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
I have a hard time with Holocaust stories. It's incredibly difficult for me to fathom the inhumane treatment people inflicted on other people though II have a hard time with Holocaust stories. It's incredibly difficult for me to fathom the inhumane treatment people inflicted on other people though I know it did occur. I just ask myself again and again How could someone do this? Even with the lessons provided by the Holocaust people are still being murdered and treated cruelly all over the world. When will it stop? It's all very frustrating, but enough of my soapbox.
This is a great spy story about a man I knew little about and who was a major player in Hitler's service. There are two things that I feel make this book challenging for some readers. 1.) There are many German and Hebrew names and locations mentioned in the book. 2.) There are many players involved with the capture of Adolf Eichmann and I had to look back and search for their pictures to help me keep them straight numerous times. This is a huge time investment for a reader to ensure they comprehend the text. Worth the effort though. ...more
Holy moly this was dark. I'm not sure what to say. If this is intended for young adults I'm thinking it is the 18 to 23 range young adult. There wereHoly moly this was dark. I'm not sure what to say. If this is intended for young adults I'm thinking it is the 18 to 23 range young adult. There were numerous graphic and disturbing scenes (the bed!). In fact, I went to go see Gone Girl and afterwards I told my sister-in-law that Scowler was darker and more horrific. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Two stars only because this was not my cup of tea....more
This is a book that stayed with me long after I read it.
Favorite lines:"Maybe the president was starting to restrict theNational Book Award Finalist
This is a book that stayed with me long after I read it.
Favorite lines:"Maybe the president was starting to restrict the flow of minerals out of Congo, and for the love of all things Nintendo they're hoping the rebels will install someone who will want foreign aid and all the trade concessions that come with it. Congo can become a dependent vessel all over again, and people can get cheap minerals and cheap electronics. But what do I know? I'm a peon on the ground. Like you. Except I've got a gun." (A conversation between a UN guard and Sophie about possible reasons why the revolution broke out.)...more
Favorite line: Jesus nodded. "I know. He was mad when he prayed." "Noah prayed?" "Oh, yeah. One night out on Bethel Road. He was by himself, and he got ouFavorite line: Jesus nodded. "I know. He was mad when he prayed." "Noah prayed?" "Oh, yeah. One night out on Bethel Road. He was by himself, and he got out of the car, looked up at the sky, and said, 'Who am I, anyway? Really, who the hell am I?" "That doesn't sound like a prayer to me." Jesus said, "Sure, it was." He leaned and petted Shadow, who let his tongue loll out in ecstasy. Walker asked, "So what did you do?" "I loved him." "That's all?" Jesus caressed Shadow one more time. He straightened up and looked directly at Walker. "Dude," he said, "that's everything." p. 77...more
How could someone be "normal" when they were left on a doorstep as an infant by a mother who left town on a tractor? Probably not any more normal thanHow could someone be "normal" when they were left on a doorstep as an infant by a mother who left town on a tractor? Probably not any more normal than being a teenager and dumped on the same doorstep by a drunk father. But normal is what two boys, Diggy and Wayne, try to figure out while getting two steers ready for the Minnesota State Fair. It's not an easy task when these boys are confronted with their past and what they're future might be.
This is a great book for boys who love animals and pranks. Rebecca Petruck even gives away the directions to three of the pranks read about in the book. Also a great read for someone who may be feeling alone or let down by a parent. ...more
"It's sort of tragic we can't remember the earliest of the early years. I feel as if these memories could be the key to the whole "Who aFavorite lines:
"It's sort of tragic we can't remember the earliest of the early years. I feel as if these memories could be the key to the whole "Who am I?" question.p.15
A leader gets everyone to shoot in the same direction.p.69
A leader organizes people whether they know it or not.p. 117
I will see only what I want to see. It's possible that's how people get through crisis. The world where we live is so much in our head.p. 237
Sadhu Kumar is sort of an angry guy. I think he might have a lot of disappoinment in his life. It can turn a person bitter. I wonder if that's happening to me. Nothing's worse than a sour kid. You should leave that for later. When you are old, and it hurts just to get up from a chair, you have a reason to have a permanently pinched face. p. 252
Connectedness. One thing leads to another. Often in unexpected ways.p. 307...more
"The oath cannot protect against the error in judgment, the failure of knowledge, or the lack of skill. Avoiding harm is not so simpleFavorite Lines:
"The oath cannot protect against the error in judgment, the failure of knowledge, or the lack of skill. Avoiding harm is not so simple as flipping the switch linked to a human generator, knowing that light will always follow. What the oath demands is that you always choose with care, with the intent of not doing harm - and that when you cause harm in spite of these efforts, you do all you can to mend it." p. 171
"It is no promise of safety, only of mindfulness. Yet mindfulness is a sort of protection, too."...more
Two Alaskan Native American sisters are thrown into the wild after their village is devastated by a plague of (I'm assuming) measles. I felt the storyTwo Alaskan Native American sisters are thrown into the wild after their village is devastated by a plague of (I'm assuming) measles. I felt the story was too short and underdeveloped to warrant any emotional investment. I did like the side story that began each chapter. It is an Alaskan folk tale about Raven and the mischief he causes. This was supposed to correlate to girls' story, but it felt forced. I'm curious if "The Trap", also by John Smelcer, is better since it was best book for young adults. This book may appeal to kids who liked "Hatchet". ...more