*Death narrates this beautiful tale of Liesel, a young girl, who has lost everything, but finds a home in a small community on Himmel Street with her*Death narrates this beautiful tale of Liesel, a young girl, who has lost everything, but finds a home in a small community on Himmel Street with her foster parents outside of Munich, Germany during WWII. Death is fascinated with Leisel because she brushes Death three times in her life and he is interested in her life. The Book Thief is the story of Leisel's three brushes with death.
Liesel begins her "career" after her brother dies and she steals The Gravedigger's Handbook from by his grave. His death, on the way to being taken to live with foster parents because her parents are in trouble with the Nazi party because they are communists, is something that haunts Leisel forever. Soon after, Leisel gets dropped off at Hans and Rosa Hubermann's home and never sees her mother again. However, the Humbermanns are the beginning of a large number of people that make a huge, loving difference in Leisel's life; as well as a number of books that make an impact in her life.
Just a warning: This book made me sob. It did make me smile, laugh, and think as well, but there was definitely sobbing as well.
Book of a Thousand Days is another beautifully written novel by Shannon Hale. This story is based off of long forgotten fairy tale by the Brothers GriBook of a Thousand Days is another beautifully written novel by Shannon Hale. This story is based off of long forgotten fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
Dashti is a lady's maid for Lady Saren. Lady Saren has upset her evil father by not marrying the man he chose for her. To punish her, Lady Saren's father locked her, and her maid Dashti, in a tower and told them they had to remain there for 7 years. Dashti does her best to stay positive, but Lady Saren is anything but. Soon, though, supplies run low and Lady Saren's unwanted suitor comes to threaten the girls.
Will Lady Saren and Dashti going to be able to survive 7 years in tthe dark, cold, lonely tower?
This is a coming of age novel about a loveable 15 year old entering his first year of H.S. He has had a rough life and he slowly shares it throughoutThis is a coming of age novel about a loveable 15 year old entering his first year of H.S. He has had a rough life and he slowly shares it throughout the novel, even realizing some of it for the first time himself. He is a wallflower that slowly blooms and starts to find out who he really is and how he fits in the world.
This book is very controversial and rightly so. Although I will never believe in banning books, this book is very much more appropriate for teenagers in high school, not students I teach. Although not appropriate for my classroom, it is a book that quickly became an instant classic for me.
It is so interesting reading all the different reviews for this book. I can see why some would not like it, but the hatred of such an epic book is discouraging. Although the subject matter may be controversial and not liked by all, that does not restitute putting the book down. Give it low stars, but do you really have to attack the book? ...more
Alcatraz breaks everything. Some say he destroys, but he swears he only breaks and doesn't do it on purpose. Because of this, he is sent from foster hAlcatraz breaks everything. Some say he destroys, but he swears he only breaks and doesn't do it on purpose. Because of this, he is sent from foster home to foster home, being given up on whenever he breaks something that his foster family loves. The lastest is the kitchen. By breaking the gas stove and pot, Alcatraz sets fire to his foster family's kitchen. As he is about to be moved again, an odd, old, spry many shows up at Alacatraz's door swearing he is Alcatraz's grandfather. At first Alcatraz would not go with him, but when he is face to face with the chance of death, a crazy, old man seemed like his best choice.
After going with Grandpa Smedry, Alcatraz soon begins to learn things that turns his world upside down. The world is really run by evil librarians, hiding important information from us "Hushlanders." Alcatraz soon begins to learn that what he has always known is not the truth. ...more
Beautifully written and fully worthy of the Newbery Medal!
This book follows Miranda. Miranda and her friend Sal have a perfect routine- they know howBeautifully written and fully worthy of the Newbery Medal!
This book follows Miranda. Miranda and her friend Sal have a perfect routine- they know how to navigate the NYC streets safely, walk to and from work together, and are best friends! Everything is perfect, until a random boy punches Sal in the stomach and Sal suddenly doesn't want to be friends any more. This is the beginning of a weird journey for Miranda. Losing her best friend is followed by her apartment spare key being stolen and random notes begin to show up. These notes are cryptic and Miranda cannot figure out what they mean. Only through her every day life did she start to put all the clues together. ...more
This picture book made me laugh out loud. I have been hearing about it for a while and am glad that I finally read it.
However, just like many of my fThis picture book made me laugh out loud. I have been hearing about it for a while and am glad that I finally read it.
However, just like many of my friends here on Goodreads, I am not sure the audience and I actually chose to put it as teens. And it isn't because the donkey is called a jackass, it is because the humor might go over the head of a younger child and explaining the humor would just take away from it. ...more
Whenever you hear great things about a book and you go to pick it up, your first thoughts are, "I hope it doesn't disappoint." Well, Okay for Now is oWhenever you hear great things about a book and you go to pick it up, your first thoughts are, "I hope it doesn't disappoint." Well, Okay for Now is one of the books that I've been hearing about for months now. It is on most people's mock Newbery and Printz lists. Everyone told me I should read it. Boy, am I glad that I listened to them. I read it in one day because I couldn't put it down and I know that it'll be a book I'll be thinking about for a while.
Doug. He is such a phenomenal character. He is probably at the lowest of lows when you start the book: alcoholic father, abusive brother, depressed mother, picked on at school, poor... But he quickly sees that the only way to go is up. After moving to Maryville, Doug meets Lil, a sassy young lady, who gets him a job as a delivery boy and introduces him to the library. I don't think the reader, or Doug for that matter, could foresee how much these two things would change his life. And for that matter, I think Doug ends up truly changing the lives of many in Maryville as well, showing them that they shouldn't judge people based on first impressions.
There are some things that Gary Schmidt does in this book that truly makes it superior. First, I love how starting from the beginning of Doug's journey in Junior High, he intertwines the NASA Apollo mission and has it parallel Doug's journeys. Throughout the book, we meet different Audubon birds and Doug uses the birds as analogies for situations in his life. Also, the way that Mr. Schmidt talks about art and drawing is captivating. Lastly, Okay for Now shows how important good teachers (inside and out of school) can be for that one student who has never had anyone to care before. This is a book that shows how art, reading and teachers (as well as other unexpected things) can really change a person's life.
I don't normally mark a book that I am just reading for fun, but throughout Okay for Now there were times where I had to mark a quote. Some may not seem important, but they really meant something to me. I want to share them with you (also to document them since the book I read was from the library, so I won't have the marks when I get my own :D). I am going to mark with spoilers, because some come from later in the book. (view spoiler)[ *Skinny Delivery Boy, you have it all wrong. Look how she's standing close to her little one. She's looking around to watch for the next spectacular thing that going to come into his life. (page 68) *It looks more like I'm showing what isn't the bird. (page 72) *That is why you are sitting here tonight, and why you will be coming here in the months ahead. You come to dream dreams. You come to build fantastic castles up in the air. And you come to learn how to build the foundations that make those castles real. When the men who will command that mission were boys your age, no one knew that they would walk on another world someday. No one knew. But in a few months, that's what will happen. So, twenty years form now, what will people say of you? 'No one knew that this kid from Washington Irving Junior High School would grow up to do'... what? What castle will you build? (page 83) *And then we opened up Jane Eyre and picked out words that pretty much looked impossible but we figured them out because of what we were learning about letters and their sounds working together. No one ever told me this stuff! How come no one ever told me this stuff? How come? (page 129) *I should tell you that I was revealing this terrible secret to Lil while Miss Cowper was trying to teach us the Wonders of the Adverb and that when she asked if Lil and I had anything we'd like to share with the whole class, we stopped, quickly understanding that Miss Cowper was watching us angrily and would beat us mercilessly if we did not cease immediately. And I'm giving you that last sentence to show that you can too talk and learn at the same time. (page 190) *Maybe the Snowy Heron is going to come off pretty badly when the planes come together. Maybe. But he's still proud and beautiful. His head is high, and he's got this sharp beak that's facing out to the world. He's okay for now. (page 202) *I knew that Lucas was awake in the dark that he carried around with him all the time. (page 222) *You know, there are good reasons to learn to read. Poetry isn't one of them. I mean, so what if two roads go two ways in a wood? So what? Who cares if it made all that big a difference? What difference? And why should I have to guess what the difference is? Isn't that what he's supposed to say? Why can't poets just say what they want to say then shut up? (page 235) *In the whole story of the world, bananas have never once been a special treat. (page 249) *Polly had this book about a house in a forest where Laura lives with Pa and Ma and her sisters. You'd be surprised how good this was, especially considering that nothing happens. (page 284) *You can't imagine an actor ever becoming the president of the United States, for example. (page 300) LOL (hide spoiler)]
Originally read: July 6, 2011 Reread: June, 2012["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ambrose, Ambrose, Ambrose. Poor poor Ambrose. His overprotective mother moves him from place to place every couple of years and he is a self proclaimeAmbrose, Ambrose, Ambrose. Poor poor Ambrose. His overprotective mother moves him from place to place every couple of years and he is a self proclaimed "friendless nerd." The day he almost died pretty much describes his life: a trio of bullies, the three stooges, put a peanut in his sandwich and he is deathly allergic. This starts a huge change to Ambrose's life. He starts being homeschooled, meets his landlord's ex-con of a son, and find others who like Scrabble as much as he does. ...more
Jack Gantos knows how to weave humor into a great story, even the weirdest situations, and Dead End is no exception. Meet Jack. He is 11 years old, has chronic nose bleeds and just got grounded for the summer. Thank goodness Miss Volker, his neighbor and native Norveltener, needs his help writing obituaries for the newspaper since her hands are too arthritic to write. This new pairing of odd friends causes for Jack to have a very unpredictable summer indeed!
One of the things I loved the most about this book were the characters. I don't know how based in fact they were, but they were what made this book great. Jack is a unique boy (though to me, he seems like a pretty typical gifted boy) who is aiming to please and is curious about everything. Mr. Spizz is a crazy old man who is the town gossip. Miss Volker is a feisty lady who just calls it like she sees it. And his parents are always feuding and putting Jack in the middle (causing many of the conflicts of the story). They were what moved the story along- you had to know how the lives of these characters would resolve.
I also love how the book is a mixture of humor, history and obituaries. It takes place in the 60s and the feel of the book brings you to this era. Also through Jack's constant reading of history, Gantos gives "mini-lessons" in Cleopatra & Antony, the Incas, the Aztecs, the atomic bomb and many other times in history. Lastly, I loved the obituaries that were included. They were written so well and would be a great activity to do in class.
Overall, this book was well-written, funny and had great characterization. A great read. ...more
I can't decide about this one. While reading I really liked it. It was funny. I liked Charlie's tips. I knew that my kids would connect with Charlie bI can't decide about this one. While reading I really liked it. It was funny. I liked Charlie's tips. I knew that my kids would connect with Charlie because they are all either reluctant or struggling. I also liked that Charlie was surrounded by readers including a really amazing teacher. Throughout, I felt that the book was almost using reverse psychology to actually show why reading was so important including having Charlie's book completely contradict all of Charlie Joe's tips for not reading and based on Charlie's "moral" the book did; however, Charlie himself doesn't change! I think the book teaches the importance of reading, but I wish it had done it by having the protagonist as an example. ...more
Historical fiction fascinates me. I specifically love how you can be dropped in a place and time during history and you can learn about it through a character's story. Often times it is a time and a place that is not often talked about and My Brother's Shadow is no exception. In this story, we get to see WWI from the point of view of the "enemy". It shows that you cannot generalize an entire nation of people no matter how horrible the decisions of the government.
I also learned so much about the socialism movement in Germany at the end of WWI that I did not know about. The risks that Moritz's mother takes to stand up for her beliefs is something that is almost so hard to grasp- reminds me of the civil rights movement here in America. I also didn't know that it was partially because of this movement that the hatred for Jews spread throughout Germany.
And then behind all of this history, there was a wonderful story of Moritz and his journey. His journey to support his family. His journey to find love. His journey to find a career. His journey to find himself. Through these journeys, some tough questions were asked- What will you do to survive? Where does your loyalties lie? ...more