This is a great way for kids to learn about how movies get made and more about their favorite series. We recently had a Wimpyfest program at the libraThis is a great way for kids to learn about how movies get made and more about their favorite series. We recently had a Wimpyfest program at the library that was really well attended, so I already knew this would be a popular book. I love that the non-fiction nature of the book doesn't take away from the traditional wimpy format. It's still cartoons, jokes, and all Greg Heffley.
I think that kids should read this before they see the movie (if there are any big fans who haven't already seen it!). Jeff Kinney gives the reader tons of great details to look for during the movie. The set directors went to great lengths to make the movie feel as real as possible! I had no idea so much work into making the diary for the movie. They wanted it to look just like the cover of the first book, but, obviously, that's not a real diary. They made it from scratch, complete with stitched cover, that's dedication.
I already wanted to see the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, but now I want to even more! Who wants to take me? Anyone? ...more
Jen Lancaster has the perfect life. She has a job that pays enough to keep her in designer shoes forever, a boyfriend who loves her, a closet stuffedJen Lancaster has the perfect life. She has a job that pays enough to keep her in designer shoes forever, a boyfriend who loves her, a closet stuffed with the cutest clothes, and an apartment built in real estate heaven. Until the day she gets laid off and has to start re-evaluating some of her life decisions. Did she really need so many designer tubes of lipstick? Where did her savings go? How is she ever going to pay for the apartment she loves so much? Jen's unemployment memoir follows her through two years searching for a job in Chicago. She tries everywhere and everything to pull herself out of her economic slump, all without ever losing her trademark biting wit and uncontrollable urge to judge people. She might be a tad bit full of herself, but why shouldn't she be...she's the best person ever...right?
One of my besties recommended this book to me about 6 months ago and I just got around to reading it. I kept pushing it back for new kids and teen books, but eventually she wore me down. This really is a perfect summer read. It's funny, snarky, intelligent, and an all around good time. Yes, Jen is incredibly full of herself. She's selfish, self centered and, as she says herself, "egomaniacal." However, she does become easier to love as the story moves along. I'll admit it, in the first few chapters I was seriously doubting whether or not I'd be able to finish the book because of how much I disliked her, but she really grew on me. Frankly, I don't actually think she's that bad. She loves her boyfriend/husband and her family, she has close friends who she really does seem to care about, and, even in the depths of her financial woes, she adopts two homeless dogs. Sounds like a pretty okay person to me!
It was fun to read about someone living in Chicago for a change. It seems like all the books like this, fictional and non, take place in New York. When I went through my obsessive chick lit phase from 15-17, most of the books I read were set in NYC or London. I actually can't think of any that were set in Chicago! I definitely enjoyed reading about places I've been and hearing the perspective of someone who loves the city that's always been just down the street. Seriously, you can see the Sears (yes I know, Willis...shudder) Tower from the end of my street!
As I just said, I was a chick lit aficionado for most of high school...okay and college. Yes, I skipped YA completely, which may be why I love it so much now. At the tender age of 15 a friend gave me Jemima J by Jane Green and I never looked back. Which is why I think books like this have lots of cross over appeal for teen readers. I would definitely have picked this one up and devoured it in one sitting. My favorite pleasure reading authors in high school were Jane Green and Philippa Gregory (my chick lit obsession rapidly grew into a historical fiction one). It always cracks me up when parents get all bent out of shape over the romance in YA, the brief sexual encounters or discussions. They should read some of the scenes from my high school favs! Their poor worried parental faces would melt right off!
Overall, this was a fun book that begs to be thrown into a bag next to the towel and sunscreen. If you're looking for something light to take away the summer reading stress (all you public librarians) this might be just what you need. Enjoy! ...more
Jane Goodall is my life long hero. Seriously. I've read everything she's ever written (and I own most of her books...actually...all now that I think oJane Goodall is my life long hero. Seriously. I've read everything she's ever written (and I own most of her books...actually...all now that I think of it). When I was twelve she came to Chicago to speak and my wonderful parents took me out of school and brought me to meet my hero. After her talk there was time for her to sign books, when I got to the front of the line and she made real-live-in-person eye contact with me, I immediately burst into tears. Yup. TEARS! I have a picture of the two of us taken right after the tear bursting. I'm kneeling down next to her and we're looking at each other. I'm looking like another bought of tears is about to hit me and she looks vaguely concerned for my obvious little girl sensibilities. It is one of my favorite memories of my entire life. It's up there with my wedding.
Anyway, now that there's a frame of reference for why I would be drawn to this book, I can give my brutally honest opinion of it. This book is completely and totally fabulous! It is biographical, but written in such an accessible way that it is also a perfect read aloud. I've already shared it with my kindergarten group, a visiting preschool, and two after school groups ranging from 1st-5th grade...and it's only been in the library for a week.
Patrick McDonnell (best known for his Mutts cartoons) has written a sweet, endearing story of one of the most inspirational women ever. His illustrations will appeal to even the youngest children and his language is simple without being boring. He includes real pictures of young Jane, as well as a two page spread featuring some of her actual childhood sketches.
This book is completely wonderful. Go out and find a copy right now! Then, if you're anything like me, share it with every child you know - maybe keep a copy for yourself too. ;)...more