The Bundy Street stories by Marilyn Cram Donahue belong to that small handful of Christian children's books***Read for the first few times in 1985***
The Bundy Street stories by Marilyn Cram Donahue belong to that small handful of Christian children's books that I can read and enjoy without that uncomfortable shudder that usually befalls me when a religious message or even lecture is forced on me. In fact I loved this volume about Caro, Sylvie, Thu Anh and Tien so much as a kid, that my copy with its crappy cover picture and bad choice of title translation is adorned by the inky equivalent of a gushy, screamy-voiced fangirl review ten-year old me scribbled right onto the title page, starting with FAVORITE! in big, bold letters. Embarrassing, but since nobody gets to see it anyway, it merrits occasional re-reads and certainly five stars. ...more
Gathering Blue is not as powerful as The Giver is, but it captivated me quickly as well and offered a lot of food for thought. Recommended. "GatheringGathering Blue is not as powerful as The Giver is, but it captivated me quickly as well and offered a lot of food for thought. Recommended. "Gathering Blue" is no sequel like the series suggests, but a companion novel.
Street Corner Bookers’ Pile Reduction Challenge, #20 (challenger: Morgan)...more
A really cute and sassy voice tells this middle-grade superhero-story for girls. But sadly I lost interest around the middle and now finally let it goA really cute and sassy voice tells this middle-grade superhero-story for girls. But sadly I lost interest around the middle and now finally let it go....more
The language is witty and wonderful and the characters - even down to that password demanding guy who drives the school-bus - are delightfully wacky oThe language is witty and wonderful and the characters - even down to that password demanding guy who drives the school-bus - are delightfully wacky or delightfully puzzling or both. Still I can't bring myself to muster enough curiosity about or interest in the story, which is about to unfold. I keep grabbing other books or my Kindle, partly mourning the clever expressions I am going to miss, but mainly refusing to put muscle power into the process of pulling myself through a plot that keeps evading my attention.
I've waited a bit for my attitude to miraculously change, but I think I am ready to let go - after a mere 31 pages of an unquestionably well-written book, which I do not even know yet what it possibly might be about. ...more
I am sure The Monstrumologist is an excellent middle-grade horror novel and one that deserves the Michael L. Printz Honor award, too. More gore and blI am sure The Monstrumologist is an excellent middle-grade horror novel and one that deserves the Michael L. Printz Honor award, too. More gore and blood and brains (the splattered variety) and monsters and mad, amusingly single-minded and selfish professorism are simply not possible. The etching-style 19th-century medical textbook illustations enhance the lost-diary-illusion the story-in-story narration successfully crafts for the reader. A male point of view ties the bow of the altogether perfect package. But I am usually not someone who feels drawn by horror books written for any kind of audience. And after my 82-pages-long foray into the genre this morning cements my guess that my preferences will not shift into that direction anytime soon. I am really not unhappy that I spontaneously agreed to swap the book for one I wanted to get rid off and experimentally had a go. If my train ride this morning had taken longer, I would even have kept on reading. But as it is and as I am, I will resort to reading Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday Stories on my ride back home tonight. The Monstrumologist has already found a cozy space inside a colleague‘s handbag. I am positive Will Henry James and she will have a fabulous time together. ...more
I found out after a mere 27 pages that I don't get twelve year old baseball wonder Madison. First I kind of sympathized with her, because her best friI found out after a mere 27 pages that I don't get twelve year old baseball wonder Madison. First I kind of sympathized with her, because her best friend abandoned her for the popular girls, but then I followed her home and witnessed her obsessing about a fortyish rock star neighbor. I so never have been growing up on the same planet as her - although era-wise she is only a few years ahead of me....more
Therefore I think it was a very brave step of the author to offer me a review copy of her middle grade novel "Sign Language", which deals with a young girl losing her father to kidney cancer and having her family fall apart around her. The author's confident hint at my love for Saving Francesca kindled my curiosity. I hesitated, agreed, plunged in and read the first 30 pages. Yet rather quickly I found out that there will no love between me and Abby and will – true to my usual reading habits – call it quits even before the dad had his first relapse.
I have thought a bit about Abby today. My first impression of her was filled with utter disbelief. How can she at the age of twelve fail to grasp that her father is terminally ill? When I was ten and a young man in our neighborhood went through chemo, I pestered my parents about the reasons and consequences and his chance at survival. And when I passed him on the street I almost expected him to spontaneously pass away. In Abby’s case her mom volunteers only superficial, harmless sounding information (in hindsight I think maybe to trick herself into an optimistic mode) - a choice I would have expected from the mother of a six or seven year old. As a reaction or non-reaction Abby files her father‘s surgery under the same heading as her friend’s tonsillectomy and does not ask for clarification. After pondering all morning on and off about it I have come to the conclusion that maybe Abby’s behavior is more common than mine had been – a kind of subconcious suppression of a possible, unwelcome future instead of painting the bleakest picture possible in her head. But I simply cannot relate to her in spite of that. Equally normal may be her efforts to get on the radar oft he most popular boy at her school and to let out her inner bitch toward her devoted best male friend in the process, but they certainly did not make me love her more. A lot of the other reviewers have stressed the real feel oft he story and of the heroine’s development. And I truely believe they might be right. It is just that I should not read books which are wrong for me - and me only - and then complain about them. That is the reason why I make an exception and let this book remain unrated on my unfinished-shelf.
Anyway, thank you, Amy Ackley, for being courageous enough to tackle such a diffcult and painful subject and for handing over a copy to me in spite of my low average rating and my tendency to judge rather harshly. ...more
I am so glad I picked it up again after deciding to let it go around page 60 (Somehow the beginning of Mina Smiths' story about a twelve-years-old, blI am so glad I picked it up again after deciding to let it go around page 60 (Somehow the beginning of Mina Smiths' story about a twelve-years-old, black girl during the 70s, who is desperately trying to start a ballet dancer's career in an all-white summer camp, breezed past all my emotional buttons without even brushing them lightly). And I am pretty dazed about the fact that it kept me up reading last night until my eyes protested. It's not as wonderful as Homecoming or Dicey's Song, but it's still peculiarly impressive and moving. In fact, the dancing thing quickly became just a part of Mina's past.
Cynthia Voigt is one of those very special storytellers whose heroines are at the same time familiar and strange. I already noticed that, when I first read On Fortune's Wheel (I grabbed the German translation from a bargain bin at the train station and directly fell under its spell), but since I was disappointed by Jackaroo and a bit ambivalent about Elske, it took a long time for me to go out and buy her first Tillerman book and even longer to buy the second and third. Silly me.
And now I am wondering again if the last two volumes and the spin-off about Dicey's uncle Bullet are up my alley or not. What's that irrational notion that always makes me hesitate in spite of all those wonderfully pleasant surprises?...more