I was very intrigued by the cover art. The format for this book is the size of a picture book, but the text is overabundant. I am concerned that the s...moreI was very intrigued by the cover art. The format for this book is the size of a picture book, but the text is overabundant. I am concerned that the struggling readers at my school will pick this up thinking it is an easy read. Then they will be overwhelmed by the text. I am curious to find out the reading level of this book. I would put it around grades 10-12. I had difficulty with some of the language and had to consult a dictionary, even though there is a one page glossary in the back of the book. Not all of the words that are in italics in the text appear in the glossary. The glossary should be more than one page.
The text appears squished onto the page throughout the book. It is almost as if the publishing company didn't want to make the book a signature more in length. They should have gone with a smaller size, larger print and made the text flow onto 100 pages (the book is currently only 45 pages....that's how small the text is). The illustrations could have then been a nice full page, to break up the text. This could have been wonderful, but I think it just missed the mark.(less)
Once upon a time there was a wonderful author named Gail Carson Levine, that could construct whimsical fairytales. This particular tome is no exceptio...moreOnce upon a time there was a wonderful author named Gail Carson Levine, that could construct whimsical fairytales. This particular tome is no exception and I could hardly put it down once I started reading. The main character of this story, Aza, desperately wants to be beautiful. She is so homely looking that her parents abandoned her at an inn. The innkeepers take Aza in and she is grateful to the family that raised her as their own, but everyday while working at the Inn she tries to hide her hideous face. How embarrassing would it be to have people commenting that you must have Ogre ancestors? Aza learns an important lesson about how beauty within is more important than outward appearance. In the end her warm heart wins the love of a prince and she finds out just how special she really is.
This fairytale is jam packed with lore; poisoned apples, an evil queen possessed by a magic mirror, centaurs and more. While there isn’t much boy appeal (there are no dragon fights), there is mention of an ogre or a gnome here and there. Girls are going to love this book!(less)
Curious about how Houdini made an elephant vanish? Want to know how he walked through a brick wall? How did he manage to make all those great escapes?...moreCurious about how Houdini made an elephant vanish? Want to know how he walked through a brick wall? How did he manage to make all those great escapes? Unfortunately the author of this biography is a magician himself, so he has taken a vow not to reveal any of Houdini's magic tricks. However, Sid Fleischman, who is accustomed to writing fiction, does an excellent job of captivating the reader. Fleischman tries his best to keep the story honest, but I think he had a hard time telling the truth about Houdini, when Houdini himself was rarely honest about himself and his capabilities.
While I was impressed with all the things that Houdini could vanish or escape from, I really wanted to know how he preformed all of those illusions. Hopefully this will lead the reader to investigate further in other works. The format for Escape was very nice. There wasn't too much text to a page and it was broken up by photos, some that had never been printed before, playbills and other ephemera surrounding the Great Houdini. (less)
Definitely not as good as her 2008 award winner, So B. It, this has similar themes surrounding the main character. The young boy in this story has an...moreDefinitely not as good as her 2008 award winner, So B. It, this has similar themes surrounding the main character. The young boy in this story has an Aunt that suffers from memory loss. In So B. It, the young female character has a mother struggling with memory loss, but it is more severe and has many other complications.
I cried several times at the end of So B. It, because I was really attached to the characters. I didn't feel the same about this book, although Weeks deals really nicely with the issues surrounding sexual abuse. Unfortunately, I think that there are many young people out there that may relate well to the struggles of this main character.(less)