I started this book with great enthusiasm because it seemed like it would be right up my alley...and then that darn nightmare-inducing-for-months pigI started this book with great enthusiasm because it seemed like it would be right up my alley...and then that darn nightmare-inducing-for-months pig head on a stick thing. I just couldn't get past it. Then I tried to watch the movie instead just to know the story I had heard so much about in class. Naked boys were a plus (I was, after all, a teenage girl with hormones a-raring), but the pig got me again, even thought this time they were killing it. I felt more wussy than Piggy with his "ass-mar."...more
This is a great book to use in teaching children about the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship. Readers can see the societal illsThis is a great book to use in teaching children about the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship. Readers can see the societal ills generated by greed and the desire to use a good thing until it is gone and be warned that such decisions can have serious consequences. Reading this book as a child, I was horrified by the destruction caused by the factory and the idea that the world could be made so ugly and beyond redemption simply because one thing has been destroyed. I guarantee that a reading and discussion of this book will make any child more environmentally-conscious....more
This is probably one of my favorite stories, one I studied several times in college and was still able to learn new and fascinating things each time.This is probably one of my favorite stories, one I studied several times in college and was still able to learn new and fascinating things each time. I love the examinations of the domestic sphere and the ideas about womanhood that are explored. Knowing what society was like when this story came out makes me feel that Chopin was a courageous woman to publish such a provocative volume. Although I do not always like what I see in the story, the imperfect characters and utter beauty of the scenery keep me engaged until the dramatic ending. There is nothing more that I want than for Edna to be free, except maybe for her to be a better mother, and the depth of my feelings generated by reading this story speaks volumes to me about Chopin's mastery.
If you have read this story and are hungry for more or would simply like a shorter introduction to Chopin's work, I would recommend the exceptionally short but perfect "Story of an Hour."...more
Sad and hopeful at the same time, this is a bittersweet read. My teacher read this aloud to us in elementary school, and I've loved it ever since. NicSad and hopeful at the same time, this is a bittersweet read. My teacher read this aloud to us in elementary school, and I've loved it ever since. Nice name for the seagull too. this is a good book to read with your children to teach them about life, death, and the flight in-between....more
I first encountered this book at summer camp when our counselor read this book to us a chunk at a time. There were so many parallels between our cominI first encountered this book at summer camp when our counselor read this book to us a chunk at a time. There were so many parallels between our coming of age as we transitioned from campers to counselors and experienced a new life full of responsibilities and choices we had not really imagined and the same sort of transformation Winnie faces in the book as she considers a new path with the Tucks away from her safe, boring life. We all fell in love with the book and characters; over a decade later, my counselor friends and I still occasionally reminisce about the story and how much it influenced our journey. This book would make a great present for a child who is transitioning to middle or high school. While this story has fantastical elements, I love how they are not taken to extremes that would make them inaccessible to the general reader....more
I read the first chapter of this book years ago but never finished, even though I bought the book for my younger sister and had ample opportunity. WhaI read the first chapter of this book years ago but never finished, even though I bought the book for my younger sister and had ample opportunity. What likely held me back is the outrageous number of times I have spent sitting with my mom to watch the movie, invariably only seeing the infamous bathroom scene and not much else. This quickly poisoned me against the series to the point of publicly proclaiming near and far how lame the series apparently was and how I would never be caught dead reading the books...but the first chapter was pretty good from what I could recall.
This year for Christmas, we got the entire series on DVD. The third installment, printed correctly on the disc and enclosures, is actually Polar Express, despite being straight from the store. Anyway, I found out I really enjoyed watching the movies with my husband and quickly became a fan, much like many of my friends. Recently I came into possession of my own copy, since a co-worker had a spare. I immediately tore into it, reading it during downtime at work. I found myself not wanting to put it down to see what happens, sometimes almost to my detriment. When I wasn't reading it, I was watching the films, scouring Pinterest, and reading interviews rife with spoilers whether I had seen that one or not, basically absorbing the series as best as I could.
So what did I find so enjoyable? First and foremost, it is a story with heart and a lot of interesting things going on. Although I am not really a sports fan, I even enjoyed the parts dealing with the Quidditch matches and would not have minded one more inclusion. There is enough action to interest me as an adult reader in enough detail to be realistic or even anxiety-inducing to some readers, but it does not go too far by the same measure. I suppose the sense of realism is right on the nose in this way. There is a definitive voice, charmingly funny and full of gentle humor, that is distinct enough that I cannot help but dub Rowling's voice over it as I read. Every character, good or bad, is loved and given a purpose. To humanize instead of glamorize, characters are described as being ordinary or by more humble aspects. This may be one of my favorite things about the series, especially as it deals with reader self-esteem. Characters do not come out on top every single time, and they are given meaningful chances to grow and make choices throughout the text. I wish more books would do this.
What I did find annoying, however, was the over-abundance of commas where other punctuation may have been more appropriate. I also wonder about how much the American-izing of this text changed it. It was surprising to hear that in its original version, they were seeking a Philosopher's Stone, but American readers were predicted to be less interest in that. I really hope we deserve more credit than that, because I would love the story either way....more
This book has a terrific premise, and from what I have seen of movie and play adaptations it is very good. The problem is, I was in the seventh gradeThis book has a terrific premise, and from what I have seen of movie and play adaptations it is very good. The problem is, I was in the seventh grade when I tried reading it, so it was way over my head. The book was huge, the type was tiny, and I didn't make it past the first half-page....more