Mr. Riordan has 6th grade pwnd; with both ancient Greek and Egyptian civilization to cover, this will be the first of his books to tick off the list fMr. Riordan has 6th grade pwnd; with both ancient Greek and Egyptian civilization to cover, this will be the first of his books to tick off the list for the year with my 6th grader with his series on both. This book puts the reader in the middle of the gods and demigods, to see all the human infighting that was projected upon the powers above to explain the caprice of fate. My favorite part of the story, one I've used in discussing the book with at least three kids so far is a particular bit of time warp where the kids lose 6 days for their quest by being lured into a video arcade. There, they met a kid who thought it was still 1977 and realized they had to get out. This is a great conversation starter! Kids can totally get that time slides away this way, and that it leaves very little time for the things that matter. If you have your kid's book around and want to cut right to this interesting concept, it is in the chapter "We Take a Zebra to Las Vegas." But really, for full cred you'll have to read the entire book, and it is a worthy read. ...more
Three stars seems inadequate for this book, which helped me understand football better than I thought I would want since now I see how sports offers tThree stars seems inadequate for this book, which helped me understand football better than I thought I would want since now I see how sports offers the only meritocratic path for people as desperately poor as Michael Oher, and it is a more honest living than Wall Street (Lewis' topic other than sports) ...more
Fascinating characters are the dominant trait of any Lewis book, but somehow this book is chilling whereas its sequel Boomerang was charming, perhapsFascinating characters are the dominant trait of any Lewis book, but somehow this book is chilling whereas its sequel Boomerang was charming, perhaps because the emergent crisis seemed one or two removed by going overseas. Like the classic book "The Jungle," watching the proverbial sausage get made is nauseating, but perhaps also like that book it will lead to real reform as in at minimum a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.
After finishing the book, my daughter noted a funny look on my face and asked why. I told her when she was a little older, I would talk to her about this book and (in my mind) the kinds of economic bubbles that seem all but inevitable. She says back to me (perhaps spurred by the cover with a large wad of cash on a hook) "what if I took a dollar and ripped it in half? Then, I go to the bank and they replace it with two dollars, and I did it again and again?" Wow, that is as close an analogy to leveraging as I could think of myself, but told her that in the end, the bank gets to keep all those manufactured dollars. The conclusion was that just doesn't sound fair at any age....more
This arrangement of stories comes off as a smorgasbord of spicy tidbits, all of which individually could keep you up at night pondering, and mixed togThis arrangement of stories comes off as a smorgasbord of spicy tidbits, all of which individually could keep you up at night pondering, and mixed together provides a source for mental indigestion. This is not to say that the book is not recommended, but perhaps not wolfed down all at once would be a better approach. This is my first encounter with Ms. Lamott, but I could see . . . slowing down and trying to breathe through some of the topics that cut deeper than I would have imagined. ...more
This is an excellent road trip read, as you'll appreciate normal fellow travelers and mundane destinations. To me, part Steven King's "It" and JosephThis is an excellent road trip read, as you'll appreciate normal fellow travelers and mundane destinations. To me, part Steven King's "It" and Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth," it was compelling to finish, but there are reviews found here on Goodreads that get right to the heart of the matter, complete with illustrations. As a final piece of advise, Wikipedia has a useful page that you can use as a primer for the book and the character gods you will encounter. ...more
When at Kings Cross Station in London, I eagerly sought out Platform 9 3/4, which they had dutifully installed in a wall niche. Wilson's desire to proWhen at Kings Cross Station in London, I eagerly sought out Platform 9 3/4, which they had dutifully installed in a wall niche. Wilson's desire to provide children of this country fiction that is grounded here is an interesting goal, and it is entirely possible kids in Wisconsin are happy to have so much excitement occur right in their own backyards.
We meet the three siblings, barely treading water at a dilapidated hotel, which is a REAL location (Wilson has it on his website) just long enough to feel how depressing things have gotten since Dad disappeared in the ocean, and Mom disappeared into a coma. Cue the Potter similarities, including Cyrus' dark hair and sister Antigone's euphonious name to Herminone, although we must cut some slack over the orphaned status since that is standard fodder for this genre. Enter the supernatural stranger who hands over mysterious objects and unsuspected birthrights, and yes, we find out the dappy old woman at the hotel is in fact of a Mrs. Figg nature, an initiate in a secret society that, of course has a huge school filled with antiquities by a large lake. Yet, since this is an American tale, the mysterious people with unusual, somewhat magical properties do not wield wands; they all tote guns of various flavors from the functional to the fantastic, and this gun play begins almost immediately.
When the younger siblings do find themselves at a very exclusive and secretive school, prime directive of exploration is augmented by a rigorous education that includes ancient and modern languages, learning to fly, learning to sail, and various other ways to defend oneself or attack others. The very American notion of testing oneself is institutionalized and encouraged, contrary to the random chance elements of British tales, particularly those written after World War II by authors still struggling to understand why they were still alive. This encouragement of education and pushing oneself to learn and grow is exciting and hopefully encouraging to young readers who would fashion themselves after imagined and real people who are purported to be members of the group.
Still, the story is gripping while the storytelling seldom is. The book is not filled with passages that are linguistically epic or descriptively beautiful, but the characters are intriguing and you will want to know how the tale goes, including the next book, but the story so strongly feels like a screenplay in a hopeful early form, you may be able to wait for the movie if you don't want to bother pushing yourself to read this hefty tome. ...more