I'm still reading these because I don't read a book of short stories the way I read a novel. (I will say that while I'm reading, it's hard not to go oI'm still reading these because I don't read a book of short stories the way I read a novel. (I will say that while I'm reading, it's hard not to go on to the next story as if it were the next chapter.) These stories are so vivid, I feel like I'm falling into Harry Potter's pensieve when I start one, and I come out startled and not sure where I am. I checked the book out from the library weeks ago, and I just can't bring myself to turn it in until I finish it....more
This is my three-year-old's favorite book. He likes to look for the skeletons he's seen at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, which he asks to gThis is my three-year-old's favorite book. He likes to look for the skeletons he's seen at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, which he asks to go to every single day. (We have a pass, so we try to go at least once a week.)
It's a heavy book, with beautiful pictures. We started out just reading him the captions, but now that he's more familiar with it, we're actually talking about the pictures, and summarizing some of the text for him, too. The text is the kind of nonfiction that, if you just dip in at any point, you find yourself pulled in and next thing you know you've read the whole page and the next one. There are only two or three pages of text per group of pictures, and he usually steals the book from me if I stop talking long enough to actually read, so I only read it in bits and pieces. But I highly recommend it. ...more
This book deserves every award it has won, and then some. It's a quick read (if you're an adult, anyway), and completely worth your time (no matter whThis book deserves every award it has won, and then some. It's a quick read (if you're an adult, anyway), and completely worth your time (no matter what age you are). The power went out when I was five pages from the end (stupid Oklahoma storms) and I had to read the last bit by candle light, because no way was I going to put it down.
Delphine is an 11-year-old narrator who calls herself plain. Not plain as in ugly. Plain as in straightforward and careful. She is careful, too, as she and her two younger sisters fly out to Oakland (in 1968) to meet their mother, who doesn't really want to see them. Her dad told her to watch after them, and she does her best, sacrificing the window seat on the plane so she can keep the other two happy, going to the store for groceries so she can cook them dinner, and planning an excursion to San Francisco so they can see the sights. Because their mom wants nothing to do with them.
But for all her caution, Delphine stumbles into some situations that defy her ability to keep them all safe. And along the way, she learns some things about her mom, herself, and their world that...well, suffice it to say, it all kept me reading through tornado warnings, giant hail, and a power outage. ...more
Neal Shusterman is amazing and only accidentally getting carburetor fluid sprayed in my eyes this evening could have made me put it down. And it was mNeal Shusterman is amazing and only accidentally getting carburetor fluid sprayed in my eyes this evening could have made me put it down. And it was more of a "throw it down while screaming" kind of move. But my eyes are feeling better, so I'm about to put the kids to bed so I can get back to the book. I hope I don't go blind.
Not blind! My eyes aren't even damaged! So I finished the book, and it got more and more amazing right up until it was over, and I had to read all the author interview at the end so I wouldn't go into immediate withdrawal, and that was super interesting, too.
This isn't really a paranormal, exactly, but supernatural things happen. Maybe I need a supernatural shelf. Because poor Brewster (i.e. Bruiser) has this...condition...that requires him to keep a strong emotional distance between himself and others. But then Bronte and Tennyson - twins whose parents are English Professors - befriend him, and discover his...condition. That's when things really start falling apart. It's a very complex situation.
There were a couple of points where I thought it was on the verge of getting preachy, but because the characters' voices were so strong, the message came across loud and clear without that feeling that someone else just took over and tried to tell you something while you were enjoying a decent story.
This is my favorite of the 2013 Sequoyah list so far. I hope Oklahoma teens recognize its brilliance and vote for it! They voted for Unwind, which was also brilliant, so maybe they'll get this one right, too....more
I picked this up and looked at it when I was processing new books at the library, and accidentally got sucked right into the story. I was five pages iI picked this up and looked at it when I was processing new books at the library, and accidentally got sucked right into the story. I was five pages in before I even realized I was reading it. But I'm reading a bunch of other books right now, so I got the audio version. And I didn't want to get out of my car when I got home. So good! I'm only ten minutes into it so far, but at dinner I had to tell my family about the part I listened to already. ...more
I just "read" this to Jesse for the second night in a row. It doesn't have many words, but it was such an unexpected story. It tugs at the ole heart sI just "read" this to Jesse for the second night in a row. It doesn't have many words, but it was such an unexpected story. It tugs at the ole heart strings.
Poor dog isn't much good at maintaining friendships. And when an unexpected issue comes up, he abandons his friend robot. Robot waits and waits, and is eventually rescued, while dog tries to make new friends, but never forgets.
The only problem I have with this story is that one anthropomorphic stories often generate, where one dog is building robots and going to the library and hopping a bus to the dog beach, while another dog sniffs junk and guards the junkyard and wears a collar and clearly "belongs" to the junkyard owner.
But that's a trifle, and it doesn't stop me from tearing up at the last page. Every time. I'm pathetic, I know, but this story makes me cry, and I love it.
Hooray for anti-consumerism! Let's all use less stuff! I love this message. And yes, it was completely Christian-churchy-Jesus filled, because the autHooray for anti-consumerism! Let's all use less stuff! I love this message. And yes, it was completely Christian-churchy-Jesus filled, because the author is a pastor's wife. I normally hate Christian religion filled messages, because I grew up in it and it was shoved down my throat and used to manipulate me and it all became the bane of my existence. But this message is uplifting, and these people are trying not to be what I would call "regular" Christians, and I admire that.
I read this today. It made me laugh, and cry, and I wanted to stand up and cheer for women, who are mostly still being both the homemakersFANTASTIC!
I read this today. It made me laugh, and cry, and I wanted to stand up and cheer for women, who are mostly still being both the homemakers and the breadwinners. Because most guys - not my husband, but most guys - don't realize that the refrigerator has to be cleaned out.
Not that this book is about housework, because it isn't at all. It's about a girl (Amelia) and a boy (Chris) who both work at a supermarket in Australia. She's in high school and he's in college, and they are both very literary (yay! a book that makes me want to read a bunch of classics! I hope it has that effect on the high schoolers who read it.), and they both have issues to work through. Both of them are loveable, but neither of them feel it yet. It isn't one of those with issues that are easy to resolve, though. He's way too old for her at the moment, no matter how smart she is. And she's too smart to enjoy kids her age, and she doesn't realize that changes when you go to college (or, as they call it in Australia, "uni"), and if you cut the kids your age a little slack, you can enjoy their company now. So, lots of learning moments that teenagers can benefit from experiencing. And I didn't mind experiencing them vicariously as an adult, and remembering when I wanted so desperately not to be a kid, but was so scared to grow up, too. Part of that is probably from graduating two years early and being way too emotionally unprepared for college, but bored out of my mind with high school.
Also, there are a lot of relationships in the book, and they aren't happy or wonderful, but they are important and deep. At one point, for example, Amelia's mom tells her not to ever try to understand someone else's marriage. Boy is that the truth.
This is a great book, and I'm going to read it again someday and enjoy it again. Also, I'm starting a shelf for books set in Australia, because I think I've read three or four now, and I really like them. ...more