Push by Sapphire is a book of truth. It is raw, heart-breaking, and hard. It is inspiring, hope-filled, naked and honest. It is not the kind of book t...morePush by Sapphire is a book of truth. It is raw, heart-breaking, and hard. It is inspiring, hope-filled, naked and honest. It is not the kind of book that will appeal to everyone, not that happy beach book many want, it is stark and dark and real and beautiful. It could’ve been exploitative, could’ve been depressing and hopeless, could’ve so easily become an anti-white, anti-men rant, but Sapphire managed to weave the story together, as told by the main character, Precious Jones, into an emotional tale of how education can give hope for a chance at freedom and a better life.
I enjoyed it more this time around than I did the first. I think reading it with a child helped it be more magical. Orr writes a vulnerable Nim well and the reluctant hero, Alex, quite humorously. The bit of misunderstanding between the two characters, Nim thinking Alex is a man and Alex thinking Nim is cared for by a mother and her friends Selkie and Fred are dogs, offers a chance to talk about how easy it is to make mistakes and forgiveness helps friendships flourish. Nim's Island also shows that even the smartest and most resourceful of girls still needs grown-ups. :-)(less)
Oh, what fun it is to read and re-read a book you know you love and is a comfort to you! And how much better it is when said re-read can still surpris...moreOh, what fun it is to read and re-read a book you know you love and is a comfort to you! And how much better it is when said re-read can still surprise you and hold you in suspense even though you know what all's going to happen. I just finished my third-time-around of [The Hobbit:] for the LOTR Readalong (my readalong post). (less)
Roald Dahl creates a world in which children aren’t safe, which I think appeals to kids because they DON’T feel safe. In their particular position, th...moreRoald Dahl creates a world in which children aren’t safe, which I think appeals to kids because they DON’T feel safe. In their particular position, they’re subject to the whims and fancies of the adults around them and have very little control over their lives. Readers, particularly young readers, see these over-indulged children who get everything they want which, at first blush, is something most kids would love. However, as the book progresses, we watch as each child suffers an accident which their own self-centeredness is a direct cause. Violet rips the meal-in-a-gum from the drawer and chews it, ignoring Wonka’s warnings, and ends up a giant blueberry. Veruca Salt refuses to take NO for an answer, in fact is inflamed by being told she can’t have one of Wonka’s squirrels, and goes in the nut room to claim one anyone, ending up tossed into the garbage chute by leader of the squirrels who judges her to be a “bad nut”. In the end it is the considerate and well-behaved Charlie who is rewarded. Even when Dahl shows the children leaving the factory in one piece, they are still not escaping unscathed, but instead will retain some scarring for the rest of their lives. Violet, for instance, is still purple, while Mike Teavee has been over-stretched and is now very tall and thin, about whom Wonka makes an almost-callous remark that every basketball team in the country will want him. I think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could fit in the fable category, as it is a cautionary tale with a lesson.