I got sucked into this one. I started at 1 a.m., intending to read for about an hour to make myself fall asleep. How very false. Three hours later, I...moreI got sucked into this one. I started at 1 a.m., intending to read for about an hour to make myself fall asleep. How very false. Three hours later, I just closed the last page and had to stop myself from choking up with tears. What a mesmerizing, endearing tale, of a boy who lost his mother but found strength through his love of books. Most certainly a quick read, but I am so grateful that I took the time to read this. 4.5 stars would be my rating, but 4 will have to do. I have missed books like this.
I also would venture to say it could be cast into the young adult genre, so if you're looking for a challenging, mind-bending read, you'll not find it here so much. However, if you are looking for a charmer that will wrap you up for a rainy afternoon and a cup of tea (or the wee hours of the morning), this for sure will be a book I recommend. What is the fancy name for it? A buldingsroman? Exactly. A come-of-age tale that wraps up all your favorite fairy tales, Communist dwarves, and a little bit of Hilter thrown in for the World War II fan. It sort of reminds me of the film Pan's Labyrinth, actually, only told from the perspective of a lonely British boy who probably could use a little more imagination in his life - just like the rest of us readers, and Connolly delivers to the fullest.(less)
I have a secret. Since I read this book in fourth grade, I have always kind of hoped to get abandoned in the wild and left to fend for myself. I have...moreI have a secret. Since I read this book in fourth grade, I have always kind of hoped to get abandoned in the wild and left to fend for myself. I have to admit that I could probably skin rabbits if need be, start fires with flint, and pee on logs to mark my territory.
Ok, maybe not the last one. But this book basically shattered every fantasy that I had as a fourth grade girl, when I had only read books like A Wrinkle in Time and The Chronicles of Narnia. Hatchet is one of those elementary classics that cannot be missed. And if you ever do get stranded in the wilderness, you definitely will have a leg up on survival. And that's always good.(less)
Dammit, I love Flip. I love Madeleine L'Engle, I love the idea of boarding schools, Switzerland, and French boys and girls snowed into a storm of roma...moreDammit, I love Flip. I love Madeleine L'Engle, I love the idea of boarding schools, Switzerland, and French boys and girls snowed into a storm of romance, adventure, and heartbreaking loneliness. (I've also only realized that I've always had a strange attraction for the widowed father and only daughter stories. This one absolutely fills that niche.)
I've reread this book countless times now, and each read only makes me happier and sentimental for the gorgeous but grounding tales of Madeleine L'Engle. Some may say And Both Were Young is not her best, but for those readers who can appreciate L'Engle's work for its simplistic beauty, it certainly will prove satisfying and complete.
I'd also like to comment that since I was 12, this book has made me want a winter wedding by candlelight in a chapel in the middle of the woods. Just fyi, in case someone out there shares the same fantasy. (less)
When I was seven or eight years old and home sick from school, my mom brought me two things in bed: a hot cup of Earl Grey tea and this darling book t...moreWhen I was seven or eight years old and home sick from school, my mom brought me two things in bed: a hot cup of Earl Grey tea and this darling book that I always keep nearby. Of all the books in the entire world, this is the one that stole my heart.
Clara is an imaginative, precocious young girl who lives in Flowers, Kansas with her dad. They own a cafe on the main street in town, a cafe that was once a theatre. The magic in those walls still makes funny things happen in the cafe, and Clara notices it all. Like the possum...
Barely 100 pages, this book can easily be read within an hour. Any time I feel upset, sick, depressed, or simply bored with life, I escape to the Van Gogh Cafe. It's a dream of a children's book that will certainly inspire and entertain any adult with an imagination.(less)