March 2011. Yup, again. edit: I put this aside for a couple of weeks because I knew what was coming and didn't want to get to that part. I finished todMarch 2011. Yup, again. edit: I put this aside for a couple of weeks because I knew what was coming and didn't want to get to that part. I finished today, and it was just as devastating as the first time I read it, so my putting it off did not help a bit. I LOVE THIS BOOK.
May 2010 rereading
This is the best book I've read this year, and only the second book that's ever made me cry.
Narrated by Death, the story details the young life of Liesel Meminger in Nazi Germany. This is not a story about Jews or other persecuted people; this is a story of the regular Germans, those who joined the Hitler Youth groups and went along with the Fuhrer's commands.
I liked seeing WWII from a different perspective; everyone tends to focus on Holocaust victims or the soldiers at Normandy (not that these aren't important stories to tell). But what about the people who were on the other side? What did they go through?
Throughout the book, Liesel's reading helps her and her family to learn to think for themselves in a time when that was pretty dangerous. The power of books! ...more
Nurse Matilda disciplines bad kids. That's what this book is about. What makes it interesting is HOW she does it.
The kids in these books aren't evil,Nurse Matilda disciplines bad kids. That's what this book is about. What makes it interesting is HOW she does it.
The kids in these books aren't evil, but they're pretty badly-behaved. Most of their hijinx are actually fairly harmless; it's just that they're causing trouble with such consistency and in such great quantity that it's hard for other people to handle.
Enter Nurse Matilda, the ugliest woman alive, whose punishments generally force the children to become the victims of their own pranks. When they've learned their lesson, the punishment ends, and Nurse Matilda gets a little prettier.
This edition has three books in one, and they're pretty similar the Mary Poppins and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. (I do like stories about unruly children who get straightened out by the golden-hearted governess.) ...more
My world history class is studying WWI, and that made me want to reread Rilla ... for the 10th or 11th time.
after reading: um. My world history book sMy world history class is studying WWI, and that made me want to reread Rilla ... for the 10th or 11th time.
after reading: um. My world history book sucks (this is not news). I learned more about WWI from Rilla than from my textbook, including, but not limited to, the names of the Allied armies' commanders, which you'd think would be important enough to add to a volume of education material, GLENCOE.
I find non-military war stories fascinating, and I think they aren't addressed enough in fiction. Sure, it's exciting to be dug down in trenches on the Western Front, but there's also a challenge in maintaining morale at home. Maybe one's life isn't threatened, but it can't be easy to live under the constant threat of bad news. Piling on food shortages and rationing seems like salt in a wound.
Rilla and Susan's vow to be heroines strikes me every time, because I'd like to think that I would do the same. I hope I would have the strength not to buckle under the strain of wartime living. ...more