The truth is, she was ornery and stubborn, wouldn't listen to a n y b o d y, and selfish beyond selfish, and filthy, caked with mud and dust, and mooThe truth is, she was ornery and stubborn, wouldn't listen to a n y b o d y, and selfish beyond selfish, and filthy, caked with mud and dust, and moody: you'd better watch it or she'd knock you flat.
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Reena has always been a city girl, and she doesn't know what to expect when her family moves to rural Maine. She certainly doesn't expect, along with her seven-year-old brother, Luke, to be volunteered by their parents to help out a cranky elderly lady. Mrs. Falala lives alone, except for a pig, a cat, a parrot, a snake, and a cow. The cow is Zora, and Reena and Luke are tasked with grooming her for an upcoming fair.
Review: There are a few short chapters written in prose, but most of the book is in free verse and concrete poetry. This writing style, packed with sensory details, brings the reader well into Reena's experience. Reena and Luke are believable city kids plunked down in an unfamiliar rural setting, and Reena's thoughts and feelings will resonate especially with (sub)urban kids who are curious about life in the country. It's a quiet book, focused more on emotions and personal growth than action. The poetic style and short chapters make it a faster read than it appears at first glance. There is a good deal of gentle humor, but be prepared for some realistic sad moments.
Personal Thoughts: I wanted to read the book based on some information given at a Book Buzz segment at an ALA Conference. By the time I got it, I mistook this book for another book that I also heard about at the same presentation, with left me a little bit confused for a chapter or three! But I was quickly engaged by Reena's story. I grew up in the suburbs, and I clearly remember the first few times I encountered a real, live cow; Reena's reactions rang true. I also loved the moment Reena and Luke realize where hamburgers come from, as well as the follow-up discussions with local boy Zep, their tutor in things livestock-showing-related, and with their parents. This would be a great choice for a parent-child book club.
This book was mentioned on a couple of the podcasts I listen to (those podcasts are the reason my TBR list is longer that I will ever possibly read!)This book was mentioned on a couple of the podcasts I listen to (those podcasts are the reason my TBR list is longer that I will ever possibly read!) with glowing reviews. And they were right.
There is a lot of information here about how to be more productive, and how that is different from being more efficient, boiled down into discrete concepts and illustrated with real-life examples. At the end of the book, there is a short chapter on putting the ideas into practice in your own life, which is very helpful....more
A lot of material here I've read in other places, but nicely presented in easily-digestible chunks. Fits very well with the ideas behind GTD and BulleA lot of material here I've read in other places, but nicely presented in easily-digestible chunks. Fits very well with the ideas behind GTD and Bullet Journaling....more
At first I couldn't tell what was going on - just a bunch of skating, hitting, and falling.
Synopsis: Astrid and Nicole have been best friends sinceAt first I couldn't tell what was going on - just a bunch of skating, hitting, and falling.
Synopsis: Astrid and Nicole have been best friends since first grade, after an incident involving the class Mean Girl, Rachel. They do everything together. Astrid assumes this means that they'll spend the summer following fifth grade together at Roller Derby Camp - Astrid's newfound passion. She is stunned to discover that Nicole has other plans, namely, Dance Camp... with Rachel. With middle school looming and things changing all around her, Astrid rolls into the toughest summer of her life.
Review: A smart and funny realistic look at that stage so familiar to anyone who was once an almost-teenager, when friends start growing into their own people, and sometimes growing apart. Astrid speaks, thinks, and feels like a regular kid, someone you might know (or remember). She likes the way things are and doesn't want them to change, but she ultimately faces those changes with good humor and strength. There are lessons in her story about growing up, accepting yourself and others for who they are, and working hard to achieve a dream, even when it doesn't turn out quite the way you hoped, but it avoids didactic condescension easily. Totally charming.
Personal Thoughts: I happen to love roller skating, and I am a little sad that I didn't encounter the whole roller derby phenomenon at an age/time/place when I might have joined in. I'll just have to live vicariously through Astrid, I suppose. I loved everything about this book, from the painfully realistic depictions of the way pre-teen girls interact to the wonderful relationship between Astrid and her mother. (There's a fourth-wall-breaking moment in which Astrid literally winks at the reader about an interaction with her mother that cracked me up.) I adore this book.
Recommend to: Fans of Raina Telgemeier... and pretty much any tween girl, actually. (Although I'd *love* to see some tween boys reading this one.)
Source: Checked out from my public library....more