Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
I read this series when I had an intense English class filled with big, adult-type literature, and I grabbed this in order to have a fun book series to contrast with what I was reading at the time. Fun is the best way to describe this series.
The series starts with Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, and ends with Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?, which should give readers some idea of the fun and flirty adventure they will travel on. Readers will follow the life of British teen, Georgia Nicholson, and hear about her every day life, her friends, which she titles “the Ace Gang”, her love interests, and her hopelessly uncool family. For anyone unfamiliar, or simply incredibly interested (myself), in the British slang all the cool kids are using, the back of each book contains a dictionary for anything in the book deemed foreign to American readers. This was the first thing I read when I started each book, and I found it fun each time.
This in not necessarily a book for those looking for some challenging reading material. It would, however, be wonderful for anyone reading for the joy of reading. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it’s interesting. It’s definitely a young adult book though, filled with obsessions over make-up and confusion over boys.
I would be happy to recommend this to anyone who wants to have a good time through young adult literature.
Friday, April 20, 2012
I originally read this in an illustrated book from the children’s section of my local library at age 10. Years later, when I bought volumes 1 & 2 of “The Oz Chronicles”, I reread it, and was equally entertained both times. I read this before I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that the movie is based on. The movie alone was enough background information to understand and enjoy The Tin Woodman of Oz.
Oz is a much bigger and stranger place than we were exposed to in the movies. It’s full of interesting characters including inflatable colonies and green monkeys. We are led through this world by the familiar character, the Tin Woodman. We get a lot more of his background story, and he becomes just as lovable as the character I remembered from my childhood. I always love extra development of known characters, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Without giving too much away, through the story we learn how the Tin Woodman came to be, hear how it complicated his love life, and see the measures he is willing to take to get it back. The book is full of humor, drama, action, and romance, and I enjoyed it just as much as a child as I did as an adult.
Anyone that enjoyed the trip through Oz with Dorothy and Toto is sure to love a second go with the Tin Woodman, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Being the fairy tale fan that I am, I was excited to start this book. I have always been excited by retellings of fairy tales, and when a professor read a passage of this book during a children’s literature class, I knew I needed to read it.
This book follows Hansel and Gretel through their own story, then out into other tales in the world of Grimm. Adam Gidwitz adds new storyline whenever it is called for, while still keeping well-known stories similar enough to be recognizable.
The narrator in this book is very vocal and will actually stop you to interject a point or a warning. I found that this keeps the story interesting and moving along quickly. The narrator feels like he’s always on the side of the reader, rooting for them or warning them when something “frightening” is about to happen. I mostly liked this, but found that sometimes it gave some of the suspense away.
Although the narrator warns you about “scary” occurrences in this book, I doubt that children would have a problem reading it. In my experience, I have found that children find things scary that you don’t expect, and usually find scary or gross things cool.
I loved this book because it had recognizable stories from beloved fairytales, but also told a story all its own. Hansel and Gretel’s characters were well developed, and I found myself rooting for them and hurting for them.
I loved this book and would highly recommend it.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
When You Reach Me follows sixth grade Miranda. She navigates school and has the normal problems that sixth graders often do. One day, she received a strange note asking her to write down upcoming events. As time goes on, she gets more notes with strange requests and predictions no one could know about. Can Miranda figure out the meaning behind these notes and help, as the notes say, the writer and herself?
This book was not my favorite. It got a little confusing because it had an element of science fiction, time travel, but that felt out of place since it was the only science fiction element. Although time travel is woven into the story, it’s not set in the future; it is set in the late 1970’s. Instead of fighting foreign technology or alien beings, our main character fights problems that a normal 12-year-old faces.
Having grown up on shows like Doctor Who and movies like Back to the Future, I found the fact that Miranda struggled throughout the entire book to understand the time travel tedious and a bit boring. I think, all in all, the time travel element of the book didn’t impress me.
However, the book has very realistic portrayals of friendships in sixth grade. Miranda struggles with her friend Sal refusing to talk to her, and very believably begins new friendships. I think the elements of friendships in this book are its strongest qualities.
It was an okay read, but not for the sci-fi lovers.