Deanna's Reviews > Wild Things

Wild Things by Clay Carmichael
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's review
Dec 28, 2009

really liked it

Realistic fiction, orphans, family, identity, grief, cats, art, small town.

This was a quick read and I really enjoyed it. I didn't expect some of the things that happened in the end. Although I enjoyed this book and will definitely book talk it to kids and teachers--I didn't care of the parts when the cat talked. To me they didn't flow and changed perspectives. The writing needed to be tighter or something. But I loved the story when it was just about Zoe and Henry.

One of my favorite parts about is how books are healing, memorable, powerful for both Zoe and Henry. "No matter how sick Mama got or what low-life she took up with, no matter what worried my mind, books made me feel better" (p. 36). There are also many descriptions of Henry's library which were fun to read about. "Books are much easier than people" (p. 60). Amen!

Zoe is a writer and writes in a notebook about what is happening in her life. At the age of 11 she is writing her memoir. Thankfully her fifth grade teacher notices that she is an outstanding reader/writer and leaves special books on her desk with notes. Or gives independent study projects so she can work on her writing. This teacher/child relationship is inspiring.

I appreciate how finding our talents/gifts and doing them were a focus in this book. Henry's struggle with his own career as a doctor and a sculpture were detailed throughout. One of Henry's friends, Helen, talks about talents that each individual has. She says, "I'd die if I couldn't paint" (p. 145). She goes on to say that her spirit would die and everything good about her. Finding what we absolutely love to do is one of the most important things in our lives.

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