Such an amazing book - why did it take me so long to pick this one up?
Set in 1942, World War II has reached the Dutch island of Curacao where Phillip...moreSuch an amazing book - why did it take me so long to pick this one up?
Set in 1942, World War II has reached the Dutch island of Curacao where Phillip lives. Phillip sees this as exciting, but his mother is anxious, and decides to leave the island to return to the United states. On the way, their boat is attacked, and Phillip is cast overboard. He is hit on the head, and wakes 4 hours later in the middle of the ocean, on a raft, with just a raft and an old black man, Timothy. Phillip has always been told by his mother that black people "..are different, and they live differently," and as Phillip loses his sight from the blow to his head, he becomes reliant on Timothy for survival on the little island where they take refuge.
This was an amazing, page turning book about how you can sometimes only see what's inside a person when you have no sight left.
I'd recommend this as a survival story, and as an adventure. (less)
It's 1687. After the death of her grandfather, 16-year-old Kit Tyler has left behind her life on the lush island of Barbados, to sail on the brigantin...moreIt's 1687. After the death of her grandfather, 16-year-old Kit Tyler has left behind her life on the lush island of Barbados, to sail on the brigantine Dolphin bound for the Connecticut Colony. Kit hopes to start her life anew there with her only living relative, her Aunt Rachel. But the harsh land and the harsher viewpoints of the Puritans in the colony were not what she was expecting. From her first interaction with Americans Kit is branded as something different. Brash, outspoken, smart, vibrant Kit cannot fit in to this stifling society. Her only refuge is at the cottage of Quaker Hannah Tupper. But Hannah is thought to be a witch by others in the colony. Kit realizes her association with Hannah may lead her into trouble, but she will not deny a friend. How will Kit survive in this new world?
I read this book in 8th grade for the first time as an English assignment. For homework, we were supposed to finish the first three chapters or so of the book. I finished the entire book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. I still remember reading that book at the kitchen table, sitting in one of the rolling chairs we had at the time. Since then, I remembered this book as thrilling, wonderfully romantic story of a young girl who stood up for what she believed in.
I was a little reluctant to re-read it, as I didn't want that memory to go away. And, it seems, with good reason as well. I liked this book the second time around, but it didn't speak to me in the same way. My adult self found Kit stuck-up and rather annoying. The action wasn't as tense or carried out as quickly as I remembered. Still, I did enjoy it.
This book would make great for pairing with nonfiction titles like Witches!: the absolutely true tale of disaster in Salem by Roaslyn Schanzer.(less)
In 1975, Ha is a ten year old girl living in Saigon with her three older brothers and her mother. Her father, in the navy, has not been heard from for...moreIn 1975, Ha is a ten year old girl living in Saigon with her three older brothers and her mother. Her father, in the navy, has not been heard from for 9 years. Now the war is moving closer to home, and Ha and her family must flee the Vietnam she loves to survive. They travel by boat to make their way to the United States to start a new life in Alabama. A life that Ha finds will be filled with difficulties, change, and small victories as her journey turns her life Inside Out and Back Again.
A beautiful novel in verse, Ha is a heroine you want to cheer for. When people talk about the power of books, and how they can change your viewpoint and see things in another way, THIS is the type of book I think does that best. How can you read Ha's story and remain untouched by the prejudices she faces? How can you not sympathize with a character who knows she is smart, yet doesn't know how to express that intelligence? How can you not love the Cowboy, who does his best to help her family, even if he doesn't know exactly how to do that? A beautiful story all around.(less)
I read this one the first time a long time ago, and had been keeping it on my shelf of favorite romances. Since I need more room in my place, I'm tran...moreI read this one the first time a long time ago, and had been keeping it on my shelf of favorite romances. Since I need more room in my place, I'm transitioning a lot of favorites on to my Kindle. I thought with the transfer there should also be a re-read and it was nice to see that I enjoyed this story just as much a second time around.(less)
11-year-old Audrey has a hard life. The oldest of four girls, she lives with her Mommy and Daddy in the coal mining town of Jewell Valley in southwest...more11-year-old Audrey has a hard life. The oldest of four girls, she lives with her Mommy and Daddy in the coal mining town of Jewell Valley in southwest Virginia in 1948. Her family is poor, living on the scripts her Daddy earns from working in the coal mines. They don’t have a refrigerator, and thanks to her Daddy’s drinking, they often don’t have food. But there is hope in Audrey’s life as well. She has a wonderful new friend Virgil, and loves her teacher. But something will happen that will change Audrey’s life forever. And nothing will ever be the same again. Based on author Ruth White's family, Little Audrey is a fascinating look at a life very different from others, filled with sadness, hope and triumph.
_________________________________ A very short read, I had a difficult time getting in to Little Audrey. I don't normally pick up historical fiction like this, but did since we were reading it for the CLCSC book club. Ultimately, I was glad I did. White give a glipse into a very different world that one that I think many people know today, illustrating just what it was like to be poor in a coal mining town. And the ending made it all worthwhile for me, as I think that last chapter was just so beautiful.(less)
This is the story of two lives. Ben lives in 1977, and his mother has just died. He wishes more than anything that she were still alive – he doesn’t f...moreThis is the story of two lives. Ben lives in 1977, and his mother has just died. He wishes more than anything that she were still alive – he doesn’t fit in with his relatives who have taken him in, and no one understands him. Rose lives in 1927, and no one understands her either. She’s Deaf, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t long for adventure – something that her family denies her. When Ben finds a secret in his mother’s old room, and when Rose reads a headline in a newpaper, both set off on journeys that they hope give them an adventure, and help them find someplace they can truly be themselves. This is the story of two lives, but Ben and Rose’s lives will intertwine, in ways that will leave both them, and you - the reader, Wonderstruck.
So wonderful and just such a magical journey. The way Selznick segues between stories is just seamless -- and how you know they are both wonderful is that when you are reading Ben's story, you can't help wondering about Rose, and when you are reading Rose's you can help wondering about Ben.
I loved the play with museums, and the homage to From the Mixed-up Files, and the Deaf culture aspect.