I reviewed this for Reading Time. These three stories offer glimpses into the lives of children around Auggie, before, after and during the time of WoI reviewed this for Reading Time. These three stories offer glimpses into the lives of children around Auggie, before, after and during the time of Wonder.
David Levithan is always at his best when he's sweet and truthful. He never pushes the idea that high school relationships will last forever. He offerDavid Levithan is always at his best when he's sweet and truthful. He never pushes the idea that high school relationships will last forever. He offers a moment in time philosophy. He demands we be grateful for the precious time we spend with loved ones. He shows us how much the little things matter.
Each story, of course, is quite different. I slowly made my way through them, savoring his language, his romance, and his diverse range of characters.
Sometimes humorous, often clever and just a tiny bit poignant, this collection of stories about Magnus Bane are also just a little sexy too. I guess tSometimes humorous, often clever and just a tiny bit poignant, this collection of stories about Magnus Bane are also just a little sexy too. I guess the audience for Cassandra Clare novels are that bit more mature, a bit more worldly.
Enjoyable if you are a Magnus fan. And who's not one of those? Not me that for sure. ...more
The Artifacts is an interactive, linear (Unsworth, 2006) text designed specifically for iPad. Its co-contributors (Stace & Hare, 2012) have integr The Artifacts is an interactive, linear (Unsworth, 2006) text designed specifically for iPad. Its co-contributors (Stace & Hare, 2012) have integrated narrative and digital elements into an immersive story with universal appeal. Although being confined to one platform might seem a disadvantage, no platform has guaranteed long-term viability; just as book covers date, digital platforms ebb and flow.
Stace’s story is simple. Asaf is obsessed with collecting discarded, sometimes unhygienic objects. His parents use moving house as a chance to clear out all his junk. Asaf resorts to collecting in his imagination, and builds an impressive, intangible, invisible bank of ideas, culminating in writing and sharing. It’s a powerful theme enriched by interactive components, music, and sound effects. The inclusion of metaphor and humour is especially successful.
The Artifacts depends on gesturing and digital manipulation (Bouchardon & Heckman, 2013) for full experience. Coder, Daniel Hare, has developed several excellent features, including voice-over and sound effects, both optional. Admittedly, the main voice is sometimes monotonous, but the sound effects add authenticity and humour. There’s a page (p. 2) with rubbish bins tipping over, and if the screen is tapped in just the right spot, a little shadow dog jumps high and there is a distinct ‘yip’. Young children would be keen to keep it jumping and yipping.
While the need to tap and rub the screen of The Artifacts ensures reader engagement (Houston, 2011), there isn’t always a signal indicating it’s time to move on. On page 5, the text notes (Asaf’s parents) ’did not appreciate his penchant for caterpillars’. Each touch produces a leaf, exactly where the touch happens, and the three caterpillars wriggle over to munch it. Repeated tapping results in more leaves and more munching. It doesn’t seem to matter how long the screen is tapped, the leaves appear. I was disappointed the creatures didn’t transform into butterflies. I really did feed them a lot!
On the other hand, not knowing when to move on can result in a happy surprise. I thought I had discovered everything about one page, but while showing it to another teacher, I accidentally unlocked another element. This led to a shared moment of fun and wonder, and it prompted me to review pages to see if there were other things I’d missed (and there were).
Although there is very little text, the language is powerful, and builds vocabulary. To accentuate Asaf’s despondency, one illustration depicts him curled up in shadow, and as the screen is tapped, words appear and grow. The gloom, the desolation, isolation, loneliness, the emptiness (p. 9) and so on, a visual representation of his sadness.
There is one particularly effective alliterative sentence on a different page: He stepped on shadows to snag them… then strung them across his ceiling… (p. 17). Even though there isn't enough text to sustain sophisticated readers, there is plenty to challenge those who are reluctant or just starting their independent reading journey.
The Artifacts also has something to offer educators who want to develop empathy in students. On one page (p. 6) there is a simple reverse screen, where Asaf moves from being the large human looking in on the trapped bug in a closed bottle, to actually being in the bottle being watched over by a big green bug. The idea to walk in the shoes of another person is a strong reason to encourage young people to read, and digital literature may be able to do this well.
On a Meta level, The Artifacts can be seen as a metaphor for the move from print to screen reading. Asaf’s initial collections are all physical objects. There is much talk now about the print book as an artefact (Ingram, 2013), and although the journey isn’t quick or easy, Asaf eventually adapts to his intangible imaginary collection (his virtual world), paralleling our process of moving from one form of reading to another. A sense of nostalgia permeates, our sense of grief is strong, yet inevitably we move on, adapt and find another way to read, and ultimately share.
This review has been completed for the subject INF533, Literature in Digital Environments, as part of a Masters of Education degree. Image used with permission of authors.
Stace, L., & Hare, D. (2011). The Artifacts. Slap Happy Larry. Retrieved from iTunes App Store.
Unsworth, L. (2005). Learning through web contexts of book-based literary narratives (Ch. 3). In E-literature for Children: Enhancing Digital Literacy Learning. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from http://CSUAU.eblib.com/patron/FullRec....
I can understand the decision to hold off on Nick's story for another book and go with Hunter's story for the next one. Actually both Hunter and NickI can understand the decision to hold off on Nick's story for another book and go with Hunter's story for the next one. Actually both Hunter and Nick are enigmatic characters and deserve detailed exploration (character-wise I mean, clearly). So both will be early anticipated.
This short ebook delves into the other side of Nick. The anxious, deeply secreted side that is in contrast to the well controlled and calm exterior he shows his brothers.
Look, it's beautifully realised. His gradual acceptance of his feelings for Adam is poignant. I loved that Quinn's anger is built into this awakening realistically. The three main players are all crucial to this story.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing this preview copy....more
Another excellent collection of short stories from the author of 'Town'. Each story stands alone, but there are links, connections, & crossover chAnother excellent collection of short stories from the author of 'Town'. Each story stands alone, but there are links, connections, & crossover characters.
Almost my three favourite YA US writers (Of contemporary fiction) together in one book? Awesome. I very much enjoyed this book of interwoven yet standAlmost my three favourite YA US writers (Of contemporary fiction) together in one book? Awesome. I very much enjoyed this book of interwoven yet stand alone short stories, set in the Christmas season.
I know I will reread it in December when I want that cold snowy feeling I cannot possibly get here in the sub tropics.