Kyli's Reviews > The Book of Bright Ideas

The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring
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's review
Jul 06, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 06 to 08, 2012

I really liked this book. I've always enjoyed books that are written from a child's perspective - this one has a narrator who's voice is both realistic and innocent. It really brought me back to what its like to be a child; to feel so helpless, controlled by things you don't even understand. To be surrounded by adults who's complexities both intrigue you and scare you half to death.

Button is a scared, shy little girl who hardly speaks during the whole book, though she slowly begins to gain her courage and find herself once Freeda & Winnalee come into her family's life- passing through like a strange, beautiful storm.

I enjoyed seeing the development of Jewel's character. Some people might say that it was too drastic a change, or that it was unrealistic, but I disagree. Sometimes people, particularly young people (her character is only in her early thirties), are just waiting for someone or something to push them towards change. Jewel was obviously at that point and her transformation was so uplifting. There were points at which I thought the book might cross a certain line with me - at first I thought it was implying that Jewel's lack of attention to her physical appearance or her inability to let loose, were good enough reasons for Reece to be an inattentive, unfeeling husband & father. I think it ended up wrapping that up pretty well though... nobody ever directly blamed Reece or put him in his place (I was kind of hoping somebody would), but the story seemed to acknowledge eventually that it wasn't just Jewel who needed to change, it was everybody.

I felt like the story moved a bit slow in the middle, there were times where I felt like I should've had more questions like "What's going to happen next?", but instead it sometimes read like Summer in the life of children, just Button and Winnalee's adventures and nothing else... It was endearing and cute, though and brought me back to my own childhood.

The characters were all very realistic and colorful - Winnalee was both adorable and strange. There's a certain wisdom and beauty about children who've been through too much too soon and that's what this book portrayed the best - that innocence and purity that is so often lost among adults, even adults who are right next to the children they're hurting. Of course, Freeda's back story ended up highlighting that fact as well and I found myself teary-eyed as I read the scene where she opened up about it.

As for the book of bright ideas itself, I thought it was really precious and it reminded me of something my friends and I might have done as children. There were a couple of bright ideas that I thought seemed a little bit too deep for a child to write, but then again neither girls are ordinary children.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book - it was definitely worth the read.
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message 1: by Deb (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deb Devoll-johnson Kylie you have to read whistling in the dark by Lesley Kagen then good graces after that!

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