What I liked: •It talks about death from a child's perspective. How it can seem to them, how they relate to it, how they process it... •It talks about...moreWhat I liked: •It talks about death from a child's perspective. How it can seem to them, how they relate to it, how they process it... •It talks about being open with kids and allowing them to be open as well. •It urges adults to treat children as people. •It advises allowing children to decide whether they want to attend a funeral or not. •It explains how the different developmental stages affect how a child processes grief over losing a loved one. •It gives examples of what not to do and ways not to act.
What I didn't like: •There was very little advice for parents on what to do for a child who is grieving. Most of it was what not to do or explanations of behavior and child development.(less)
This book is different from other children's books I've read. Most I've picked up to read to my kids are more fluffy and have a lighter subject. If yo...moreThis book is different from other children's books I've read. Most I've picked up to read to my kids are more fluffy and have a lighter subject. If you want to protect your kids from the harsher aspects of reality then you should pass this book.
Spoilers: (if you care) It is a biography about a man who ran an orphanage during WWII. The orphanage had some really innovative aspects. It also happened to be for Jewish children. There is no Hollywood ending for Mr. Korczak or his children.
I had an idea of how this book would end due to my knowledge of history. My kids are quite young and I chose to read it to them anyway, mainly because I was interested in it. It went over their heads but I've made a note of it because I intend to revisit it when they are older and can understand it better.
I don't believe in artificially shielding children from reality. Children are smarter and stronger than many adults give them credit for. That said, I would not read this to other children without making sure the parents were okay with it. It is heavy material and there is no one age that every child is ready to process it.(less)
The book was undeniably well written but so depressing I can't even think of a funny way to write a review. It made "Catcher in the Rye" seem upliftin...moreThe book was undeniably well written but so depressing I can't even think of a funny way to write a review. It made "Catcher in the Rye" seem uplifting and hopeful by comparison.(less)
This book had some really good aspects. Shakespeare is one of the most influential writers in history but he is a bit difficult for elementary student...moreThis book had some really good aspects. Shakespeare is one of the most influential writers in history but he is a bit difficult for elementary students to read. I really liked the idea of a book that could introduce young children to his works thereby sparking an interest in future teens to read the actual works written by the man himself.
In this aspect I think it succeeds. The story is pared down and written in a simple, yet engaging, way. Throughout the book it included illustrations, letter, and comments made by students around second grade age. These livened the book and made it more interesting to look at.
My complaint is about the quality of the poetry. Many people seem to think that poetry is just rhyming the last words of sentences that are paired together, ignoring meter altogether. Meter is a very important part of poetry and should not be neglected.
I hear your argument now. "It's just for kids, it isn't like it's Shakespeare." Well, you're right. And wrong.
There is a misconception that if something is for kids or is informal then quality doesn't matter. I argue that it does. If kids aren't exposed to quality as children, how will they recognize it or be able to produce it as adults. Stories don't have to be as complex, or deal with inappropriate issues, but they should be well composed at the very least. This is where the book falls short.(less)
It is in our family's plan to homeschool. I feel that we have most subjects well covered. Art is not one of those. I struggle to draw stick figures an...moreIt is in our family's plan to homeschool. I feel that we have most subjects well covered. Art is not one of those. I struggle to draw stick figures and my husband is not much better. Art technique may be beyond us, but art appreciation and art history is not.
Since my eldest child is almost four I figured I had better get a move on figuring out how to teach her all the things she'll no doubt need to be a successful adult human.
I decided to search to see what other home educators were using to teach art to their students. No need to reinvent the wheel, after all. I came across this line of books.
While we have a very large home library we have limited room, and therefore I like to research books before I try to acquire them. Enter my local library.
This book was the one that was available in my local library. I am pleased to say that it was an interesting read. It gave a bit of a biography as well as a description of his technique and what made him unique as an artist. I learned a lot and I am pleased to say it made it to my kids' Amazon wishlist.(less)
What can I say, I liked this one. Most books where the main character is a "monster" the author chooses a "sexy" one like vampire or witch. Sometimes...moreWhat can I say, I liked this one. Most books where the main character is a "monster" the author chooses a "sexy" one like vampire or witch. Sometimes a werewolf, but that is usually only if the character is a man. I guess a hairy chick just isn't considered attractive for some reason. You might have one of the ickier monsters as a supporting character, but they just don't have what it takes to carry a book. Especially not if you hope to turn your book into a franchise.
This one caught my attention right away because the main character, well, she happens to be a zombie. Not a mindless drooling one, a mindful drooling one. She has to eat human to survive. Drinking blood is somehow not a minus when it comes to determining a character's attractiveness, eating human flesh is. Go figure.
I appreciate books that take on a challenge. A tormented vampire is nothing new. But a zombie? That's a bit harder to sell. Sure, on the surface you might be tempted to say angst is angst. But it is so much easier to convince an audience that a creature with supernatural allure is attractive than it is to do the same with a flesh-eating corpse. Don't know why but it is. Otherwise it would have been done before.
Now they do have to make some changes for this to work. Obviously a main character who is literally brain dead is going to make for a boring story, unless you are a very clever writer. So she retains her brain. (She actually acquires quite a few of them throughout the book, but we won't go into that here.) Her backstory is that she was shot in a drive-by and brought back to life by someone intending to control her for some, no doubt nefarious, purpose. Being naturally plucky, our heroine broke free of the control and is now searching for her murderer and her controller. As is usually the case, life continues to get in the way of her noble quest.
I won't go into the plot because I truly think you should read this one for yourselves. At least you should if you like the genre. I do wish I had started with the first one because I prefer to read a series in its proper order. But I can't recommend it yet since I haven't yet read it.
Suffice it to say, I intend to find the first one, consume it, and then hunt down any others and devour them as well. (less)
**spoiler alert** I generally like the thriller and horror genres so I thought this book would fit my interests and show me a good time. It really sho...more**spoiler alert** I generally like the thriller and horror genres so I thought this book would fit my interests and show me a good time. It really should have. It didn't.
It started off promising. A close group of urban explorers made up of an old professor and three of his former students. A newcomer in the form of a reporter. A mysterious old hotel built, and then abandoned by an eccentric, paranoid millionaire. Danger from a broken down building and illegally trespassing on the property.
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW: I expected this to follow the "explorers get hunted by someone or something while in a location they never should have entered" format. About a third of the way in I thought I was wrong and this was a "explorers against a natural disaster" story, as there had been no hint of anything but a dangerous and weird old building. I adjusted to that and awaited more accidents that would endanger and injure our heroes.
Enter the first plot twist.
They are being hunted after all. Cool. I like a good plot twist. Might as well be three weirdos who have tried and failed to gain access to the hotel. I'll even buy that they've been keeping an eye on it round the clock, with their night vision goggles and stuff, just hoping that someone would manage to break in. Even though it has stood empty for longer than most of the characters had been alive. A little suspension of disbelief is a good thing. It exercises the imagination, I suppose.
Then the reporter isn't really a reporter, he's a vet who, along with the professor who had been fired, was planning on robbing a long-dead gangster's secret vault. Okay, sure. A little conflict between the group of heroes is useful and I suppose the love triangle of the students wasn't really enough. Now let's see how they pull together despite feelings of betrayal and survive, or not.
"Get us into that vault or else. Hey, wait a minute, what's that? Another plot twist in the form of a lunatic who has been living here and kidnapping women, one at a time, for who knows how long?" Hmm. My disbelief is getting harder to suspend.
At least some of the characters are getting thinned out. And there is a lovely scene of the vet recalling the torture he suffered while captured working as a mercenary in Iraq.
But wait, there's more.
The money from the mercenary work and the vault heist were not to support him because he couldn't work due to PTSD after all. No, of course he has PTSD, that wasn't a lie, why would you think that? But his wife disappeared years ago after asking some lawyer about this. very. hotel.
Gasp. Another clever plot twist.
He needed the creepers to gain access to the hotel, so he found out about the secret vault, convinced the professor to go in on the heist... so he could search it for, uh, something pertaining to his wife. I don't know. Whatever.
There are just so many plot twists a regular thriller can support before it becomes ridiculous, this one exceeded them.