I suppose this review has spoilers...if a picture book can have spoilers...
On the surface it's a heartwarming story about a crayon whose label says "rI suppose this review has spoilers...if a picture book can have spoilers...
On the surface it's a heartwarming story about a crayon whose label says "red" but is really blue.
Dig a little deeper and it's a story about being true to yourself and learning who you are.
Let's go one more level, and I don't know if this is how it was intended by the author or not but this is how I instantly saw the book before I even opened the cover: This is a book about/for kids struggling with gender identity. As a librarian I see the subject headings that it's given and "identity (psychology)" is one, but of course it couldn't say "gender identity" because crayons don't have genders.
His whole life he was told he was red. "It says red on his label." "He came that way from the factory." AKA. He was make red, therefore he must be red. His label couldn't be a mistake and he's really a different color inside. (READ: He was born a boy. His physical appearance couldn't possibly be a mistake and he's really a girl inside) His family and friends try to fix him with tape, and scarves, and encouragement to really try at being red "draw a red strawberry" "Why don't you two go our and draw a nice, round orange?". He tries, but he just can't be red and draw red things...because he's BLUE.
I swear I could sense this crayon's depression progress each time he failed at drawing something red. I actually thought "OMG he's going to throw himself in the crayon sharpener or something! Wait that can't happen, it's a kid's book." Because no one ever said "Look! His strawberries are blue, he must be blue!" Just like so many people don't say "Look he loves dresses, and growing his hair long, and maybe he's actually a girl."
But his new friend Berry saves the day by asking him to draw an ocean and suddenly people realize he isn't red after all. I wanted to cheer for joy over this little mislabeled crayon who had found himself. ...more
This was almost a DNF. The first few sections of the book we're just a bit over the top with how much his teacher could encourage him to not only writThis was almost a DNF. The first few sections of the book we're just a bit over the top with how much his teacher could encourage him to not only write but read aloud his inappropriate passages for the memoir (not to mention how his teacher would talk about his left testicle). I first started reading this book for something light and funny, but it almost lost me. I wasn't a fan with every other chapter being narrative and then memoir piece, but I eventually got used to it. I was totally thrown off when it suddenly was Charlotte's memoir piece instead of his because it wasn't mentioned anywhere that we were reading someone else's piece. But at the same time, it was Charlotte and her inability to let people in and mysteriousness that kept me going. Until she was more than a passing character I would literally think "Ok one more chapter then I'll just quit, this isn't worth it". But suddenly somewhere in the middle, I thought "Whoa, I actually am starting to like this". I think while the maturity level wasn't quite where I'd like the book to be, I thought it also handled decently well the fact that high school is full of people with immature humor (Neil and his poop), kids who dabble in drugs just for the sake of "being cool" and the intense feeling that you need to have a boyfriend/girlfriend in order to be anybody. However, it wasn't until I was really thrown into Charlotte's life that I really started to feel anything towards any character. I won't spoil anything, but after reading her memoir intro, I felt just as taken aback and shocked as Shakespeare. I didn't know what to think or what to say and when she next appeared I was like OMG what can you possibly say to her now Shakespeare. I think he acted just as I would have and from that point on it changed from DNF to OMG what is going to happen? It just took a while to get there....more
I randomly picked up this book because the title caught my eye. Turns out it was a VERY good book that I wished was longer and for adults. It does a gI randomly picked up this book because the title caught my eye. Turns out it was a VERY good book that I wished was longer and for adults. It does a great job at showing how much Eleanor missed her first babysitter and how she slowly grows accustomed to her second babysitter. Her summer may not have started out fun, but in the end it wasn't so bad after all. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is really a 3.5 star review. I liked it enough to read in a day, but not quite 4 stars worth. It was a simple read really, but**spoiler alert** This is really a 3.5 star review. I liked it enough to read in a day, but not quite 4 stars worth. It was a simple read really, but also very predictable and way too cliche for me at the end. For me the biggest draw back was how neatly it all wrapped up at the end with everyone winning their dream scholarships and attending their dream college. They even sort of ignored how Mandy was doing however many months later with her father being in prison for tax fraud. That whole chapter in her life basically ended with her mom telling her that her school fund was unaffected. Ok, but she still has a father in jail and suddenly 6 months later her life feels perfect because her and Eric still see eachother?
It was a good book about high school sweethearts and the different choices girls make regarding sex, including their regrets of it. Even if it comes about because someone created a scholarship that required purity as a requirement. I will say I'm glad it didn't turn into a preachy book with them all becoming instant born-again virgins and having no issue about changing their attitudes about sex. ...more
It's rare that an author makes the third and final book in a series the best of them all. This final book had so many twists and turns as it wrapped tIt's rare that an author makes the third and final book in a series the best of them all. This final book had so many twists and turns as it wrapped things up that I was actually disappointed when I hit the final page! I could keep reading about Rhine's world forever if she'd write them! Don't think for a minute here that new twists and wanting more means that there were a ton of loose ends. DeStefano does a great job at concluding the story for the major characters and leaves you fully understanding that this is the end. But that doesn't mean we won't keep yearning for more. ...more
Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson will be expecting a novel addressing a controversial topic and they will not be disappointed. Her newest book captures P Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson will be expecting a novel addressing a controversial topic and they will not be disappointed. Her newest book captures PTSD in a very real fashion. Main character, Hayley, is a high school student who has spent the last 5 years of her life on the road with her father running and hiding from her father’s demons. He finally decided to move back home and put her in normal high school. True to her form, Anderson is able to write from the teenage perspective with such accuracy, you would swear she was still a teenager herself.
We start out thinking that Hayley is mostly “strange” because of her father’s severe PTSD. She is forced to play the “adult” and take care of him. We soon learn that her life hasn’t been peaches either. This is mostly because the woman she loved like a mom (her step-mom) walked out and abandoned her after her father returned from the war. She has harbored a lot of resentment towards her to the point that when she starts to make her way back into their lives once again she instantly feels betrayed once again. A few good (and reluctant) heart-to-hearts reveal why she really left and why she is back again.
Because she never knows what will happen with her father, she never brings anyone home and is reluctant to even make friends. Of course there is her old friend, Gracie, that she played with before they started living on the road, but Gracie’s home life has some secrets of it’s own. She kind of reluctantly falls in like with Finn and their growing relationship is pretty much the feel-good part of the novel.
I will admit I was leery of the writing style as soon as I figured out that the POV was going to switch between characters, and to make things worse they weren’t even characters of the same age, it was Hayley and her father. However, I found myself longing for more snippets into his brain because I personally have no experience with PTSD and his parts were eye-opening to some of the daily demons people face.
Overall I was very pleased with her newest book. While I was admittedly worried that I would find it juvenile and not as good as her previous novels (mostly due to the fact that I’ve grown myself). I was almost afraid to pick up this book because I didn’t want to ruin one of my childhood favorites by being disappointed. However, I found it good enough that if I hadn’t read her other books, I would have sought them out.
I give the book 4 rather than 5 stars, because I didn’t find it quite as emotional or impressionable as Speak, plus sometimes it felt like no one had anything good going on and that it was just being a Debbie-downer instead of trying to look at the positives....more