The book was awesome. It isn't one of those mysteries where you can figure it out in the first half and you know exactly what to expect. It was refresThe book was awesome. It isn't one of those mysteries where you can figure it out in the first half and you know exactly what to expect. It was refreshing that way. I admit, I spent a lot of my reflecting on this book wondering what parts were semi-autobiographical, particular because the author himself told me that some of the parts that are from his life are not what you'd guess. I also really like that he explored the genre of magical realism-- as a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan I love stories that toe the line between the two. The artwork is super expressive and beautifully done in black/white and sepia i think. It's amazing what you can do with three simple colors. two thumbs up, will read again....more
Soooo I didn't really like it until approximately page 500. I don't know, I guess there was too much going on and it was hard to get attached to the cSoooo I didn't really like it until approximately page 500. I don't know, I guess there was too much going on and it was hard to get attached to the characters. However, I'm really glad I stuck it out because once something clicked for me I really enjoyed it. I have since gone back and done a re-read of it to catch all the details I missed in the beginning when I wasn't paying full attention. I really like the diversity and complexity in the characters and the storyline is great....more
I thought the book was okay. Some of the main character's diction seemed a little off- and inauthentic to me. I guess overall it didn't seem very realI thought the book was okay. Some of the main character's diction seemed a little off- and inauthentic to me. I guess overall it didn't seem very realistic to me. It also didn't drive me to read it straight through- I paused reading it for about 3 weeks for no reason really. It was a little predictable.
Eh. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone but teenagers who might feel that they are in a similar situation to craig....more
The Wednesday Wars was a really enjoyable book to read. It made me laugh and it made me tear up at some points too. I think it's really exciting to reThe Wednesday Wars was a really enjoyable book to read. It made me laugh and it made me tear up at some points too. I think it's really exciting to read a book that takes place where you grew up, and I have to admit I got a little giddy about that. I live in Nassau County and I used to go camping with my family in the catskills!
My one negative critique about this novel is that some parts of the narration are just so unbelievable as far as how a 7th grader would sound. It seemed to be a bit inconsistent for me, some parts he sounded 12 years old, and sometimes he sounded like a well-read experienced author. Outside of that issue though, I really enjoyed the details and descriptions found throughout the story, often describing the seasonal weather. I guess I should also take into consideration that Holling was not a typical 7th grader, becoming so well-versed in Shakespeare.
I thought it was really clever how the plots of several plays were worked in to the action of Holling's life. I really enjoyed watching the teacher-student relationship evolve through Holling and Mrs. Baker's conversations. There were a lot of cute remarks that Holling made about teachers that stood out to me- such as the one about the "teacher gene" that teachers were born with that just forced them to become teachers.
Some other things to like about this novel: It’s a boy main character, which hopefully would draw in more male readers; and there is basically nothing “inappropriate” even alluded to so that makes it a “safe” choice to recommend to students. (A teacher I work with recently brought up this issue of "appropriateness" in a discussion with me and it is something I am newly aware of, I suppose because I tend to be very liberal and open to reading about issues that may be objectionable for parents of students. So it is something I am trying to be more conscious of in order to save myself from getting into trouble for it someday).
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this overall. I think this is the first novel that was a little bit more sophisticated style-wise. I think the 3rd person-**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this overall. I think this is the first novel that was a little bit more sophisticated style-wise. I think the 3rd person-limited had something to do with that. There are many choices made by the author that can be explored and make for great lessons- such as the repetition of the idea that Turner looked into the eye of the whale. Repetition is used other times too.
This is another story where again, some heavy issues are addressed, that would make for really great discussion. Brandi reminded me through her Hattie Big Sky post of the term "Mob Mentality" and I think that's a big topic that could be addressed here. Pressure to make certain choices is put on Turner and his father from many angles. There are really only several characters that seem to escape this pressure at all- and there are consequences for many of them.
I was a little worried with Turner's father as a character, because I didn't know if his transformation would end up seeming "heretical" to readers who are religious. But in the end, I think that it would not be a problem. When Turner begins to question all his father is preaching, and wondering if his father believes it, he is not questioning the "faith" part, he is questioning the moral part. I think also, that the inclusion of Charles Darwin would (hopefully) not be a problem in any of the public schools around here today. I think Turner's father explained the purpose of that detail perfectly, explaining it as something that can inspire you to think and be different:
"Turner," he said, "books can be fire, you know." "Fire?" "Fire. Books can ignite fires in your mind, because they carry ideas for kindling, and art for matches."
I think this book would pull in young readers begins it appears to begin only as a coming-of-age story but gets more complex as it goes on, so it would not be threatening.
This is definitely a novel where vocabulary should be given a high priority. I think this is also the first book of the group where there were quite a few words that I didn't know. Teaching vocabulary is something I don't have much experience with, (I had students do it through Literature Circles while student teaching, and was VERY uncreative with my 11th grade placement). So if you need help thinking of a topic to respond to, I'd appreciate ideas for teaching vocal.
I kind of had a feeling in the beginning of the novel that Lizzie Bright was going to die, but I was still surprised at the way it came. I guess I had expected the townspeople to more directly cause her death (though, they still did). I thought the moment came so shockingly and moved on so quickly.
I'm also really glad that the author included the note at the end of the story about how much was based in fact. I think that would have an impact on students.
I think overall that this would be a really good book to use in a classroom because there are so many teachable lessons, so many relatable moments, and so many cross-curricular references to draw in students with all kinds of interests. Turner is a great role model in a powerful story that I think would interest male and female students. ...more
The book didn't really capture my attention or move me. It's probably a good book for boys in hs though. There is only one instance of alcohol use andThe book didn't really capture my attention or move me. It's probably a good book for boys in hs though. There is only one instance of alcohol use and nothing else inappropriate so it would be safe to recommend. It was well written and a good story I just didn't really get into it....more
I had already read this book once before, but the second reading was just as good as the first. I really enjoy the style of the writing. I think the dI had already read this book once before, but the second reading was just as good as the first. I really enjoy the style of the writing. I think the descriptions and imagery are simple and fabulous. I think there are many points of the style that can be explored in the metaphors and language and repetition. I think that this book would be most interesting to read with students a few years older than Bruno. I really like the way that we get to see things through Bruno's eyes. I think it would be great for students to be able to identify and recognize things that Bruno did not understand or misinterpreted. I feel like that aspect of the novel really gives readers a sense of accomplishment and ownership about their knowledge of Nazi Germany and the holocaust. This is obviously a book that must be paired with a great deal of background knowledge and research to fully understand everything that Bruno is seeing and hearing. This book is basically crafted for use in a classroom. I also think that most of the characters are fairly complex, even the minor ones. Everyone is given a story and a personality that shows them as more than just "good" or "evil." The story is wonderfully simple without minimizing any issues. After reading the Hitler Youth book though, the one thing that I found to be a little unbelievable was some of Bruno's naivete. Of course, without his ignorance the story could not exist. It seems that boys his age would normally be highly involved in a Hitler Youth program and certainly know who the "Fury" was- even if he was pronouncing it wrong. ...more
This book was awesome. The future of media and technology in this dystopian story are frightening and very believable. It achieves a lot without tryinThis book was awesome. The future of media and technology in this dystopian story are frightening and very believable. It achieves a lot without trying too hard. Will definitely be recommending this to others....more
I was supposed to read this book for a college class three years ago but never did. I'm so glad I finally picked it up because it was really awesome.I was supposed to read this book for a college class three years ago but never did. I'm so glad I finally picked it up because it was really awesome. Paul, the main character, was very likable and the perfect balance of naive and understanding about so many different things. I thought the book presented a very real and honest picture of current day racism in ways that regular people deal with it. I can't tell you how many times this book made me look like a weirdo while reading it in public, whether with a burst of laughter, frantic tear-wiping, or floor level jaw-dropping. It was a fantastic read....more
This book was wonderful. Themes include the value of individuality, exploration of the "mob mentality" and some other "coming of age" messages. I readThis book was wonderful. Themes include the value of individuality, exploration of the "mob mentality" and some other "coming of age" messages. I read it shortly after it came out and again ~9 years later and was still captivated by the story. It's written beautifully and the characters are developed well. It's not predictable, either and completely "g" rated for young readers. Can't wait to finally read the sequel....more
I liked this book, I thought it was a little better than the first. I thought some parts were a little cheesy but I think characters were developed weI liked this book, I thought it was a little better than the first. I thought some parts were a little cheesy but I think characters were developed well....more