I saw the exhibit at the museum and I’ve been working my way through the book since then, first a friend’s copy and then a copy from the library.
My faI saw the exhibit at the museum and I’ve been working my way through the book since then, first a friend’s copy and then a copy from the library.
My favorite piece, early in the exhibit and in the book, is an abstract painting, in black and white and red (blood?) with the caption: “Everybody knows where meat comes from It comes from the store.”
That’s the brilliance of this art, the social commentary. A lot of it was done during the AIDS crisis in NYC, so a lot of the art is about that.
As far as the art: too many penis depictions for my taste, but otherwise great fun. It has a lot of whimsy and themes of social justice. The art shines in the context of what the artist was trying to communicate, particularly his street art. Lots also re religion, war, racism, technology, capitalism, and modern times.
True political art. I admire it.
For me? Art as beauty? Some of it, yes, some of it fun, some of it likeable in context. Important work? Yes!
The art exhibit also has a biographical film which was excellent.
Why on earth was this the book I could quickly sail through, when I’m struggling with so many other books?! It literally gave me nightmares. Thank gooWhy on earth was this the book I could quickly sail through, when I’m struggling with so many other books?! It literally gave me nightmares. Thank goodness it has some comic relief and family aspects in the narrative. I felt horrified (I guess I was supposed to) and I could never work there, at least not on a similar unit. The place seems to have changed so much. I was there as a student 3 decades ago, and while there were some forensic psych patents there, more on the adolescent unit than the adult unit of the units to which I was assigned, it was nothing like what this author describes.
I have really mixed feeling about the author and this book. It was able to hold my attention but some connection was missing for me. I did take away, yet again, that we have a broken system, in so many ways....more
The last 1 ½ to 2 years I’ve been much less enthusiastic about writing book reviews. I usually still review novels and most full length non-fiction boThe last 1 ½ to 2 years I’ve been much less enthusiastic about writing book reviews. I usually still review novels and most full length non-fiction books, but even though I thought writing reviews could be helpful for some readers, I’ve almost ceased to write reviews for vegan cookbooks, art books, and picture books. But after rereading this one a few times, and loving it more with every reread, I decided I should say at least a few words about it.
I’m also happy to see that there is a sequel, and I’ve reserved it at the library.
The pictures here are just enchanting. Very simple but very pretty and they tell the story just as well as the words do.
I love the character Maple, how sweet and kind and thoughtful she is. I enjoyed the imaginative and free form play in which she engages. The story is fun, and funny. I laughed a bit, smiled a lot. I enjoyed the love of nature that shines through the pages, and also the showing of the seasons and of outdoor play.
It’s a particularly fun book to read aloud. I read it aloud (without visuals, though I described some of them) to an adult friend and she loved the book too. I would thoroughly enjoy reading this one to a child/children.
It’s a fine book for anyone but particularly apropos for children whose families are about to have a new baby/child in the family and children who appreciate nature and using their imaginations....more
Well, this one was different. There is extreme profanity throughout; it’s part of the book’s concept, weaving its way through the entire text. It’s goWell, this one was different. There is extreme profanity throughout; it’s part of the book’s concept, weaving its way through the entire text. It’s going to fill a niche market, I suppose, reaching people who might not otherwise reach for a vegan cookbook, or certain vegans who think the presentation is the best thing ever. Unfortunately, it’s going to completely turn off some cookbook readers/users, and that’s a shame because the recipes are really good and worth reading, making and eating. I knew what to expect and I was amused, and I found it somewhat entertaining for while but then, for me, all the swearing got tiresome and I was just trying to read the recipes and the extra helpful information that’s included. I was expecting many obscenities but I guess I wasn’t truly prepared for their volume. However, the recipes are excellent, and I welcome many kinds of vegan cookbooks so as to appeal to the widest range of cookbook readers who are vegan or vegan interested or simply looking for some good recipes.
There are many recipes that appealed to me. I really appreciate that most recipes seem easy to make, that many times whole grains are used, and I also loved the pages with ideas for putting together dishes such as how to build a salad and how to build a bowl and how to roast garlic, etc. There are some good photos of the food (though not for every recipe) and other photos too.
From the breakfast section I’m especially interested in: quinoa oatmeal; mixed veggie and tofu chilaquiles; basic maple granola with add in ideas; tofu scramble tacos; brown rice bowl with edamame and tamari scallion sauce; whole wheat banana pancakes; oat flour griddle cakes with blueberry sauce; baked okra and potato hash.
From the salads, sammies, and mini meals section these looked particularly good: roasted broccoli and millet pilaf; braised winter cabbage and potatoes; sweet corn and green chilis baked flautas; smoky black-eyed peas with roasted sweet potatoes and collards; baked Spanish rice; and some of the baked tofu marinades.
From the soups and stews section, these recipes: vegetable noodle soup with ginger miso broth; pozole rojo; corn and basil chowder; potato leek soup; pumpkin chili (Yes!, #1 on my list! Though perhaps I could say the same about a dozen other recipes in this book. There are so many appealing ones!); tortilla soup; chickpeas and dumplings; wedding soup with white bean balls and kale.
From the salsas, sips, and the snack life section: cumin-spiked pinto bean dip; creamy black bean and cilantro dip; mid-summer salsa; salsa verde; and peach-mint sun tea.
From the burritos, bowls, and other bomb-ass meals, these looked best to me: (these first two vying for recipe #1 with the soup recipe in that section!!): creamy ravioli with house marinara; mixed mushroom and spinach lasagna; and also sweet potat0, squash, and black bean enchiladas; cauliflower cream pasta with fresh herbs; roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos; white bean and red lentil burgers; and root veggie fries.
And from the baked goods and mother fucking desserts section: chocolate fudge pops; crispy millet and peanut butter buckeyes; maple-oat banana bread; carrot cake cookies; and chocolate chip and almond butter cookies all looked delicious.
The above recipes don’t necessarily represent the scope of all the recipe variety in the book; they’re simply the ones that personally most appealed to me.
I recommend the book going in knowing what to expect, for the excellent mostly healthy, reasonably easy to make, and delicious looking recipes....more
Once again, I’m all caught up with Patricia Polacco books! I’ve read them all. I hope there will be many more in the future.
In the vein of Mr. LincolnOnce again, I’m all caught up with Patricia Polacco books! I’ve read them all. I hope there will be many more in the future.
In the vein of Mr. Lincoln’s Way (about a school principal who brilliantly deals with bullying), Thank You, Mr. Falker (a teacher who helped Polacco with her learning differences in learning to read) and The Art of Miss Chew (an inspiring art teacher the author had who nurtured what would become her passion), and The Junkyard Wonders (with a special education teacher who knows how to let her special ed students soar), this is another story about a wonderful drama teacher, one who helps Polacco overcome her fear of public speaking.
Actually, at first, this account seemed a bit too miraculous to be believed, and I even wondered if it was really true, until the final lines that is, and then it seemed completely credible.
I really appreciate Polacco’s stories of supportive and inspiring teachers. In addition to the drama teacher in this book, there is also the English teacher that sees her struggle to speak to a group and introduces her to the drama teacher.
This is a gem of a book. I dived into this story and snuggled in. It was a real comfort read for me. Thank you to Goodreads friend Kathryn; I doubt I’This is a gem of a book. I dived into this story and snuggled in. It was a real comfort read for me. Thank you to Goodreads friend Kathryn; I doubt I’d have found this book without her!
There is so much to love here. both the child and adult characters are fully developed. I love that each character is given their due and that both children and adults are shown with each of their strengths and challenges and commonalities, and believable feelings and personalities. The same goes for the dogs and to some extent the other animals. I got attached to most of the characters and cared about them.
Even though I am an ethical vegan, all the food made me hungry. I love when stories have foods that are so evocative. I enjoyed how the kids fully participated in the needed chores. I loved the pretend and other play. I loved the exploring and imagining that was done. I really felt as though I were there, from the train ride to the big house and to the other homes and buildings and countryside.
I appreciated how people changed and evolved, and communicated. The way the people are depicted is very psychologically sophisticated. I really like that the adult characters are shown learning and changing and having “their issues” the same way as the kids are. Developing adult and not only just child characters is unfortunately not universally done in books for young people. In this way, this book was ahead of its time!
The illustrations are outstanding. They’re fun and beautiful and charming, and detailed, and they really add to the story. I love the illustration and the story line around the very top rounded room at the top of the great house.
Everything about this book is winsome.
4 ½ stars, down ½ star because there are some slightly sexist, possibly slightly racist, and classist, other not modern sensibility pc things. These are all things that were routinely written when this book was published and also when I was the targeted reading age for this kind of book. Because of anachronisms such as this, I often prefer modern children’s literature for today’s children. While I’d be fine with children reading this book, if they weren’t already worldly wise I’d want them to read or be read to along with some discussions. Maybe it’s why the book hasn’t stayed in print but there are so many other books of its era that are in print and widely read that are no more pc and in some cases are not as good books as this one is.
If I’d had it read to me at ages 6-8 or read it on my own at ages 8-10 or 11+ it would have been a favorite. I loved it today too. My heart ached at times, at times I laughed, but the entire experience was a “cozy” one. I know the people and dogs will stay with me. I’ll have to look up this author-illustrator and see if they have other books available to read.
Wow! I’d have loved this when I was 8,9, or 10 (it was published when I was 7 or 8) but I’m virtually certain this is the first time I’ve read it. I fWow! I’d have loved this when I was 8,9, or 10 (it was published when I was 7 or 8) but I’m virtually certain this is the first time I’ve read it. I found it thanks to GR friend Kathryn. Either my school and public library didn’t have it back then or I skipped it because of the boy character(s) and that would have been a shame because the two boys and a girl have equally good roles, and they’re all wonderful. It’s a good “boy” AND a “girl” book.
The story is charming and fun, suspenseful, heartwarming, full of adventure and family and friendship. It’s well written and it’s a riveting and well-crafted story. The characters are well developed too, and I had strong feelings about most of them. The mystery is very good, and I was actually surprised by the end, pleasantly surprised. The chapter titles are useful and a tad bit red herring like at times, but I enjoyed that. The illustrations are top notch a lovely to view, and they really enhance the story. The whole book is so evocative and there is some interesting historical information in it as well. There was room open for a sequel and I wish there had been one.
I’d have torn through this book, then and now, if I could have taken the time. It could easily be read in one day.
I admit all the lobstering talk was a bit much for me and I’d recommend it to vegan/vegetarian (and kosher keeping?) children only along with some explanations. But why it almost got only 4 stars from me is I had a hard time understanding the decisions and motivations of a few characters a few times. I think I might be the one wanting here though, so I’ll ask the only other person I know who’s read it to tell me her take.
It wasn’t until I read the author bio at the end of the book that I realized the author was a woman and not a man. it hardly matters but I found that interesting.
There is only one copy of this book in the entire LINK+ system my library uses (many public, university, and private libraries in California and Nevada) and this copy belongs to San Jose State University. Given what a gem it is it really should be more available, and I fervently hope this copy stays in circulation. I feel lucky that I was able to borrow it....more
I do wish that there were page numbers so it would be easy to single out some of my favorite cartoons. One I really like is where a non-vegan asks a vI do wish that there were page numbers so it would be easy to single out some of my favorite cartoons. One I really like is where a non-vegan asks a vegan what do you eat and a reply of a full page of tons of foods and dishes and non-vegan says they don’t like any of that – but almost all of them are funny and brilliant – my only quibbles are that there is a lot of repetitiveness and I’d have liked many more cartoons.
The last 30 pages is advice to vegans on how to best deal with questions of and confrontations by non-vegans. I bought the book to support the author/artist and for the cartoons, but this Q & A section is very good. I can’t really find fault with any of it, and many answers provided are very similar to ones I’d give and have given.
This is a good, supportive, and amusing book for vegans, those who have important people in their lives who are vegan, and those interested in what it means to be vegan/veganism....more
Except for Thanksgiving weekend, Labor Day weekend is the most difficult holiday weekend for me, so this wasn’t a good time for me to be reading thisExcept for Thanksgiving weekend, Labor Day weekend is the most difficult holiday weekend for me, so this wasn’t a good time for me to be reading this book, but I guess it was good timing to finally finish it. I found it utterly devastating, though it’s such an important book, and thankfully it does offer hope and excellent suggestions in the final sections. Thank goodness viable alternatives to what is the norm are provided. Otherwise, the book would be nothing but tortuous.
My feelings about human nature are getting more and more negative as I read certain books and see certain films. I think I need a comical book next.
This book gets 5 stars because I want absolutely everyone to read it, particularly adults and adolescents somehow affected, including judges, prison and school officials, treatment program workers, teachers, foster parents, graduate students in all related fields, but everyone. Even if a reader feels nothing in this book applies to their life and they are powerless to do anything, that’s not so. If you are a voter, a citizen, a parent, an adolescent, this is a must read book, in my opinion.
I’ve read a lot and experienced a lot (thankfully never incarceration) but not since I read As We Are Now by May Sarton am I so certain death is preferable to being helpless and solely in the hands of other human beings. I could really identify with these kids. I have worked with similar kids and now I wish I could have done that even better than I did. I could have been one of these kids, as the author points out, that’s true of most people. For me, from ages 11-13 I could have ended up incarcerated and I am lucky that I did not. While I didn’t have the positive essentials for young people the authors posits, such as a supportive adult when I was at the ages of the kids whose stories are told in this book, I know that if I’d ended up at 90% of the covered places, I’d have been so much worse off, as I know I couldn’t have withstood the physical and/or sexual abuse, and the even worse isolation than I had.
I like her ideas of what our society should do, and it’s why I want everyone to read the book. Without a swell of demand, it’s not likely to happen on a wide scale.
One thing that came up for me again, is I’ve never understood why those under age 18 (maybe 24-25 since that’s when brain development is considered complete) are tried and punished as adults. I don’t care what kinds do; they’re not adults. They’re just not. In fact, when I hear of 12-17 year olds in the new who’s committed horrible crimes, if anything they tend to be immature for their ages. They’re kids, and society should have hope for the 99% of them who aren’t hard core psychopaths.
The inequities shown here are appalling but not surprising.
Anyway, I’m glad I read it, and I’m glad it was written. The author did not let down the kids she got to know, the kids she befriended. Their trust in her was earned and justified. I hope it does a tremendous amount of good....more
Wow! This book was simultaneously devastating and fascinating for me. Overall, I found it to be a downer, a huge one.
I had hoped I’d see Laura’s lifeWow! This book was simultaneously devastating and fascinating for me. Overall, I found it to be a downer, a huge one.
I had hoped I’d see Laura’s life as one well worth living and uplifting, and that I’d find strength and inspiration there, despite her extreme sensory deprivation (she’d lost 4 senses, all but touch) but I didn’t, not as much as I’d have liked anyway. I found the book and Laura’s life very depressing, but I also found myself laughing a lot. Thank goodness for humor.
It didn’t help that I didn’t like these people. I did love Asa (though I might not have in real life) and at least some of these people were abolitionists which helped me dislike them a lot less, that and the simple fact of life’s difficulties helped me feel empathy for them, especially Laura, but most of them. What a world they were all trapped in. I guess I had the most problems with Doctor and Laura’s father, but really while I could sort of understand everyone, it was hard for me to like them. Given that, it’s amazing how much I enjoyed the book.
I found it interesting to see miscommunications magnified even more than usual, due to Laura’s limitations and isolation, severe even in the best of times, which was sometimes funny and often tragic.
At first I was disappointed when I found that every chapter wouldn’t be in Laura’s voice, and I’d assumed I’d be most interested in the young Laura, but it turned out I was able to get engaged with everyone’s voices and with Laura throughout her lifetime.
I enjoyed the Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller short portions. I’d been interested in Laura perhaps because of my longstanding interest in Helen and Annie.
I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I kept reading this as non-fiction, but it’s a novel. I think I might have to read a biography of her, with a lot of “in her own words.” I’m really grateful that at the end of the book the author cleared up some things about what was fictionalized and what actually happened.
I came away really enjoying the book but feeling horrified and sad about Laura’s life, and others’ lives too. It wasn’t only Laura’s sensory deprivation, though that was most of it, but the heartbreaking ways in which she was treated, educated, and how clear communication was gravely impacted, and how helpless in the world she so often was, how dependent she was, by necessity. I could 100% forgive and understand Laura’s religiosity. The whole story was difficult to read, but hard to forget, and very enjoyable in its own way.
I actually won this at GR First Reads but it came about a month after publication, which would have been fine if it was the hardcover edition I was expecting, but it was a very unattractive uncorrected proof edition, which would have been fine only if it had truly been an advance copy. So, I read a borrowed library edition, and didn’t touch the received uncorrected proof. I felt a bit blackmailed into reading the book. I wanted to read it, but with all the books on my to-read shelf, I’m not sure I’d have gotten to it, and doubt would have gotten to it as quickly as I did. I’m glad I did though so I can’t be that irked about how I came to read it now....more