The genre of this book is magical realism and I'd even go as far as calling it a magically realistic ghost story. However, it just wasn't for me. Over...moreThe genre of this book is magical realism and I'd even go as far as calling it a magically realistic ghost story. However, it just wasn't for me. Overall, it was a fascinating story with strong characters, deep issues and suspense; but, I only truly enjoyed the realistic aspects of the story. The theme of the power behind stories (mostly oral tradition) was so very powerful! However, the magical/paranormal aspects confused me and didn't keep my attention. This may be one that I'll need to reread at some point. I'll most definitely be going to read some reviews and other's insight to see if I can understand the deeper nuances.
**After reading some reviews, I'm beginning to think that the confusion of what was fantasy and what was reality was intentional, which makes Mr. Almond a superb writer. Still don't really know what to think of it....(less)
When I took adolescent literature during my master's degree, my professor assigned this book and I read it and I didn't like it. When I think back, I can't really tell you why- I think I just didn't connect with the format then. I read Archie comic books when I was younger, but that was the closest to graphic novels I got. So, when I picked up Maus, I think it was too much for me at the time with the symbolism, history and time change. Also, it was black and white. Now, though, graphic novels have become a big part of my reading life, so when I saw the two Maus books sitting on my sister's shelf in Syracuse, I asked if I could borrow them for the bus ride.
I am glad I did. Maus is brilliant. Art Spiegelman knows what he is doing. The symbolism doesn't outweigh the story, the present & past story are perfectly balanced and the history is terrifying & informative. (less)
Koly is thirteen. And like most girls her age in India, she is going to get married. When she arrives at her grooms home she learns that much of what...moreKoly is thirteen. And like most girls her age in India, she is going to get married. When she arrives at her grooms home she learns that much of what they said in their proposal letter was a lie. This begins a downward spiral fueled by tradition for Koly.
This book is a coming of age story set in a different culture which gives the reader a different view of the world. I, personally, knew very little about the Hindu culture and loved that I could learn about it while traveling with Koly in this story. (less)
The Taliban has been in full control of Kabul, Afghanistan for years now. Because of this take-over, girls are no longer allowed to go to school, wome...moreThe Taliban has been in full control of Kabul, Afghanistan for years now. Because of this take-over, girls are no longer allowed to go to school, women must wear burqas when they leave the house only accompanied by men, and all females in general are pretty much stuck in their homes. The heroine of this novel, Parvana, wants more than anything to be a normal girl again, but for now she much be happy with going to the marketplace daily with her father. Even this small amount of happiness is taken from her, though, when her father is arrested for attending a university in Britain. With him gone, how are Parvana and her family going to survive without a male?
This book taught me about Afghan history and culture. I did not know the extent of the war and terror. I am grateful for Parvana and her family for showing me their life. (less)
Can a person really change? What would make one child hurt another?
This book answers these questions while following Alice Tully. Alice lives in a fo...moreCan a person really change? What would make one child hurt another?
This book answers these questions while following Alice Tully. Alice lives in a foster home with Rosie and has a normal life- but Alice's life has not always been so normal.
Looking for JJ is one of those books that you connect so quickly with the protagonist, but are not sure if you really know her; however, she begins to unfold as you read and your connection with her gets deeper.
Matt was not born- he was harvested, but as far as he knows, he is a normal little boy. He lives with Celia in a small house in the poppy fields. He c...moreMatt was not born- he was harvested, but as far as he knows, he is a normal little boy. He lives with Celia in a small house in the poppy fields. He can't leave ever, because Celia says it is too dangerous, but Matt is quite content in his little world. That is until some children show up at his window and Matt decides not to hide. The children get Matt to leave his safe haven, and they take him up to "the big house." This is where Matt learns that he is not a normal child. Mr. Alarcon sees his children with Matt and banishes Matt from the house calling him a dirty animal and livestock. After Matt is sent away to a small room to be taken care of by an evil housekeeper, he begins to learn the truth- he is a clone. In Matt's world, a futuristic North America in a country called Opium nestled between Mexico and the United States, clones are considered under the law the same way as livestock and animals. Most clones have their intelligence taken away at "birth", but Matt is different... Where will he fit in? Will he always be locked away? Where will he find an ally to help him?
This is a dark, dystopian novel that deals with our view of people different than us. The clones in this world could easily represent any race that is discriminated against. The House of the Scorpion is truly a book that will make you think. (less)
I just wish that Paul's town was real... I want to live in Paul's town...
Paul, the protagonist of Boy Meets Boy, lives in a town where equality is th...moreI just wish that Paul's town was real... I want to live in Paul's town...
Paul, the protagonist of Boy Meets Boy, lives in a town where equality is the norm and prejudice is nonexistent. Paul was the first openly gay class president of his third grade class, the homecoming queen and school quarterback are the same person, straights and gays mingle without any conflict and everyone loves everyone for who they are. Now there is prejudice outside of Paul's town and high school, but not within. Tony, one of Paul's best friends, has strict religious parents who do not except him for being gay and Noah, a new boy in town, tells Paul how hard it was for him in other places. But in Paul's town, everyone blends together and just are people. Wonderful, fun, fantastic, regular people.
I wish this place existed. And that is what I felt as I was reading David Levithan's book. It almost felt like a dream, because I don't know if this place could ever exist; although, I know many of us would support it if it did. I wish that every gay teenager felt how Paul did. He is popular and sure of himself and does not endure a lot of what gay youth in our world have to face.
It is because a lot of the obstacles are taken away, though, that I think this novel would be a great way to have youth read about homosexuality. It doesn't have any prejudice along with it and shows how normal Paul is- except that he likes boys instead of girls.
And on top of all of this, the book was so much fun to read! The characters are so multi-faceted, the problems and dialogue seem realistic, and the story is ever gripping. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in about 90 minutes. Fantastic. (less)
A beautifully written book about a truly heinous situation.
When I began this book, I really didn't know what it was about since I hadn't read anything about it except that it was loved. Starting out, I thought it was a historical fiction novel about the past where families had to sell their daughters to help pay debts; however, as I read more and things such as TV, cars and Coke were introduced, I began to realize that this wasn't historical fiction at all- it was contemporary. This was something that is happening on our planet right now. I am not ignorant and know that human trafficking exists, but I just had never realized to the extent. Maybe it is that we don't want to think about it, because we feel helpless. That is how I feel now. Helpless. And thankful. (less)
Elsewhere is a charming, wonderful, weird, intriguing book. It is a beautifully written and quickly encompasses the reader in following Liz's journey....moreElsewhere is a charming, wonderful, weird, intriguing book. It is a beautifully written and quickly encompasses the reader in following Liz's journey.
Liz wakes up and believes it is all a dream, but soon learns it isn't- she is dead. She'll never return to Earth, get her driver's license, go to prom or college, or any of the other things one does after age 15. And she is going to life her afterlife in a place called Elsewhere. Elsewhere is not the afterlife anyone imagines- it is a lot like Earth; although you do age backwards... When Liz arrives she is obsessed with returning to her family and best friend, Zooey, but contact with the living is against the law. Will Liz be able to deal with her own death? (less)
Neil Gaiman brilliantly intertwines a new mythology of The Endless with mythologies from all over the world.
This volume is the climax of the series....moreNeil Gaiman brilliantly intertwines a new mythology of The Endless with mythologies from all over the world.
This volume is the climax of the series. Very exciting! I didn't like the change in illustrators, because it was so different from the original; however, this section of the story is so thrilling that the change in illustrator is not too much of a distraction. (less)
This book was fabulous- well written, touching, funny, disturbing, informative, sad... so many adjectives fit how this book makes you feel.
When I sta...moreThis book was fabulous- well written, touching, funny, disturbing, informative, sad... so many adjectives fit how this book makes you feel.
When I started it I didn't know much about the Vietnam War, but reading about Richie Perry, a 17 year old boy from Harlen, in the boonies of 'Nam taught me more than I ever thought I would and not just facts, but the down and dirty of a soldier in the middle of it all. (less)
This is not a retelling of the Cinderella story we know, this is a retelling of the traditional Chinese Cinderella story. Although it has similarities...moreThis is not a retelling of the Cinderella story we know, this is a retelling of the traditional Chinese Cinderella story. Although it has similarities to Grimm's version of the story, the difference of culture clearly changed aspects of the story. I loved how Donna Jo Napoli, as she explained in her afterwords, set Bound in a specific time in history so she could also include the conflict of bound feet in the story. The binding of feet is symbolic of the permanent servitude that women in China have subjected to. By adding the bound feet to the story, it was just one more thing that Xing Xing, our Cinderella, had to overcome. (less)