This memoir is truly amazing, especially as it pertains to showing the obstacles its author overcame; she has amazing resilience and she’s incredibly...moreThis memoir is truly amazing, especially as it pertains to showing the obstacles its author overcame; she has amazing resilience and she’s incredibly inspiring. This paperback edition includes discussion questions and an interview with the author, and they make this a good edition to read, especially if the book will be discussed with other readers. I’d love to see this assigned at alternative high schools similar to the one Liz graduated from, and to all high school students.
This book is beautifully written, riveting, and very hard to put down. My intention was to read it concurrently with Harry Potter 6 (part of my Harry Potter 1-7 reread) but once I started reading, I had no desire to read any other books until I’d finished, not even Harry Potter books.
I won this book from Goodreads’ First Reads giveaway program, but it’s one of the few giveaway books I’ve ended up assigning 5 stars; I’ve expected to love all books I’ve tried to win, and I’ve liked or really liked most, but have given out fewer 5 star ratings than I would have expected to give.
I had seen the television movie Homeless to Harvard that was based on this author’s story, and loved it, and I love the book even more than the movie.
I highly recommend this book to all teens and adults, especially at risk teens and adults who could benefit from taking another look and maybe viewing differently street kids, drug addicts, people living in poverty, homeless people, and those they might see as “others.”
I aspire to be more like Murray and how she let people in and how she took charge of her life, succeeding despite the challenges she faced. I love her down to earth attitude and admire her ability to forgive and move on.(less)
I’m still in love with Henry. It’s sad that I’m now getting closer to being old enough for him, though thankfully, not...moreLoved it from beginning to end.
I’m still in love with Henry. It’s sad that I’m now getting closer to being old enough for him, though thankfully, not quite, and not even in the approximately 8 years when Z will be out.
I was hoping his departure and temporary absence wouldn’t be long/too many pages in the book, but there was not enough Henry, but it was nice to see Cheney again.
Very satisfying complex plot with many characters, which I never doubted would be all neatly tied together. Just brilliant!
I love these books. I especially appreciate how I can root for some of the “bad guys” and detest some of the “good guys” and how nothing is in black and white but is in many shades of gray; this has gotten more and more true as the series has gone on.
I love Kinsey and I fervently hope Henry is a large part of the last 4 books in the series. The use made of Henry’s empty house for such a very few hours and the subplot with Nell, well I’d rather have had Henry have a bigger role here. But when he was there, in any way, I loved him just as much.
The books in this series, despite not really being cozy mysteries and containing some violence and danger, are some of my all time best comfort reads. I can’t wait for W, X, Y, and Z.
This book was not my absolute favorite but it was excellent, and it continues the trend of the series overall getting better and better.(less)
It’s really really hard for me to write a review because I was inundated with so much to say about every page,...moreNothing less than 5 stars for this gem.
It’s really really hard for me to write a review because I was inundated with so much to say about every page, every line.
This is a wonderful and completely ingenious new fairy tale.
I was chortling from page 1 and 2 and... It’s wickedly funny, and unusually smart. There is something brilliant, funny, touching, quotable on nearly every page.
I appreciated the lack of sentimentality and yet the ability to keep me emotionally engaged.
I’d been a tad worried as I’ve seen this compared to Alice & Oz and I’m not a big fan of either. But, if anything, this reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth, a book I adore; and to those other books too but in ways I thoroughly enjoyed.
There are fabulous chapter titles and sub-titles that give hints of what’s going to happen. And I loved the cover illustration and each picture that’s at the beginning of every chapter.
What to say about this story? I am not even going to try. Just a few little things: I love September; she’s an amazing character. I particularly appreciated her kindheartedness when she had to eat and had to kill a fish in order to do so. I love the many original characters, and particularly got a kick of the everyday normally inanimate objects that here are alive and sentient. There is a fun twist near the end, which perhaps I should have seen coming but which came as a complete surprise to me.
Most enjoyable for me is that while with many books in this sub-genre I usually feel that “it was all a dream or fantasy” with this story I believed everything really happened.
This screams loudly that this book is destined to be a classic.
There are so many quotes I wanted to include because so much of the book is quotable so here’s just one of many, many memorable passages:
“It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.”
This book fits that bill.
If I’d been in the right frame of mind, this could have been a two day read for me, but though it took me many days to finish, I don’t mind because there was so much to savor.(less)
Well, I guess I’m in the minority with this one. Not for the overly sensitive. Too depressing. Too horrifying. Too disturbing. For me. Even though I k...moreWell, I guess I’m in the minority with this one. Not for the overly sensitive. Too depressing. Too horrifying. Too disturbing. For me. Even though I knew what was coming, until the last few pages, I did get some enjoyment from both the story and illustrations, but not enough to make the reading experience worthwhile for me.(less)
I liked this book even better than The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and that’s saying a lot. it’s even more emotionally touching than that first book.
Ben. Rose. Jamie. Etc. All of them touched me.
For not the first time I am tempted to create a new-york or nyc shelf.
I read this book in one day. Rose’s story told via pictures and Ben’s told via text were both mesmerizing.
I have memories of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, which is mentioned/”shown” in this story (which takes place in 1977 & 1927) had me spellbound all over again.
The title name is brilliantly incorporated more than one way into this story.
I recommend this book to just about everybody, particularly anybody who fits/likes any of the following: museums, books, the Museum of Natural History in NYC, bookstores, is interested in the deaf and/or Deaf culture, likes historical fiction stories, remembers the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, liked From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, is a fan of wolves, appreciates a good orphan story, enjoys beautiful and fascinating book illustrations, can feel in awe of unusual and brilliant books. I really don’t know what to say that wouldn’t come across as hyperbole. This book is great. Truly great. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. It might end up on my favorites shelf; I’ll have to mull over that decision.
Entertaining and informative and absolutely not to be missed: end of the book Acknowledgments, and also a great Selected Bibliography, with many categories.(less)
Well, I had a problem with the off with your head order, which seemed overly harsh compared to the rest of this story, and of course with the idea of...moreWell, I had a problem with the off with your head order, which seemed overly harsh compared to the rest of this story, and of course with the idea of anybody tasting another’s food to check if it’s poisoned (although I did read a great young adult fantasy novel about that: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, so I’m obviously up for the subject matter.) In this story, the cook’s dog is the king’s taster.
This is a wonderful story though. The dog is wonderful, and very lucky to eat like a king. The king, a little boy here (I’ve put this on my orphaned-and-quasi-orphaned-kids shelf since I assume the boy’s/new king’s father has just died) starts off a bit of a brat and ends up magnanimously kind. As a dog lover, I loved seeing the events from the dog’s point of view, and since anyone who knows dogs is aware of how virtually all of them prize food, this is a fun book. I also appreciated the cook’s/dog’s trips around the world and how a bit of a cultural food lesson is included. And, the food sounds great! The little boy king (who possibly is grieving?) picky eating and the revelation of what he’s eating instead of his cook’s food, and how that’s found out and how that gets resolved will resonate with many children, I think.
The illustrations are terrific! The expressions on the dog’s face are priceless as is the expressiveness of the people, the food and world/palace/restaurant front locations and scenery look wonderful too. I am a fan of the art style. The story and illustrations work perfectly together.
I appreciated the background work and the divulging of it by the authors and illustrator as regards keeping this authentic to the Hmong culture.
I liked this variation of the tale, as seen in the illustrations and as aspects of the story, such as the mother being turned into a cow. And I cared about Jouanah. But, I was not kept rapt by this tale; in fairness, I suspect that would have been true of most Cinderella tales or most fairy tales, given the mood I was in.
This alternate version, one of so many, is interesting though, and an excellent addition to the genre, and the illustrations are quite good. I found it to be one of the more interesting and unusual Cinderella tales that I’ve read.(less)
I read this book for the first time when I was nine, and unlike many books I loved back then I believe I read it only once or twice. I just reread it,...moreI read this book for the first time when I was nine, and unlike many books I loved back then I believe I read it only once or twice. I just reread it, finishing on 2/25/11, for a March 2011 discussion for the Children's Books group’s Fiction Books Club, one of the months chosen to read a classic vs. contemporary book. I’d remembered enough to give it 5 stars but not enough to review it, though I recalled the gist of the story well enough. I’m so glad I reread it now, nearly a half century after my first reading!
I have no idea which library edition(s) I read as a child. I own a nondescript paperback edition. I bought the Norton critical edition but didn’t have time to read it for the group discussion. This Tasha Tudor illustrated edition was the book I was able to borrow from the library so this is the edition I read for my reread, the first in decades. And I did enjoy the illustrations.
I should probably have thought more carefully and waited at least a short time before I wrote a review, given that I’ve already waited nearly a half century, but I felt like writing a bit down when the reading experience was fresh in my mind.
I’m in danger of waxing rhapsodic. It’s not my favorite book/children’s book, but it’s a comfort read for me and I enjoyed it enough for it to make my favorites shelf.
Despite some anachronisms, a last chapter that doesn’t impress me as much as I would have hoped, this remains an almost perfect book for me, and therefore I’m ill equipped to write a decent review.
It’s a very well written story.
I feel great fondness for Mary, for Colin, for Dickon, for Susan Sowerby (Dickon’s mother), Martha, Ben Weatherstaff, and even Dr. Craven. I don’t think I appreciated any of them as a child as much as I do now.
I particularly loved the robin, and I did also when young. I was used to seeing them from my bedroom window and around the neighborhood and liked them at least as much as I did the hummingbirds.
I’d forgotten how there is not just flora therapy but fauna therapy too, and I was smitten with all the animals. Vivid memories from childhood came to mind as I was reading; I think most children who have access to it (I did) are often attuned to the natural world.
While it’s not unique to tell a story of healing (emotional and physical) through nature or through tending to and caring for others/plants/animals, this story does so in such a lovely way, with such immediacy I sometimes felt as though I was right there, within its pages.
What’s not to love, at least for me?! Secrets, gardens, nature, animals, friendship, hope, self-determination, nurturing, and some intangible qualities, so much that seems to leap off the pages of this book.
It’s funny but during this reading I noticed some of what could be considered current new age thinking and beliefs, and those usually drive me up the wall, but here, it’s believable and soothing and exhilarating and magical. I love how Colin uses the word “Magic” and how it’s understood and accepted by those around him. I appreciate how this book shows that the most simple things and joys are extraordinarily ordinary, and necessary for humans to flourish.
I think I appreciated the whole book even more now that I am an adult. It touched me enough that I put it on my favorites shelf. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that this classic has survived and thrived.(less)
This is one of those books that so impressed me I’m struggling to write about it in a coherent manner.
Right away: wonderful WONDERFUL!!! from the auth...moreThis is one of those books that so impressed me I’m struggling to write about it in a coherent manner.
Right away: wonderful WONDERFUL!!! from the author’s note about writing what she/authors know, or not, before the start of the book, to the very engaging narrator. Oh, if I’d had this book to read when I was 12 or 13, it would have been one of those lifesaving books, true even when I was a decade older perhaps.
In my opinion, it’s stunningly marvelous. I appreciated how a lot is left open to interpretation, including even the book’s genre.
It’s about survival and living and death and grief and books (especially books!) and connection and so much more, what the dead are and aren’t to the living, about doing right and being oneself, and growing up and growing strong, and it’s about coping. And. And. And.
I love having a narrator who’s smart, thoughtful, and a superb writer. In this case the entire story is told via Mori’s diary entries. She’s such a good writer and knows so much about speculative fiction literature, I had to look up a few words, and I enjoyed learning what I learned.
I enjoyed it when I recognized my read books that were mentioned and I regretted not having read all the books, wondering what in the conversation I was missing.
This is an almost perfect book for me. As I read, and I thought about writing a review for this book, I kept planning to say this is an almost perfect book until/through, expecting my feelings would change, but they did not.
I am confused about one or two things and so I’m glad I read it for a Goodreads’ online book club. It’s a June selection, and I can’t wait to chat about it. If only we had a real world book club that could meet in a library such as the book club featured in this story.(less)
This was a wonderful book choice to transition me from 2011 to 2012.
Flavia is so much fun! She’s a hoot. But, with each book, I also find her more &...moreThis was a wonderful book choice to transition me from 2011 to 2012.
Flavia is so much fun! She’s a hoot. But, with each book, I also find her more & more endearing. And she really makes me appreciate chemistry.
For the first time I’m enjoying Gladys as her own character, not just as an accoutrement of Flavia’s.
I would have preferred Roma to Gypsy, though this is historical fiction and I’m sure the term is more correctly used for this time and place. But then right away the word for horse was given in the Romany language so I was satisfied.
So, I read this almost immediately after reading book 2 and my thought was I’d go on almost immediately to book 4, but it turns out that for all the griping I do about waiting for each next book in a series to be available, I think there is something to be said for enjoying series books more if there is some time in-between them. I think I’ll wait at least several months to continue with this series; I have too many books at the top of my queue to do anything else anyway.
I love how Flavia says: “…because I was only eleven years old, I was wrapped in the best cloak of invisibility in the world.”
This series is one of my favorite cozy mystery series.
I love how the scary parts are short and not too scary. In this book, I nearly cried with emotion at the last line and nearly laughed when I turned the page to read the short author’s note.
And, I didn’t guess the mystery in full, not at all, and I enjoy having good clues yet being kept basically in the dark. I read so many mysteries I often do guess them, which can be fun but I prefer being surprised.
4 ½ stars
I just upped the other books in this series from 4 to 5 stars. Its protagonist is just too unique for me to feel otherwise.(less)