I was sad that I didn't like this book as much as the Newberry Award panel. I really wanted to love it as I also grew up in a small, everyone knows ev...moreI was sad that I didn't like this book as much as the Newberry Award panel. I really wanted to love it as I also grew up in a small, everyone knows everyone, town. Yet something about the overwhelming number of old people dying in the book struck a rough chord with me. I thought that the focus on blood and death was a little extreme, and I found myself skimming parts where the autopsies were performed.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. I found the historical tidbits that are interspersed in the obituaries to be fascinating and a great way to interest kids in various facts from America's past. I also enjoyed the fact that the small town of Norvelt still relied on helping each other out and sometimes even barter systems for needed goods.
The main character, Jack, was truly a sweet kid, and I found it endearing that he would rather spend time helping an elderly lady then playing baseball with his friends. I also found myself wishing Jack was able to be more of a child. Throughout the entire story he is grounded, and I found myself rooting for him to be able to play baseball, run around town, and hang out with his friends.
Overall, I'd give the book a 3.5 as it's a funny, interesting read filled with lovable characters.(less)
Gary Schmidt is one of the most talented writers I have had the privilege to read. I first read his book, Wednesday Wars, and I loved it. It was brill...moreGary Schmidt is one of the most talented writers I have had the privilege to read. I first read his book, Wednesday Wars, and I loved it. It was brilliant, and I fell in love with the main character, Holling. Well, the love I had for Holling is nothing compared to the love I found for Doug through Schmidt's words. Schmidt has a way of tugging at my heartstrings that is beautiful. I loved the characters, I loved the town, I loved the entire story. I started it yesterday, and I couldn't finish the last 50 pages or so until this morning...beautiful. Purely genius. (less)
This book was the initial spark that caused my interest in the Holocaust. I remember reading this novel when I was very young, eight or nine, and wond...moreThis book was the initial spark that caused my interest in the Holocaust. I remember reading this novel when I was very young, eight or nine, and wondering how people could be so mean. I then went on to read Anne Frank's diary, and a few non-fiction works on the Holocaust. I was stunned. I still am stunned, fifteen years later, by the hatred and cruelty that humans are capable of.
Because of the extreme significance this book had upon me as a child, I wanted to reread it, relive what I had felt so many years ago. Even today, the book is amazing. It's the perfect (and safe) way to interest children in the Holocaust. The story explains about the Jews hiding and the Germans hunting them down, without giving too many of the sadistic details. It evokes a sense of fear and curiosity that surely stayed with me for years, and I am determined to share this book with my own children as they grow up. Beautifully written.(less)
I would honestly give this book 4.5 stars if I could. I thought it was a fascinating story filled with fantastic morals for children and young-adults....moreI would honestly give this book 4.5 stars if I could. I thought it was a fascinating story filled with fantastic morals for children and young-adults. I also think it's one that would be quite difficult to understand without an adult reading it alongside a child. The vocabulary is more advanced than I consider most juvenile fiction books to have, and the concepts and morals could use explanation for younger children. Overall, a great story about the power of love and self-understanding.
There were many fantastic quotes in the book, but I wanted to write down two of my favorites:
"Tears almost came to her eyes at the gentle use of the old nickname. 'I wanted you to do it all for me. I wanted everything to be easy and simple . . . . So I tried to pretend that it was all your fault . . . because I was scared, and I didn't want to have do anything myself - '
'But I wanted to do it for you,' Mr. Murry said. 'That's what every parent wants.'"
"Listen, Meg. Listen well. The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."(less)
This review is more a review of the trilogy than just Mockingjay. Ever since reading Harry Potter, I have been hungry for a series that holds my inter...moreThis review is more a review of the trilogy than just Mockingjay. Ever since reading Harry Potter, I have been hungry for a series that holds my interest as well as J.K. Rowling's did, and a series that makes me desire to read it again and again. Suzanne Collins has done that and more. I finished the last book and couldn't stop thinking about the entire trilogy. I had (have) a million questions in my head to discuss with fellow readers, and I find myself in awe of the immense talent that Suzanne Collins has for writing literature. The books are dark and deep as they deal with the unfortunate but realistic change that revolution and war bring to teenagers and children alike. They feel extremely relevant despite the fact that they are set in a futuristic world where American no longer exists. Throughout the series, Collins weaves words and ideas so carefully that I found myself laughing, worried, and then crying many times. I was impressed as well by Collins's ability to end the series in a dignified and respectful way. It took me awhile to realize just how appropriate the ending was. (less)
Ingrid Law writes in a way that makes you turn the next page. Savvy is a sweet, endearing tale of a young girl, Mibs, turning 13 and developing her ow...moreIngrid Law writes in a way that makes you turn the next page. Savvy is a sweet, endearing tale of a young girl, Mibs, turning 13 and developing her own special talent, or Savvy. Genetically inherited from her mother's side, each child receives their savvy at 13. Mibs can hardly contain her excitement to discover her savvy, but as she finds out that her father has been in a car accident and is in critical condition, her excitement turns to worry and hope. Mibs prays that her savvy will be something which can help Poppa get better. As her 13th birthday begins, the reader is taken on a wild adventure as Mibs hopes to help her Poppa. Through delightful and quirky characters, charming but real emotions, and almost unbelievable events, Ingrid Law manages to keep you entertained and curious to the very last page. Although, in my opinion, not the strongest writing, the story is endearing and one that I will read to my children as they grow up. (less)
I have heard overwhelmingly positive reviews about Divergent, and when I heard it was similar to the Hunger Games, I jumped at the chance to read it....moreI have heard overwhelmingly positive reviews about Divergent, and when I heard it was similar to the Hunger Games, I jumped at the chance to read it. After reading it, I can understand how readers feel it resembles the Hunger Games because it is the same genre (dystopian lit) and it involves children fighting (although for entirely different reasons). It also has a strong female protagonist and romance. I get it, but I still think they are two entirely different books. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of Divergent, and I felt that the character development was strong throughout the story. I fell in love with Four as soon as he was introduced, and continued to love his character through the rest of the book. In fact, he's probably the one I'm most interested in seeing in the following books. I thought the concept was interesting as well, and I was stunned to learn that the author is only 23. I will definitely be looking for her future novels, and I can't wait to get my hands on Insurgent. (less)
It is rare to me that a second book in a series can top the first one. This book surely did just that. I am amazed by Suzanne Collins's ability to mak...moreIt is rare to me that a second book in a series can top the first one. This book surely did just that. I am amazed by Suzanne Collins's ability to make an entirely new, entirely engrossing story out of the same concept as the first book. I am eagerly awaiting picking up the third book!(less)