviews obtained by the author Adele Griffin as well as from some of Addison's own words.
The overall mood of the book is dark and therefore it was difficult to stay with it at times. But, I feel Griffin did an incredible job portraying an adolescent teen who struggles with depression and manic episodes and at times "hallucinatory incidents".
It was fun to get wrapped up in the tale and then begin to question if Addison Stone really exists (she doesn't) or not. I think I would have liked the book more as a teen, because as an adult I wanted her to stop feeling sorry for herself and realize that she has an incredible gift and life ahead of her (which is what other adults in the story were thinking as well.) Addison's disability made it in credibly difficult for her to ever envision a future life or work through her manic thoughts. My last question is this: did Addison really have a mental disability or not? Idan't know.
Graphic Language, underage drinking, and mild sex scene...more
A great book full of action and adventure and brownies, but not the kind you can eat. If you really like Harry Potter try this series on for size. I lA great book full of action and adventure and brownies, but not the kind you can eat. If you really like Harry Potter try this series on for size. I listened to the audio book and really enjoy the experience. ...more
I think I would have enjoyed history more in school if my textbooks were written like Lincoln's Grave Robbers. Or heck, why have the textbook? Let's jI think I would have enjoyed history more in school if my textbooks were written like Lincoln's Grave Robbers. Or heck, why have the textbook? Let's just use this. The pages weren't bogged down with words to know or vocabulary (even though there are some excellent slang words from the time used coney, bone orchard, roper, toes up and included in a glossary) or comprehension questions at the end. Instead Sheinkin focuses on the amazing story of a group of con-men trying to steal Abraham Lincoln's body for ransom. Through the story you also hear about the civil war, politics, economics, and issues of the time period. Fabulous! Circumvent learning! I've read Bomb and The Notorious Benedict Arnold, and I have to say that Lincoln's Grave Robbers is more middle school friendly for independent reading. ...more