I really really really enjoyed this book. I'm a sucker for books about star crossed lovers who shouldn't be together but eho share a love that is so i...moreI really really really enjoyed this book. I'm a sucker for books about star crossed lovers who shouldn't be together but eho share a love that is so intend it changes both of them. Perfect Chemistry is that book for me. Brittany is a rich girl from the north side of town and Alejandro, better known as Alex, is from the south side of town. Brittany hides who she really is in order to keep up a perfect facade while Alex is affiliated with a gang that he (deep down) wants no part of. In their Senior Year at Fairfield High Alex and Britanny are paired up as lab partners in their Chemistry class and the attracton is almost instantanious. Both Alex and Brittany feel something for each other and try to fight tooth and nail to repress it but know that they can't.
Was this the best written book of all time? No way. Did it keep my interest? You bet it did! I couldn't wait to see what would happen to these characters. I was invested in their lives and wanted to see them end up together. I was rooting for Alex to get out of the gang and I wanted Brittany to dump her boyfriend and take a chance with Alex. I wanted so much for everything to work out fro the characters. The element that I loved best about this book was that the story was told from two persepctives. It alternated between Alex and Brittany which gave the story more depth and added to the fact that you wanted these two to end up together.
I recommend this book for anyone who likes sappy romance novels with an edge and I think that teenage girls wuld really like the raw and adult like tone of the book. There is a lot of adult language, both in English and in Spanish, as well as sexual situations and some drug use. I would also suggest keeping Google Translate or a Spnish to English dictionary handy while reading this book because it makes some of the dialouge and story easier to understand.
I loved t his book and I can not wait to read Rules of Attraction !(less)
Fly Away Home is a uplifting but sad story of a little boy and his father who live in an airport. When his mother dies the boy and his father leave...more Fly Away Home is a uplifting but sad story of a little boy and his father who live in an airport. When his mother dies the boy and his father leave their apartment and are trying not to be noticed at the airport. If they are found, they will be put out on the street. The father goes to work and is trying to get them into a more permanent home, but is unable to do so because of his money situation. One day the little boy sees a brown bird caught in the airport who is hurt and cannot find his way out. One day, the bird gets out and the little boy imagines that he is singing as he is set free. This fills little boy with hope that one day he too will be free.
This story is sad and really doesn't leave me with a happy feeling at the end. Even though the finally of the book is the little boy watching a big plane take off, he is still stuck in the airport watching people come and go. One of the most heartbreaking parts of the book for me is on the second to last opening of the book where the little boy is standing in a sea or people who are hugging each other on their way here or there and he is all alone. "Sometimes I get mad, and I want to run at them and push and shout, 'Why do YOU have homes when we don't? What makes YOU so special?'" It was just so sad. I hated seeing him standing by himself looking so sad while everyone else is so happy.
Although this book is beautifully illustrated and written, I couldn't see reading this again to my students. I would make it available for them, but I think that it is too sad to read. I don't want kids to have a "Disney" version of what life is like, but for some reason, I don't think I could read this to my students. I think that it would just make them way too sad.(less)
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting is an interesting story about a riot in an urban city neighborhood. The reader comes into the story in the middle after a...moreSmoky Night by Eve Bunting is an interesting story about a riot in an urban city neighborhood. The reader comes into the story in the middle after a riot has already started. We don't know why the riot has started or by who, but people are running around the streets looting the local shops. We see all of these things from the perspective of Daniel, a little African American boy. He is standing by his window with his mother and his cat Jasmine watching these things happen and wondering if they are going to come and get him and his family. They go to bed and wake up to the smell of smoke filling their apartment. Daniel and his mother leave their apartment with the other families, but Jasmine is no where to be found. They go to the local shelter and find other families there who have also escaped the building fire. Mrs. Kim, an Asian storekeeper is there as well and she has also lost her cat. They are both worried about their pets, until a firefighter come in with a cat under each arm. These two cats, who used to fight with each other and not get along now seem to be the best of friends. They are drinking from the same bowl and are no longer enemies. The fire and the riot have brought them together and the families who never used to talk or get along are now trying to see past their differences and get along too.
This book is wonderfully illustrated by David Diaz. He used painting done in acrylics and the backgrounds and borders where put together by Diaz and then photographed. This creates a unique viewing experience with depth and texture. I found that I was following the images more than the text to propel the story forward. They help to tell the story just as much as the text does.
I think this book is a wonderful story to read to young children, especially in a post 9/11 world, even though it was written in 1994. It shows how even in the face of tragedy people find a way to get along and see past their differences. (less)
This Land is Your Land the 10th Anniversary Edition is a beautifully illustrated book of the folksong by Woody Guthrie that we were all forced to le...more This Land is Your Land the 10th Anniversary Edition is a beautifully illustrated book of the folksong by Woody Guthrie that we were all forced to learn in elementary school. It is a song about how we need to share the land that we have because it does not belong to anyone. It belongs to all of us and we need to take care of it. I remembered the basic lyrics from when I was young "This land is your land, this land is my land. From California, to the New York Islands. From the Red Wood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters. This land was made for your and me.", but I had no idea there were more lyrics. I have always liked this song and I really enjoyed the book.
The book itself is very beautiful. The dust jacket and the hard cover are almost exactly the same with the red background and the little image on the front, except that the dust jacket has a gold border around it and the title and words on the dust jacket are gold. When you take the dust jacket off and look on the inside of it, there is a bigger painting of the tiny bordered image on the front of the dust jacket. This cover and dust jacket are different from other publications because it is the 10th anniversary edition.
The paintings in the book are also very beautiful. Kathy Jackobsen has given the book some truly beautiful images that portray the lyrics wonderfully. When the chorus of the song begins, there are many different images with quotes from songwriter Woody Guthrie. My favorite quote in these images is on the 10th opening of the book on the left hand page. It is in the bottom left corner and says "I don't want the kids to be grown ups. I want to see the grown-ups be kids." As a teacher, I think that this quote is great.
I think that it needs to be read to kids to show them that not one of us owns this land, but that it belongs to everyone.(less)