I'm going with 3.5 stars for this one. The story is a good one and the illustrations and historical photographs add a powerful element to the story. BI'm going with 3.5 stars for this one. The story is a good one and the illustrations and historical photographs add a powerful element to the story. But the writing is too simple, even for a middle grade audience. The second person "you" is used at times that isn't really necessary and the overuse of "just" is distracting at times. However, it's a very accessible text to introduce a younger audience to the civil rights movement....more
I’ve been looking forward to reading Everything, Everything since I started reading early reviews during the summerReview originally posted at YA Love
I’ve been looking forward to reading Everything, Everything since I started reading early reviews during the summer, so when I received two copies at ALAN I was over the moon thrilled. I brought them to school and ended up giving both copies to students which were immediately and quickly passed from student to student. Thankfully I was able to snag one of the copies and read it!
First, I thoroughly enjoyed the multigenre approach used to tell Madeleine’s story. As I was reading this I kept thinking back to my seniors’ memoir multigenre essay and wishing I would have had a copy of this then to share with them. I don’t know exactly why Nicola Yoon chose to write her book this way because it doesn’t really feel like it was necessary for the story, but it worked for me. It upped the interest level which I know has been a big factor in its popularity among my students.
Because I didn’t finish Everything, Everything before Christmas, my momentum was slowed and consequently I found myself growing impatient with the movement of the story. It didn’t help that while I was on Goodreads one day I noticed someone shelved this book a certain way that made me question what was happening in the story. It was kind of an unintentional spoiler so I was anxious to figure it out. Instead of enjoying the relationship between Madeleine and Olly blossoming I was rushing to get further in the book to figure out if my suspicion was right after seeing that shelf designation. Anyway, I think that’s why I ended up really liking this as opposed to loving it.
I will say, however, that I’m excited to read future books written by Nicola Yoon. The story and the format are original and fresh which makes me confident that I’ll enjoy more of her novels. It’s also noteworthy that Everything, Everything isn’t really about SCID like some may expect. It’s more about relationships and self-discovery, which I loved. I felt like I knew Madeleine really well and understood her motivations. I foresee this debut being a perennial favorite in my classroom....more
This is an absolutely wonderful book. I love this poem and I love the illustrations. I'm going to use with my seniors as an example for their My StoryThis is an absolutely wonderful book. I love this poem and I love the illustrations. I'm going to use with my seniors as an example for their My Story project....more
I need to collect my thoughts. I made it to the heartbreaking part of the book, and yep, it's heartbreaking. I'm buying a couple copies of this for myI need to collect my thoughts. I made it to the heartbreaking part of the book, and yep, it's heartbreaking. I'm buying a couple copies of this for my classroom. Full review to come....more
**Update** I just finished reading this out loud to my juniors and seniors in YA Lit II. They really liked it, and I loved reading it even more the se**Update** I just finished reading this out loud to my juniors and seniors in YA Lit II. They really liked it, and I loved reading it even more the second time.
This is definitely a "makes you feel good" book. I'm thinking of reading this to my sophomores; hopefully they'll like it....more
During some conversations I had with my freshmen last school year, I discovered that many of them still enjoy middle grade titles, especially fantasy and action/adventure titles. Since then I’ve been making a point of seeking titles like these out and reading them. When I heard about Liesl & Po, and that it’s written by Lauren Oliver, I knew I had to read it. Truth–I think I like this book more than Before I Fall.
Lauren Oliver has a note in the very beginning of the ARC (I hope it’s in the finished copy as well) explaining why she wrote this book. It’s incredibly moving and something I thought back to many times while reading this book. I’d rather not go into detail about the note, though, because I think you should experience it for yourself. It made reading the book feel more personal, and I appreciate that sort of honesty from an author.
The illustrations by Kei Acedera are fantastic! I wasn’t expecting any art, so it was a very pleasant surprise and experience. I like that they’re paced throughout the novel and I like the style used to create the setting & characters. I’m not very good with art/drawing terminology, so please forgive my ignorance on this. The drawings felt like how I would see the characters if this book were made into an animated Disney movie or something. But the shading and everything also felt whimsical. I may not be making any sense, but regardless, I love the illustrations. They added an element that made the story come alive. I wish more books could include illustrations, MG and YA alike.
Another element I love about this book is the cast of characters. Liesl is sweet and caring, but also full of adventure. Po is mysterious, but I love that it looks out for Liesl and begins to feel human emotions again. I also couldn’t get enough of Po’s wit and one-liners, especially when Will, the alchemist’s assistant, enters the scene. Liesl & Po forge an unusual friendship, but it’s ultimately one of trust and understanding. There’s also a few villains, of course. Liesl’s stepmother is truly horrible; she has Liesl locked up in an attic and barely feeds her. The Lady Premiere, who expects to receive the box of magic, rivals Liesl’s stepmother in the evilness category. These characters, along with others, made for a fantastic story full of magic and hope despite all the gray.
Lauren Oliver has written a story that children, tweens and teens will appreciate and enjoy. There are plenty of universal themes like loneliness, the importance of family, grieving, etc. This is another title that I’m excited to share with my students, and I’m equally excited to buy a finished copy....more
I don't know how I'll be able to review this novel. So powerful and beautiful. I'm still crying.
My Flash Review:
A Monster Calls took my breath away. TI don't know how I'll be able to review this novel. So powerful and beautiful. I'm still crying.
My Flash Review:
A Monster Calls took my breath away. The writing, the story, and the illustrations are stunning. Conor is dealing with his mother’s illness and has been suffering from nightmares. One night after the recurring nightmare, the monster shows up and wants Conor to give him the truth. The monster helps Conor understand what truth he’s looking for through stories. These stories are intended for Conor to come to a realization and give the monster what it’s looking for, even if Conor doesn’t understand this at the beginning. I was completely engrossed in this novel. My dad is a cancer survivor, so I was able to empathize with Conor. My personal connection may be why I adore this novel so much, but I can’t imagine someone not being moved by A Monster Calls. When I finished this novel I was speechless and bawled like a baby....more