I'm a little disappointed that this is a Newberry medalist. It came across to me as more of a Christian morality fairy tale than an inspirational book...moreI'm a little disappointed that this is a Newberry medalist. It came across to me as more of a Christian morality fairy tale than an inspirational book for children. Just the way everything worked out so perfectly at the end in my mind left the realm of reality and crossed the line into fantasy. It seemed to send the message that if you work hard and say your prayers that all your dreams will come true and only good things will happen to you.
That being said, it was an interesting glimpse into medieval England and the life of the son of a wealthy and powerful nobleman. There were also some lines and some ideas which I really liked. I liked how Robin took Luke's encouraging words "Anybody can NOT do it" and turned them into his catch phrase and his encouragement when he came across difficult things.
Actually, right up until the end, I could totally see why this won the Newberry medal. It was just the end that seemed too perfect to me that brought it down to 3 stars for me.(less)
Fantastic book! Fascinating premise, intriguing characters, vividly-described adventures and an endearing hero.
Bod was a delightful character. Fierce...moreFantastic book! Fascinating premise, intriguing characters, vividly-described adventures and an endearing hero.
Bod was a delightful character. Fierce and kind, loyal and adventurous, daring and cautious. Just fascinating. I could definitely sympathize with many of his decisions, and it was brilliant the way we got to see the consequences of so many of them.
Silas, though, was my favorite character. Mysterious and intriguing and just so fantastically well-written.
This may be too scary for my students, I'll have to think further on whether to recommend it to them or not. But I sure enjoyed it!
Favorite Quotes: Her father taught particle physics, but there were, Scarlett told Bod, too many people who wanted to teach particle physics and not enough people who wanted to learn it.
"You're alive Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you're dead, it's gone. Over. You've made what you've made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished."
"Face your life Its pain, its pleasure, Leave no path untaken"(less)
Just re-read this so I could remind myself what happens in it before recommending it to a student.
I enjoyed it so much more than I remember enjoying i...moreJust re-read this so I could remind myself what happens in it before recommending it to a student.
I enjoyed it so much more than I remember enjoying it the first time! Jeffrey/Maniac is a fantastically-written character, the tone of the writing was brilliant, and the end totally made me cry.
This is one of those books that leaves me feeling honored to have been able to accompany the main character on his adventures. I'm astounded at Jeffrey's compassion and kindness after all he's been through in his life. But what I enjoyed most, I think, is that the kindness and compassion is so innate that he doesn't even realize he's behaving differently than anyone else. He doesn't stop to think what he should do in each situation, he just reacts and because he's a kind, decent person, he always reacts kindly and with decency. Remarkable.
The racism in here might be a little beyond the grasp of my students, but we have begun discussions of it in class (reading Little House on the Prairie in a class with several Native American students rather necessitates it) so this may end up being a perfect illustration of the concept.(less)
Most of the children's books I read are so I can know what to recommend to/make available for my students. But the Newberry winners? Those I read for...moreMost of the children's books I read are so I can know what to recommend to/make available for my students. But the Newberry winners? Those I read for me. I've been mocked for my love of these books, and I still don't really know what it is that captivates me about them--whether it's that I wish I'd known books like this existed when I was the age of the protagonists, or that I invariably feel like the narrator/characters are individuals I would loved to have been friends with--whatever the reason, I typically agree with whomever awards the Newberry medals that these books are extraordinary.
And this book is no exception. Miranda is exactly the type of girl I would have loved to have been friends with when I was little. I love her way of seeing and understanding the world, the way she relates to people, and how she reacts to some pretty big changes. I adored how she carried "her" book around all the time, and got defensive whenever she found out someone else had read it.
It's been a long time since my heart has hurt as much for a character as it did for the laughing man. It's also been a long time since I've been so touched and inspired by a character. He was so beautifully well written.
This whole story was fantastically well crafted. It unfolds so perfectly so we can see how everything all connects, without ever seeming forced or heavy-handed. Delicate. Only at the end is it clear how much all the little things mean, and how much could have gone so very wrong if even one little thing was left out.
Okay, I'm starting to gush and to not even make sense to myself anymore. This book was glorious. (less)
Cats are famous for purring. And this is what the calico cat did as she curled up next to Ranger's massive chest, safe and soft....moreSome Favorite Quotes:
Cats are famous for purring. And this is what the calico cat did as she curled up next to Ranger's massive chest, safe and soft. Until he heard it, Ranger had not realized how much he needed this sweet, friendly sound. How much he needed someone to settle in next to him. He didn't know that he needed to not be solitary until at last he wasn't.
His heart pounded in a drumbeat of hunger, of pain, of want, of furious want. He couldn't swallow for want of air. Couldn't see for want of light. Couldn't stop for want of want. He was want crystallized in the shape of a damaged boy.
Purring is not so different from praying. To a tree, a cat's purr is one of the purest of all prayers, for in it lies a whole mixture of gratitude and longing, the twin ingredients of every prayer.
How do any of us know these things? It could be that somehow, if we stand still long enough, we can actually hear the trees and understand their messages. It could be that the light from the sun slips down at a certain slant so as to fill us in. Maybe it's just that love has its own way of informing us when loss is at hand.
A dog who has been true to those he loved, and even the one he didn't, who did his job without complaint, should have some comfort in the midst of so much misery. Such a dog is worthy of this much. Of something sweet. When Sabine saw that Gar Face was sound asleep, she slipped out from her hiding place and curled up under one of Ranger's long silky ears. She purred to him as hard as she could. She licked the side of his soft face, licked the blood off his nose, she put her nose next to his nose. She loved him as hard as she could. With all her might, she loved Ranger.(less)