3.5 stars At first I thought the book was just ok. It's kind of a weird topic to tackle in a book, and really interesting that they combined student/t3.5 stars At first I thought the book was just ok. It's kind of a weird topic to tackle in a book, and really interesting that they combined student/teacher relationship in with a tragic event like this. I felt like really more could have been done with the relationship aspect, but (view spoiler)[ since the relationship never actually happened (and truthfully I still am confused as to what Haddings was feeling for her in the end), (hide spoiler)] by the middle of the book I knew I had to finish. It was a quick read and not terribly written at least. ["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book started kind of slow, I nearly stopped reading it. However, a co-worker said "NO! The end is the best part!" So I plugged ahead until suddenThis book started kind of slow, I nearly stopped reading it. However, a co-worker said "NO! The end is the best part!" So I plugged ahead until suddenly I hit the last 150 pages and I was simply thrown for a loop and hooked. By the end there were times I wanted to throw the book because I was so frustrated trying to figure out what was real and what isn't. I suppose that means the author did a good job considering the main character has schizophrenia, what I thought was real wasn't and vice versa. I literally had to sit down and be like "wait...is this real?" which is exactly what she does in the book. ...more
When I first started reading Alex As Well I almost immediately hated it. I didn't like how her mom's chapters were all from blog posts and it was supeWhen I first started reading Alex As Well I almost immediately hated it. I didn't like how her mom's chapters were all from blog posts and it was super annoying that she'd break from the story to talk directly to the reader, but once we started getting to the meat of the story I really started to like it. So give it a chance and read at least the first half....more
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