This delightfully witty and subversive 1920s thriller serves as a light parody while still unfolding a satisfying, surprising mystery. The dialogue anThis delightfully witty and subversive 1920s thriller serves as a light parody while still unfolding a satisfying, surprising mystery. The dialogue and prose both were hilarious and clever, and I appreciated the tongue-in-cheek dive into the well-worn tropes and devices which other authors of the same period used with all seriousness....more
This book had a reference to Barney the Purple Dinosaur. After twenty-two volumes, I've gotten to cultural references I can understand, and it was a rThis book had a reference to Barney the Purple Dinosaur. After twenty-two volumes, I've gotten to cultural references I can understand, and it was a revelation.
But in all seriousness, this was a fantastic collection of comics, and I appreciated seeing how even though Schulz used many of the same classic ideas and "old jokes," he kept it fresh with new punchlines and entirely new comic sequences like nothing he had ever done before. I admire his amazing drawings, terrific humor, and flawless grasp of human nature, but perhaps what is most impressive about this legendary comic strip is the fact that it stayed fresh and interesting for fifty years....more
I usually avoid the juvenile books that get a lot of hype, because my natural assumption is that they are popular for dealing with Difficult Topics. II usually avoid the juvenile books that get a lot of hype, because my natural assumption is that they are popular for dealing with Difficult Topics. I don't like to read children's books that are heavy-handed, and feel that most award-winning books are more appealing to adults than children. This book is a delightful example of one that can appeal to a broad range of ages, offering a quirky, cute story, deep thoughts about life, and gentle sweetness without cloying sentimentality.
The basic premise is that Ellie's grandfather appears as a teenager, having found a scientific cure to make him youthful again, but I won't explain the story; it's so much more enjoyable to discover it by reading yourself. This book is one of the most unique that I have ever read, and I enjoyed how fresh and interesting it was, especially considering how the "different" aspects meshed so well with the familiar themes of growing up, dealing with changing friendships, and finding new interests.
The narrative voice was fresh and interesting, the author included just the right details to make the story and characters seem real, and the themes were gracefully handled throughout. The prose was well-written from a purely technical standpoint as well, and I appreciated the author's consistent use of semi-colons. They are already rare in adult books, and seeing them in middle-grade fiction was a thrill.
I was not sure what to expect from this book, but it was delightful, sweet, and clever, giving me a very satisfied feeling when I reached the end. The book is excellently relatable for its target audience, avoiding the trap of focusing on adult issues and instead addressing concepts from the whole spectrum of life: middle school friendships, finding a passion, willingness to take risks in relationships, and aging and loss. This book also inspires greater interest in science, curiosity about the world, and delight in living. As much as I love juvenile fiction, it is rare that I finish such a book desiring anew to live to the fullest, but this book makes me grateful for life and once again reminded how incredible it is to even exist....more
I checked this book out from the library because the character's name was like my nickname, Dorie. A glance at the fly showed that this would be cuteI checked this book out from the library because the character's name was like my nickname, Dorie. A glance at the fly showed that this would be cute and imaginative, but even though I took this home with reasonably good expectations, I was still surprised by how endearing and excellent it was. There are cute, evocative illustrations on almost every page, and the chapter book structure and writing are perfect for the target age while never coming across as formulaic. The little girl in the story is very imaginative, and even though I have lots of distinct memories from when I was little, this book has brought some of them back even more vividly. This is such a realistic, excellent book that truly understands the thoughts and imaginations of clever, abnormal little children. I would highly recommend this both to kids at that reading level and older people who would like to reminisce about how fascinating and imaginative everyday life can be when you're small....more