This was one of the most powerful books I've ever read. The book is unique, with Death as the narrator, and the perspectives those of Germans in World...moreThis was one of the most powerful books I've ever read. The book is unique, with Death as the narrator, and the perspectives those of Germans in World War II. This book helped me to understand the diversity of feelings and attitudes of the German people.
The style of the writing, the characters, the rise and fall of the plot all combine to make this book one that I had a difficult time putting down.(less)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was my favorite book when I was in elementary school. I read it several times as a kid. I think Claudia's basic story is every kid's story at some point. What kid doesn't have a time (or times) when he or she wants to run away from home, especially if there's some kind of adventure in it as a bonus?! The fact that Claudia planned her run-away so carefully, and got away with it, intrigued me. The fact that she ran away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and lived there with her brother Jamie for several days without getting caught made her seem like a genius to me.
Reading the book now, as an adult, there are little things that bother me. Mostly, I'm bothered by the fact that little details in the book date it (and me!): things like pay telephones and the lack of a highly technological security system in a major art museum. Still, I can excuse most of it. When I read this with my students today, I have to remind them of the setting...; this is not contemporary fiction (sigh), but rather a story that happened almost 50 years ago. Even if it is a dated story, the excitement of running away from home, the details about how Jamie and Claudia manage to live from day to day, and the great art mystery that crops up --captivating Claudia and Jamie, but the reader, too-- all serve to make this a classic that I still consider one of my favorites!
I first read Sharon Creech's Newbery-winning novel, Walk Two Moons several years ago and loved it. While I remembered the general story of the book, it had been awhile, and many of the details were fuzzy. I was thinking of using this book with my class this coming school year, and wanted to refresh my memory and make some notes. I wasn't expecting to have such a strong emotional/ intellectual response to a reread of a book. WOW! I wasn't mistaken when I read it before…; it truly is an amazing book.
Salamanca Tree Hibbert, "Sal", is on a car trip through the Midwest with her Gram and Gramps to visit all the places her mother visited when she boarded a bus and left Sal and her Dad behind in Kentucky... to never return. (view spoiler)[ (We don't officially learn until much later in the book, but most readers will infer that Sal's mother died while she was out west.) (hide spoiler)]With plenty of time for talk and story- Sal's grandparents urge her to tell them the story of her friend, Phoebe. When Sal and her dad left Kentucky and moved to Euclid, Ohio, Phoebe became Sal's first, and best, friend in her new town. Phoebe has an active imagination, tends to be overly dramatic, and a bit mysterious, and so Sal has plenty of stories to share.
In this book, Sharon Creech addresses the issues of loss and death, grief, depression, heritage, and family. There were so many places where I stopped and thought or reread because of the content and the craft of voice Creech brings to her writing. Beautiful novel! >
As a dog owner, I often wonder what is going through that little canine head of our sweet dog. In The Art of Racing in the Rain, we find out about the...moreAs a dog owner, I often wonder what is going through that little canine head of our sweet dog. In The Art of Racing in the Rain, we find out about the sometimes mundane, but often insightful thoughts of Enzo-- a dog and the book's narrator.
There is much that is sweet and humorous about this story, but also much that will touch your heart. Enzo has figured out a lot about human beings-- including their strengths and their weaknesses, their relationships, their ups, and their downs. He is quite a philosopher for a dog, and has much to share with us all.
I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to animal lovers, race enthusiasts (though I'm not one), and people who just enjoy a good story well told. (less)
This book made me want to learn to play Bridge! The story is of a 17 year-old boy named Alton who gets roped into assisting his blind great-uncle in p...moreThis book made me want to learn to play Bridge! The story is of a 17 year-old boy named Alton who gets roped into assisting his blind great-uncle in playing his weekly Bridge game. Much of the story revolves around the relationship between these two main characters, but there is also a lot related to the situations faced by teens growing up.
Toward the end of the book, the story takes an unexpected twist and begins to introduce some content that makes me question my "realistic" fiction classification. I'll let you be the judge about that....
One of my favorite books of all time! While written as a children's book, this work speaks to readers of all ages about the importance of following ou...moreOne of my favorite books of all time! While written as a children's book, this work speaks to readers of all ages about the importance of following our dreams and identifying our own path. I am an educator,and I read The North Star to every class of children, youth, or adults that I teach. Peter Reynolds has a poetic way with words, and his watercolor illustrations are beautiful. This book is not to be missed!(less)