I love Madeleine L'engle and was so surprised and pleased to find that the main character in "When you reach me" does too. Rebecca Stead gives L'engleI love Madeleine L'engle and was so surprised and pleased to find that the main character in "When you reach me" does too. Rebecca Stead gives L'engle such a tribute in this Newbery Award book. You'll have to read it to find out why, but I loved it. ...more
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, is an interesting read .... I just can't say it was one of the better Newberry books.
While I enjoyed it, I was a Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, is an interesting read .... I just can't say it was one of the better Newberry books.
While I enjoyed it, I was a bit confused by it at first. Jack Gantos is the author and also the main character. I didn't know if it was an autobiographical book or what. After a bit of investigation, I've discovered that Mr. Gantos has written a lot of children's literature and won many awards, and he uses himself and his years of growing up as inspiration, tho they are not necissarily biographies. (Which is good, because they are quite quirky) He does say he takes a story from his life and adds to it, embellishes it and fictionalizes it. The town, Norvelt, PA, in the book Dead End in Norvlet, is a real town. The town upheld the principles of neighbor helping neighbor, which were installed by Eleanor Roosevelt. This is a main theme throughout the book, a utopia type of town. Jack Gantos the real person as well as the character in the book, really did have horrible nose bleeds growing up. So, while many things are true, they are embellished upon.
Dead End in Norvelt had a lot of 'boy humor', which I think my boys would have liked when they were younger, and my 10-year old grandson would like now. I can see the appeal. Jack Gantos, the character in the book, is grounded for life and has to pass his summer helping an elderly neighbor write obituaries, which his quirky neighbor also peppers with historical facts. Okay...I love history, so I enjoyed this part of the book. The history quotes/facts/stories were just enticing enough for a young boy to get ---interested. There are some gory historical facts in the book, but done so in a way that any pre-teen boy would love. I remember one time my middle son was fascinated by a dead cat he found in the street. He and his friends stared at it and poked at it for a good hour before a neighbor came with a shovel to bury the poor thing. But boys just are fascinated by gore---as long as it doesn't effect them. I think the history stories that Gantos puts into his book are just titllating enough to hook most pre-teen boys.
There are some inconsistancies in the book. One minor character is selling Girl Scout cookies to 'make money for her family", and most of us know that the money goes to the GSA. But I think a few things like that can be overlooked.
I would say it's a good book, not a great book, but while trying to find out more about Jack Gantos I came across a couple of interviews and videos and I think HE is a real interesting person. ...more
I liked it. I usually have to be in the right mood for mystical, magical stories, and I guess I was. It lends itself to a great read-aloud. In fact, tI liked it. I usually have to be in the right mood for mystical, magical stories, and I guess I was. It lends itself to a great read-aloud. In fact, thats how I read it...aloud in my head, as if I were reading it to one of my grandchildren....more
To be honest, this was not one of my favorite when I first read it. But I eventually came to love Madeleine L'Engle and everything she's ever written.To be honest, this was not one of my favorite when I first read it. But I eventually came to love Madeleine L'Engle and everything she's ever written. What she did, that I like, is intertwine her characters in different books. I think Meg, the main protaginist, in Wrinkle in time, is a lesser character in an adult novle that Madeleine wrote later. All her books are connected by characters in her other books.....like children that she can't let go of. :~)...more