No destination is too large or too dangerous for Gannon and Wyatt—the two youngest, bravest, and adventurous explorers in children’s fiction. In TraveNo destination is too large or too dangerous for Gannon and Wyatt—the two youngest, bravest, and adventurous explorers in children’s fiction. In Travels with Gannon and Wyatt Egypt, these two daring, charismatic, and humorous boys return to conquer another continent. They wind up facing some of their toughest obstacles, yet, but as usual they are up for the challenge. This installment reads like an Indiana Jones adventure for kids, full of action and mystery, as well as interesting facts about another piece of the world young readers can enjoy vicariously through the pages of a book. Like the growing collection of the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt series, this story offers an appealing reading experience geared toward young readers that cannot be found anywhere else. TWGW Egypt shines with fun, funny, and purposeful writing that will especially hook and hold the attention of kids in the 9-12 year-old range. ...more
Welcome back, young explorers! Hopefully you are rested up and prepared for your next thrilling adventure with two of the boldest, bravest, funniest,Welcome back, young explorers! Hopefully you are rested up and prepared for your next thrilling adventure with two of the boldest, bravest, funniest, and, let’s face it, CRAZIEST trailblazers around: teenage brothers Gannon and Wyatt.
Following their first book that took readers like you through an unforgettable journey in Botswana, Gannon and Wyatt now travel to another continent and put their lives on the line to explore the Great Bear Rainforest. Most people in their right mind run away from life-threatening situations, but Gannon and Wyatt don’t back down from any challenge, regardless of the stakes. This time around they are more fearless than ever as they tackle increasingly dangerous conditions and obstacles, including a terrorizing encounter with a fierce packs of wolves and a harrowing experience of dodging bullets from gunmen who are determined to put an end to their investigative travels. Through it all, reading the boys’ journals make you feel like you are right there in the thick of the action!
Travels with Gannon and Wyatt is a groundbreaking series of adventurous stories like nothing else ever seen in children’s literature. Kids of all ages and from all backgrounds love these stories because they are packed with action, humor, mystery, and fun adventures. Parents love these stories because they know when their children find books like this to read, ultimately they will become more enthusiastic readers who thirst for more knowledge. Teachers love these stories because they offer a forum upon which to teach about human character, geography, wildlife, environmental conservation, a variety of critical global issues, and other significant topics that will help broaden a child’s education and enrich the lives of youth all over the world. ...more
How the average rating for this book isn't 5 stars is beyond me. This was absolutely one of the most exhilarating books I've ever read. I savored pracHow the average rating for this book isn't 5 stars is beyond me. This was absolutely one of the most exhilarating books I've ever read. I savored practically every page. From a plotting standpoint, it has to rank as one of the most ingenious novels of all-time.
Being that I read so many children's and young adult novels in search for good books for my students to read, I enjoy mixing in adult novels, especially a masterpiece like this one. I only wish that Larsson had lived long enough to see what's become an international sensation published, and to write a hundred more books like it. ...more
"It can be coins or sports or politics or horses or music or faith...the saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who didn't care deeply abou"It can be coins or sports or politics or horses or music or faith...the saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who didn't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last."
This is the first Nicholas Sparks book that I've read. Over the last couple of years I have noticed that a lot of teenage girls in my school are reading his books (no doubt, for the romance, which the author actually presents in a wholesome, heartfelt fashion that is at least 1000 times more appropriate than one hour of MTV's "The Real World") but it was actually my younger brother, an Army soldier currently stationed in Baghdad, who told me that something about this book rang a chord in him, as he could relate to the main character's plight of trying to find the stability of love as he balanced fulfilling his duty to serve his country, and I realized this book has a much wider appeal than for simple romance enthusiasts. It's no mystery why Sparks' books have sold over 50 million copies, and will probably sell another 100 million before he reaches retirement age. His storytelling skills are so polished that it doesn't take long to forget you're reading a book and suddenly you're in the story, feeling it, absorbing it, living it.
John, a hardened, tattooed Army "grunt" with no real grip on what he wants out of life, falls for his polar opposite, the free-spirited, faith-filled and beautiful Savannah Lynn Curtis while on leave. As all romances seem to be, their love is at first invincible and all-encompassing, but as John's leaves from Germany and Kosovo and Iraq are mere weeks home compared to years away, it doesn't take long for the distance and strain to change the nature and course of their relationship forever. But this story has more to do with life than love. There's the complexity of John's empty relationship with his anti-social father, the void of having never met his mother, and the trials of juggling heartbreak, disease and facing the ultimate loss, all the while fighting himself to do the right thing for the long-term in spite of how good doing the wrong thing would make him feel in the short-term.
"Though I knew she loved and cared for me, I suddenly understood that even love and caring weren't always enough. They were the concrete bricks of our relationship, but unstable without the mortar of time spent together, time without the threat of imminent separation hanging over us." Soldiers sacrifice infinitely more than their own physical well-being to provide our country the protections only the brave and selfless can secure, as they put their love lives to the grueling test of distance, extended absences from home and brutal uncertainty of what each day may bring. ...more
Saving Home brought to life the 1702 English attack of St. Augustine and provided some gripping, family-oriented moments behind the incrementally tougSaving Home brought to life the 1702 English attack of St. Augustine and provided some gripping, family-oriented moments behind the incrementally tougher challenges endured by the Spanish resistance efforts. A story like this can help make learning about history easier and more enjoyable for younger students, probably most appropriate for the 4th-6th grade range....more
While I was expecting there to be a lot more action, I really got into the story and came to appreciate the characters and the message behind the bookWhile I was expecting there to be a lot more action, I really got into the story and came to appreciate the characters and the message behind the book. Chance is a teenage boy living on a docked boat with his down-and-out father. He takes it upon himself to work and pay the bills and put food on the table. When an opportunity at "easy money" comes his way, Chance finds out there there is no such thing and suddenly he's knee-deep in a dangerous situation. ...more
"By the transport of books, that which is most foreign becomes one's familiar walks and avenues, while that which is most familiar is removed to delig"By the transport of books, that which is most foreign becomes one's familiar walks and avenues, while that which is most familiar is removed to delightful strangeness; and unmoving, one travels infinite causeways; immobile and thus unfettered."
This is a very different kind of story, especially as it is marketed to young adults. It is probably one of the most unusual reads I've come across and I see it is an unfamiliar achievement in reader satisfaction. Certainly a deeper and more peculiar angle on the times of the revolutionary war, M.T. Anderson's definitely got literary game. That said, maybe too much so. The problem is, as good as the story is, I just don't think many (if any) of my 8th grade students would understand the story. I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but regardless this story will be a hard sell. Still, I will try, especially with some of my more avid, patient readers....more
"Imagine finding the love of your life, then losing him. Yes, people lose their loved ones all the time to war and disease, accidents and murder. But"Imagine finding the love of your life, then losing him. Yes, people lose their loved ones all the time to war and disease, accidents and murder. But imagine watching your lover change before your eyes, devolve into some other being, and you're powerless to bring him back."
As an 8th grade language arts teacher, I can think of a number of reasons why this vampire series may resonate with readers, especially at the teenage level. "The Society of S" is a story about a teenaged girl, Ari, who is trying to find herself, trying to track down the mother she never met, trying to solve murders and mysteries, trying to apply a classical home-schooled education to the unpleasantness of public realities, trying to come to terms with the truths behind the lies she's been told throughout her life by the people closest to her, and all the while trying to learn how to deal with an "affliction" that runs in the family.
Susan Hubbard has created a fantasy world that many teenage and adult readers will not only enjoy as entertainment but also as a portal to understanding some of the more challenging facets of life that may feel all too familiar as the pages turn.
I appreciate this book because I like when authors write stories that are grounded in a higher purpose and with "Diamonds in the Shadow" Caroline CoonI appreciate this book because I like when authors write stories that are grounded in a higher purpose and with "Diamonds in the Shadow" Caroline Cooney does help to bring attention to incredible hardships refugees face in third-world regions and countries such as Darfur and Chad in Africa. I also think that, since this book is geared toward younger readers, it might help them gain a deeper appreciation for the abundance of freedoms so many American citizens carelessly take for granted. ...more
If there was some kind of standardized test that measured imagination IQ, I dare say that Brandon Mull might just edge J.K. Rowling - although it mighIf there was some kind of standardized test that measured imagination IQ, I dare say that Brandon Mull might just edge J.K. Rowling - although it might take a few thousand years before his bank account is as bustling as hers. I can't even comprehend how anyone can come up with such a wildly entertaining and endlessly fascinating fantasy world, but I certainly appreciated the ride! Mull's writing is crisp, his characters are original, and his stories are satiating....more
"Our culture needs to see examples. You can hear about how somebody played, or read about the best way to achieve success, but people need to see exam"Our culture needs to see examples. You can hear about how somebody played, or read about the best way to achieve success, but people need to see examples. Until they see, they won't do."
MJ was one of the greatest basketball players to play the game, and his trademark Air Jordans have made him one of the richest athletes to play any sport. From reading this book, you get the impression that none of his success has to do with lucky breaks. He sets goals that get bigger and bigger with each success. His dress and the way he carries himself is always impeccable. His confidence is unbreakable. His work ethic is unparalleled. His ability to overcome obstacles is uncanny. He leads by example. He competes at a high level at all times, believing that his successes can be attributed more to what he does when no one's watching him versus what he does in front of a national television audience. "Driven from Within" is more than a book about a famous basketball player; it encourages readers to apply Jordan's level of drive to their approach to daily life and to whatever pursuits they feel passionate about. ...more
This book surprised me. I'd heard about the story because the movie was recently out. When I saw the premise for the movie, I was thinking to myself,This book surprised me. I'd heard about the story because the movie was recently out. When I saw the premise for the movie, I was thinking to myself, "Come on! A German boy making friends with a Jewish kid while the two of them sit Indian-style on opposite sides of an unsupervised concentration camp's barbed wire fence? Really?" Boy, was I wrong! The story actually worked brilliantly. The end left me breathless. That was as unexpected of an ending as I've read in any story.
Here is a case of "more is less." This was a quick read with a lasting impression. Jordan takes the pursuit of excellence to an advanced level. It isHere is a case of "more is less." This was a quick read with a lasting impression. Jordan takes the pursuit of excellence to an advanced level. It is not surprising he was such a successful athlete and continues to be such an enterprising businessman. I enjoyed the general theme of how he considers failure to be okay but not trying to be unacceptable....more
"Creedless shells of men tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland. The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issu"Creedless shells of men tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland. The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night."
Either McCarthy is very, very depressed, or he has been paying attention to the daily news, or both! As dark as this story was, what's even more dispiriting is the fact that life as we know it may just be one red-button pushing away from McCarthy's version of a postapocalyptic world. Beautiful writing makes this ugly tale come to life; so much so that my whole body tingled as I read the final ash-covered pages....more
“A boy of about ten came running along the pavement. He was very pale, and so scared that he forgot to take his cap off to a German policeman coming t“A boy of about ten came running along the pavement. He was very pale, and so scared that he forgot to take his cap off to a German policeman coming towards him. The German stopped, drew his revolver without a word, put it to the boy’s temple and shot. The child fell to the ground, his arms flailing, went rigid and died. The policeman calmly put the revolver back in its holster and went on his way.”
As sickening and infuriating as it is to read about horrific and cowardly acts like the one above, the reality is that the tragic end of this boy’s life is only one in a disheartening spectrum of millions that occurred during the Holocaust. Not just innocence lost, but innocence taken. In “The Pianist,” Wladyslaw Szpilman describes in detail the growing grim of unfolding events that robbed countless Jewish and “non-Aryan” families of dignity, love, and life that those living in freedom take for granted daily.
On the loss of freedom: “I was aware of being torn irrevocably from everything that had made up my life up until now. I did not know what awaited me, only that it was sure to be as bad as I imagined.”
On the loss of material possessions: “In this new world, where everything that had been of permanent value a month ago was destroyed, the simplest things, things you hardly noticed before, took on enormous significance…”
On the loss of family: “The very first night there I had a dream that utterly discouraged me. It seemed to be the final confirmation of my assumptions about the fate of my family. I dreamed of my brother Henryk, who came up to me, leaned over my bed and said, ‘We are dead now.’”
This wasn't an action-packed book but I don't think it was supposed to be. I think a story like this is important for many young readers to READ ABOUTThis wasn't an action-packed book but I don't think it was supposed to be. I think a story like this is important for many young readers to READ ABOUT rather than falling into the trap of DOING IT. That's one of the many great things about reading, that you can step into the shoes of people making bad decisions and see the consequences they have to face. Whereas breaking the law in real life could cost you your life or freedom, reading about characters breaking the law can make you evaluate the pros and cons of going down certain roads. Hopefully young readers will walk away from this story with a similiar perspective.
Having lived in Queens, NYC, for 5 years after college, I also enjoyed the memories of Astoria that popped up as I read this book, especially life along Steinway Street. ...more
While any Holocaust-related book has a good chance of ripping your heart out from page one, Sender's pointed, fast-moving delivery of the horrific timWhile any Holocaust-related book has a good chance of ripping your heart out from page one, Sender's pointed, fast-moving delivery of the horrific times she and her loved ones endured amplified the emotional pain of reading this firsthand account of unfathomable monstrosities. With each sentence, I could hear the cries for help of the millions of Jews whose lives were systemically destroyed during Hitler's ultimate showcase of incessant racism gone mad. Sender's own real-life strength, courage and will to survive in the face of history's worst evil made me think of William Wallace's (i.e. Mel Gibson's) final cry of "FREE-DOM!!!" at the end of Braveheart. Just chilling. This story makes you want to put it down and hug your loved ones between every chapter. For me, that's the message that seemed to jump out more than any other. Take nothing for granted. Not family. Not friends. Not freedom....more
Patti Wheeler’s passion for traveling the globe is ingrained into her children's DNA, and Keith Hemstreet's award-winning writing skills have also rubPatti Wheeler’s passion for traveling the globe is ingrained into her children's DNA, and Keith Hemstreet's award-winning writing skills have also rubbed off on these articulate boys. Wheeler's twin sons, Gannon and Wyatt, have been traveling to all corners of the world since they were in car seats. Now charming and charismatic 15 year-olds, world explorers Gannon and Wyatt have documented some amazing expeditions that combine stories filled with fun-loving adventures, educational descriptions of exotic animals and fascinating nature, and plenty of doses of suspense-inducing peril!
When I was younger I watched Dave Matthews play a small show long before his band became famous. I remember telling my friends, "Have you listened to Dave Matthews? His music is amazing! He's going to be famous someday!" As I turned the pages of "Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Botswana," I felt a similar enthusiasm. This book is the first in what will surely become a wildly popular series that will first fulfill and then exceed Wheeler's goal of instilling a spirit of exploration in young people. These books will also serve to educate children about wildlife conservation and help them gain a deeper appreciation for nature and animals. Equally important, you can bet that teachers and parents, alike, will love having kids reading these books because they will help spark a love of reading in children as Gannon's and Wyatt's venturesome accounts will keep readers on the edge of their seats!
Patti Wheeler will tell you that "the world is your classroom." And her twin teenage boys may very well wind up being your teacher! Explore the world. Learn about wildlife. Laugh one minute and hold your breath the next. This family is tapping into unchartered territory and this series is the real deal! I will not be the least bit surprised when I turn on Discovery Channel one day soon and see that this exciting book series has become a hit TV show. In fact, if I was a TV producer, I would move quickly to sign a deal with this family of fearless, funny and groundbreaking travelers! ...more
“But most of my earliest memories are of spinal taps, throwing up for two hours straight on my birthday, watching my own hair fall out while my friend“But most of my earliest memories are of spinal taps, throwing up for two hours straight on my birthday, watching my own hair fall out while my friends were worried about learning how to write their names in crayon. And I guess Steven has lot of those shocks, too, through being my brother. But that’s still not the same as being me.”
Calling all teachers, parents and educators: Jordan Sonnenblick might just be the most important young adult author on the market! This man has found a niche that millions of teenagers have been desperately waiting to be filled. In a delicate way that blends good humor with tough reality, his books address critical issues related to family, friendship, school, life and death. Sonnenblick obviously understands what kids are going through and knows how to help them feel more comfortable with their daily challenges and goals through wholesome literature. I wish more authors would write with such purpose and passion to spread meaningful messages to young readers.
In “Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie,” Jeffrey was fighting cancer as his older brother, then 8th-grader Steven, threw his whole life into providing the necessary support for his sick brother. Now, in this sequel to “Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie,” Jeffrey is in remission. In the aftermath of his sickness, a lot has changed besides his health status. Jeffrey’s older brother has gone on hiatus to Africa to escape the responsibilities that he couldn’t avoid when he was playing second fiddle to his sibling's cancer battle. Their parents continue to worry about finances and state testing requirements following the imposing learning disabilities cancer treatments and medications have handed their young son. Jeffrey’s best friend, Tad, also has his share of challenges to worry about. Together, they face the mystic challenges of deciphering the baffling words and actions of girls, setting seemingly unreachable goals, and clearing up the cloudy meaning of life.
This book hit home for me in many ways. One example is that it reminded me of my 10th grade year, when my older brother – my best friend, idol and mentor throughout my grade school years – joined the Marine Corps and moved overseas to Japan. This person I’d counted on for so long was suddenly nowhere to be found. I remember how hard it was for me to deal with the void he’d left behind. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to similar feelings of loss and abandonment.
“I wish I could remember now what I was thinking during those next two hours, because they were the last good hours I was going to have for a long time. But nobody ever tells you in advance when you should concentrate on the good times — that’s why you’re supposed to try to do it every day.”
Be sure to read “After Ever After” sooner rather than later! Books don’t get much better than this one! ...more
“There is nothing in the world…that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one“There is nothing in the world…that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.”
I can easily understand why this book has impacted so many lives over the years and will undoubtedly continue to do so for centuries to come. The Holocaust is a tragedy that I never come closer to understanding (how or why it actually happened to begin with and then went on for as long as it did) regardless of how much I read about it. But like Anne Frank (albeit in a very different way), Viktor Frankl was courageously able to take something prophetic away from the sadistic events of the Holocaust, using his firsthand accounts of the Nazi's cruelties and close observations of how his fellow prisoners reacted under the unthinkable circumstances and duress of the time.
“…saying yes to life in spite of everything…presupposes that life is potentially meaningful under any conditions, even those which are most miserable.”
The memory of this book will make me think twice the next time I think about complaining about how "I'm starving" when I haven't eaten for a few hours, or I fool myself into thinking the problems in my life are in any way imposing, or I find myself wishing for material things that have no bearing on the meaning of life...no bearing at all. ...more
I found this book to be incredibly helpful as a way of instructing aspiring novelists with specific, tried-and-true methods and techniques of writing.I found this book to be incredibly helpful as a way of instructing aspiring novelists with specific, tried-and-true methods and techniques of writing. It also got me thinking about the significance of "motivation-reaction units" or the idea that a story is driven by characters' internal/external reactions to a series of outer stimuli. ...more
About the Holocaust, one question that comes up a lot is, "Why didn't more of the German people stand up for what was right, and go against Hitler's wAbout the Holocaust, one question that comes up a lot is, "Why didn't more of the German people stand up for what was right, and go against Hitler's wishes?" The Boy Who Dared is about a teenage German citizen who first falls in love with the idea of becoming a Nazi soldier, but injustice by injustice his suspicions of Hitler's intentions and ill-treatment of Jews grew, and when he tried to take a stand against Hitler's lies, the outcome wasn't pleasant for him.
As a teacher living in freedom-blessed, democratic America, it is easy to denounce what happened during the Holocaust but this story illustrates to students why fighting back against Hitler wasn't as easy in reality as it sounds like in principle.
This book was recently chosen as a 2010-2011 Sunshine State Book. Even before that announcement, I thought highly enough of this book to purchase a class set to use as part of a Holocaust unit. Having used books in the past like Spinelli's "Milkweed" and Strasser's "The Wave," I thought my students would really enjoy this story. I was disappointed that a majority of the response that I got was that The Boy Who Dared IS BORING! As I explained to students, the purpose of this story is not to entertain and make kids scream "I LOVE READING!" but to educate young readers as to what it was like living in Nazi Germany during the time of the Holocaust. To that end, I feel The Boy Who Dares succeeds.
I give Gladwell's brain 5 stars. The man thinks like no one else. His examples and reasoning opened my mind to certain areas of life and education thaI give Gladwell's brain 5 stars. The man thinks like no one else. His examples and reasoning opened my mind to certain areas of life and education that I hadn't previously considered. I also found it interesting to read about some of the intriguing hidden factors behind some of the most successful people on the planet....more
I thoroughly enjoyed Gardner's take on what makes great writing great and bad writing bad. I found some of his advice rather difficult to grasp - hisI thoroughly enjoyed Gardner's take on what makes great writing great and bad writing bad. I found some of his advice rather difficult to grasp - his writing intelligence and study of literature was far superior to where mine is now - but I was more often fascinated with how well he articulated the degree of complexity and technique that goes into planning and executing a sound story that resonates with readers in all the right ways. ...more
Along with Donalyn Miller and Kelly Gallagher, books by Nancie Atwell really make me (and other educators on the frontlines of teaching) question theAlong with Donalyn Miller and Kelly Gallagher, books by Nancie Atwell really make me (and other educators on the frontlines of teaching) question the validity of instructional practices of old and yearn for a whole new wave of "teaching reading" in such a way that a majority of students leave school truly loving reading rather than truly despising it. After all, when highly-qualified, experienced teachers who have succeeded in inspiring their students to genuinely enjoy reading and writing have something to say, I am eager to listen and learn from them.
I constantly ask myself, "If I had to choose, would I rather have my students successfully pass standardized tests or successfully develop a love of reading and writing?" My answer probably wouldn't please educational policymakers long-time removed from the classroom - if they ever graced classrooms at all - but then again, I care about both instilling a love of learning AND preparing students for required tests. Certainly, like all teachers, I work hard at preparing my students to pass tests they take at school but I probably work harder at preparing my students to keep reading and learning for the joy of it when they get out of school. Still convinced that reading strategies and standardized testing should take top priority? Read chapter 5 in this book about comprehension and it might make you reconsider. ...more
"Neptune, you know that people in other parts of this country don't have slaves, nor do they condone slavery. I explain to them that we need slaves be"Neptune, you know that people in other parts of this country don't have slaves, nor do they condone slavery. I explain to them that we need slaves because of our crops, and they tell me that y'all should be freed and paid for what you do. The more I listen to that, I'm wondering if they aren't right." He paused, and asked, "Would you want to be free?"
Previously, I read and enjoyed Pamela Mueller's books "Hello, Goodbye, I Love You" and "Aloha's Crossing." Now, in "Neptune's Honor," the author proves tremendous versatility as a writer with this historical account of wonderful people grappling with both beautiful (loyalty, love, weddings, etc.) and ugly (slavery, disease, politics, etc.) events leading up to the time of the Civil War. Loyalty of the sort that Neptune bestows upon Lordy and his family is practically unheard of in this day and age. It is humbling to think of the sacrifices that people like Neptune made for their "masters" during the days of slavery. In this story, the plantation owners, the Kings, treated slaves like Neptune with a great deal more respect than most plantation owners of the time likely treated their "servants." As the story illustrates, slavery came to be – and persisted - more out of necessity (for agricultural labor) than rationale (for taking into consideration that slaves were just as human as the people they served).
I highly recommend “Neptune’s Honor” for lovers of history and for readers who appreciate the intricacies of family and a special kind of “Master-Servant” brotherhood. ...more
"Aloha Crossing" is a nice follow-up novel to "Hello, Goodbye, I Love You." Once you meet Aloha in the first book, you want to continue to follow alon"Aloha Crossing" is a nice follow-up novel to "Hello, Goodbye, I Love You." Once you meet Aloha in the first book, you want to continue to follow along with the guide dog's life. This story shares the impact Aloha has on the lives of Diego, the boy who trained her, and Kimberly Louise, the blind woman who counts on the dog for independence and companionship. The book also serves as a guide for understanding the challenges blind people face and offers an example of how to overcome some of life's unexpected difficulties....more
"...I feel there are far more tragic circumstances than blindness. We can still love, and with all the sight in the world, the absence of love would f"...I feel there are far more tragic circumstances than blindness. We can still love, and with all the sight in the world, the absence of love would form a handicap too terrible to imagine."
It fascinates me how books - merely inanimate objects of paper and print - can transform a reader's heart, imagination and perception of what is possible. "Hello, Goodbye, I Love You" rang my heart chords often and left me feeling inspired to see the beauty in everything, big and small, and everyone, loved one or stranger. Pamela Bauer Mueller presents a fluid story of supporting family, overcoming tragedy and, in Diego's case, loving a dog enough to let it go. Diego is a teenage boy who has undertaken the task of training a puppy, Aloha, to become a guide dog for a blind person. Along the way, he learns what it means to love and to be loved. More importantly, he is able to do something meaningful for someone who will never be able to fully repay him.
As a dog owner who knows just how much my dog (or "little boy," as my wife and I refer to him) means to me, I found this story to be moving and meaningful. Beyond relating to Diego's emotional attachment to Aloha, I also found the story to be a potential learning tool for other readers to appreciate that blind people can see, feel and live a lot more than many people judge them capable. After reading this story, I predict readers won't "see" certain things and situations the same....more
This was a nice little family mystery set in Mesa Verda National Park. The story moved quickly and the ending included some good information about parThis was a nice little family mystery set in Mesa Verda National Park. The story moved quickly and the ending included some good information about parks and wildlife. So, it was a story as learning tool, as well as entertainment. I would think this story would be very appealing to students in grades 4-6 but probably not draw as much interest from students in 7th and 8th grade. ...more