This book has received a lot of praise this year, even many predictions as to its award-winning possibilities. I am not going to dispute that possibil...moreThis book has received a lot of praise this year, even many predictions as to its award-winning possibilities. I am not going to dispute that possibility because I wholeheartedly agree with all the hype. I loved this book. I loved Auggie and his courage in facing public school for the first time. The courage it took for his parents to send him to public school knowing he would likely face poor treatment by some. Auggie's sister's struggles with feeling overlooked and wanting attention for her own abilities and concerns rather than receiving attention simply for being Auggie's sister. The format of the story (multiple viewpoints) gives the reader more depth as far as what other people are thinking and feeling and what Auggie is thinking and feeling. For me this made for a book that was truly heart wrenching at times. There was more than one occasion where I wanted to hold Auggie in my arms and just love him.
I thought the way the author told the story from multiple viewpoints was brilliant and makes for a great book for teachers. The main theme of the power of kindness shines through bright and clear, and yet the author never says it directly, she just shows it beautifully through the words and actions of the characters. I've read a few criticisms that the ending is too idealistic and maybe it is to some degree, but then I think of actual news stories I've read about such things and then no, I don't think the ending is too idealistic. In fact, I love the ending. For me the really powerful part of the ending is not that Auggie's problems have all gone away, because they haven't and certainly unkindness can be found almost anywhere, but that Auggie has grown into a stronger person, as have those closest to him, and after all, isn't that what life is about? Being the best person we can be. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. (less)
The problem with reading ARCs is that the book is unfinished. When I first started reading this the writing seemed awkward and I had a hard time getti...moreThe problem with reading ARCs is that the book is unfinished. When I first started reading this the writing seemed awkward and I had a hard time getting around it. But a few chapters in, I realized that that awkwardness likely does not exist in the final version, and that despite the trouble I'd had at the beginning, I was really starting to get into the story.
Jonathon, Tallie and Severino quickly become sympathetic characters that I cared about. Their experiences and feelings became important to me as I read further. I also found it interesting that the 'bad guys' stories are told along with the main characters until all the characters meet up. I especially found it fascinating the way the author implied certain things about the character Ryan, but she never directly said what I found myself assuming. A reminder that assuming can be a dangerous thing, as Jonathon, Tallie and Severino discover to their detriment.
I found the plot fascinating and not just because the story occurs in my state. Archeology is a fascinating field and full of mystery. It became clear that the author had done her research, which is something I always appreciate. For me, accuracy in terms of science or history is an important part of such stories. I enjoyed learning more about the history of the area where I live and found the information integrated beautifully with the story. I didn't feel like it slowed the story down at all. Instead it intensified my feelings about what was happening and why it happened.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy an intense, informative adventure with a nice dose of character development.(less)
This is a fun book about specific buildings/structures from around the world. Not only does Laroche highlight the building but he asks a questions abo...moreThis is a fun book about specific buildings/structures from around the world. Not only does Laroche highlight the building but he asks a questions about each one, such as who's inside or what's inside. This gives the reader a chance to infer who would use or what the building would be used for. I enjoyed trying to figure each one out. Some of the structures are well known, such as the Parthenon or Independence Hall, but others were new to me, such as the Petrona Towers or the Buddha's Palace. I appreciated the map included at the end showing the location of each structure. The illustrations are primarily cut paper collage and they are incredible. I looked at each illustration and imagined the many hours spent on each the details of each page. I highly recommend this book for sharing, it would make for some great discussions about different places and buildings around the world.(less)
I have to say that I loved this book. Maybe it's my love for learning about other places and people, maybe it's the absolutely amazing illustrations,...moreI have to say that I loved this book. Maybe it's my love for learning about other places and people, maybe it's the absolutely amazing illustrations, but this is a book that I will go back and reread many times just to learn new things every time. I appreciate the fact that all of the types of houses Laroche highlights actually exist. The illustrations are of actual houses. I was impressed with the sheer variety, everything from cave dwellings to tulous (my favorite type: could be round, square, oblong, octagonal and large like a whole town or small like a village). This book is perfect for just browsing or for hours of fascinated study. The illustrations provide an amazing amount of detail, the paper collage is stunning perfect for sharing. I'd love to see the original artwork. I highly recommend this book for introducing children to the many different types of houses available around the world.(less)
I'll say right off that I am a huge Grace Lin fan. I enjoy the bright colors she uses in her artwork. Her style works especially well for this book ab...moreI'll say right off that I am a huge Grace Lin fan. I enjoy the bright colors she uses in her artwork. Her style works especially well for this book about colors. The predominant color on each page is the one being highlighted, but she uses differing shades so the pages stand out. The color being highlighted is obvious, but not too obvious. I also really like the ending that shows a wider perspective including some of the colors and places mentioned on previous pages. This book provides a delightful reading and seeing experience. (less)
I love the theme behind this book. The idea that just because something is usually done in one way, doesn't mean it is wrong to do it another way is a...moreI love the theme behind this book. The idea that just because something is usually done in one way, doesn't mean it is wrong to do it another way is an important theme. Children especially are vulnerable to the idea that there is only one way to do something. This book helps counter that idea, by suggesting that exercising our creativity is a good thing. The illustrations are typical Carle, simple in shape, yet complex in design. Of course children aren't going to see most of that. The classes I shared this with giggled through the whole read-a-loud. This is undoubtedly because the animals are different colors than one would see in the real world. Not only is there a blue horse, but a yellow cow, a pink rabbit, a green lion, and an orange elephant. I highly recommend this book for sharing and teaching. (less)