Anastasia Hutson's Reviews > Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
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it was amazing

Amazing Grace
Review by Anastasia Hutson
Amazing Grace is a contemporary realistic fiction story about a little girl named Grace who loved stories and adventure. She loved hearing stories, making stories and being in stories. She always gave herself the best part. In class they were doing the play, Peter Pan, and Grace wanted to be the best part of the play and be the lead character, Peter. When the teacher asked who wanted to be Peter, Grace raised her hand high and proud for the part as did all the other boys in the class. One of her classmates told her that she couldn’t be Peter Pan because she was a girl and another classmate in her class told her that she couldn’t be Peter Pan because she was black. These remarks really bothered Grace because her grandma always told her that she could do anything she put her mind to and this is what she wanted to do. I appreciated this book because it was very encouraging to little girls, especially little girls of color because it encourages them to do whatever they set their minds to regardless of what other people say and that’s a great message to send to that audience. The use of character in this book is effective because it helps a minority of people, both African American and women, relate to situations such as these. It addresses the stigma that women and minorities are not as capable as everyone else. A scene in the book directly displays this act when Grace wants to be Peter Pan but her classmates discourage her and tell her she can’t do that. The author also portrays the women in this book as very strong and independent which also encouraging for young readers. I appreciated the style that the author chose to use in this text because it adds to the strong figure of the character that the author is trying to portray. In the picture book she used strong word choice while the sentences flow with eloquence, showing the strong but gracious personality of Grace. When Grace comes back from school she says to her grandma, “Raj said I can’t be Peter Pan because I’m a girl” “That just shows what Raj knows” said Ma. “A girl can be Peter Pan if she wants to”. This scene shows the strength and integrity that the authors want to portray for younger girls. In terms of visual elements, there are many uses of frames or not frames in this book. A good examples would be of a page that is a double page spread bleed of Grace going to the garden on an adventure with her cat and on the right page there is a framed picture of her holding a magic lamp. This layout is appealing to the eye because it gives enough action to stay engaged but is not too busy to distract the reader from the story. The style of the art was also a good choice because the used a more realistic art form and I feel that that helps the reader connect to the character more and gives them the ability to place themselves in this book. Since the book is contemporary fiction it made the most sense to use this art style and it showcases the genre in its fullest form. This picture book is contemporary realistic fiction because this isn’t a story that actually happened but it’s an event that many younger children can relate to and is set in a modern time, especially for the audience it is targeting.
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Finished Reading
April 1, 2017 – Shelved

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Dani K. You've made some really great observations and claims about the book. Your points about the strength of the characters is particularly powerful. Be sure to use the vocabulary for the elements that you've learned this semester. What kinds of characters are Grace and her grandmother? Dynamic, flat, round, etc. Why does this matter? Also, make sure you explain WHY and HOW the different elements do things. For example, you say that the layout gives action and is appealing to the eye, but HOW does it do these things, and why is it important?

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