Originally read: 1993 Reread: In high school; For Children's Literature class in college; January 24, 2009; December 27, 2012
It is such a little perfe...moreOriginally read: 1993 Reread: In high school; For Children's Literature class in college; January 24, 2009; December 27, 2012
It is such a little perfect book. I love it for how it makes you think about everything you are blessed with and makes you think of the future and if the choices we are making are correct. I love that it makes you think, but doesn't do it in a didactical sort of way. It is also so beautifully written and was such a different piece of YA literature when it came out. Also, I love that it is character driven and it is about his choices and his feelings instead of just being plot driven with action after action, but no depth. Finally, I love it for its end which is one of the most controversial endings in YA literature.(less)
Alex Rider is a 14 year old whose uncle mysteriously dies. As Alex looks into his uncles death, he begins to uncover secrets. His uncle, who had alway...moreAlex Rider is a 14 year old whose uncle mysteriously dies. As Alex looks into his uncles death, he begins to uncover secrets. His uncle, who had always claimed to be a banker, was actually a spy for MI6 (the same organization that James Bond spies for). As Alex continues to investigate his uncles life, he gets pulled into the same mission that got his uncle killed. Soon, Alex Rider is the first 14 year old spy and is surprising everyone.
The Alex Rider series is filled with action and adventure. Horowitz is so clever when it comes to each mission that it is always unpredictable.
Originally read: October, 2006 Reread: October, 2008(less)
Summary: Lupita's family came to Texas to follow the American dream when she was a child. Her father is always working and her mother's only job is to be a mother. Lupita had a life that she adored- She is the oldest of 8 siblings and has always had a set role in her family: a mini-mom helping her mother raise her siblings. She couldn't ask for anything else. But then Lupita notices her mother acting depressed and crying by the mesquite tree in the rose garden. Then Lupita eavesdrops and learns that her mother has cancer. Now, everything that was predictable and normal about her life are no longer her focus. Will her life ever return to normal again?
What I think: This book is a beautiful book in verse that not only has a touching narrative, but has exquisite verse. The narrative deals with a topic that many readers will have some sort of connection with, cancer, as well has coming of age in a household where the disease has struck. But what makes this book different than other stories about the effects of cancer is that it also tells the story of growing up as a Mexican-American here in America.
Snatch of Text: These are just three of almost a hundred amazing snatches of text that would be great mentor texts for different poetic elements.
"and the moon in this place is wearing a pale, thin dress as it seems to jump from behind one cloud to another, hiding its exquisite face from us." (p. 144)
"For my sisters, senorita means having someone to worship: it is the wonder of seeing their oldest sister looking like Cinderella on her way to the ball." (p. 76)
"The other girls follow them, a convoy of high-heeled hyenas in mass migration." (p. 81)
Originally read: October 10, 2011 Reread: July 13, 2012(less)
This book reminds me a bit of Cleopatra's Moon- not because they have anything to do with each other, but because they both are pieces of historical fiction that so easily weave history and fiction making it hard to decipher what is real and what is their story.
The Berlin Boxing Club is about a fictional boy named Karl Stern who is in a very real world of pre-WWII Germany. The book takes place beginning in 1934 and takes us through Karl's experience as a young Jewish boy in Germany all the way until Kristallnacht in November, 1938. Karl's family was not religious and was only Jewish because of his ancestors yet as soon as Nazi power took hold, they were exposed as many families were in Germany. Karl, luckily, did not look Jewish so he evaded much of the harassment, but his father and sister were not as lucky. The story takes the reader through the story of Karl and his family as their world turns against them.
Along side this story of Karl's family's story of their fall from grace is Karl's story of boxing. Karl is lucky enough to be trained by Max Schmeling, the famous "Black Uhlan of the Rhine". Though Max is very much a real historical figure, his story with Karl is not. But it is through this story that we learn about Max Schmeling and his part in Germany history and his conflicted feelings about the Nazi party.
Finally, and what I found to be the most interesting part of the book, The Berlin Boxing Club is about art. Because of my father that I know about how many masterpieces were lost during WWII because of the Nazi regime and about the underground dealers that worked to get the forbidden art out of Germany, but this book puts me in the middle of it. Karl's father is an art dealer and art plays a very important role in the story. Also, because of Karl's love of comics and being an inspiring cartoonist himself, we learn about the history of comics and how they played a part in the propaganda during the war.
Originally read: May 6, 2012 Reread: July 14, 2012(less)
I will say that this book started off a bit slow and confusing for me, but I always find that with a new fantasy book. I just had to get used to the n...moreI will say that this book started off a bit slow and confusing for me, but I always find that with a new fantasy book. I just had to get used to the new world. It did help that it kind of took place in New York City, which I am familiar with, so I think that made it easier to grasp the new world. And once I had a handle, boy was the ride fun! Neef and Changeling are such fun characters and meeting all the fairy tale folk throughout the book was fabulous!
Mostly I am excited about this book as a teacher and I really think that students will enjoy and learn from this book.
Changeling gives us a world called The New York In-Between which is a magical world that is parallel to NYC. I love this book specifically as a teacher, though, because of a couple reasons:
1)Delia Sherman uses magical folk from folklore from all over the world in the novel. We meet Boggarts from England, Dryads from Greece, Chin Chia from China, etc. (And it has a glossary of all the fairy tale folk.) How much fun would this be to use with a folk lore lesson?!?!?
2) She also has some literary folk that live in the NY In-between such as The Water Rat from The Wind in the Willows("A writer made him up, but he was so real that he took on a life of his own").
3) Lastly, Astris, the fairy godmother, tells fairy tales to Neef, the main character, but they are all New York-ified. For example, "Little Red Riding Hood" becomes "Little Red Baseball Cap"- How much fun would it be to have students write their own version of the stories using Astris's titles?!?!?! (less)