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review 2017-11-12 14:14
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian ★★★☆☆
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie,Ellen Forney

I had heard so much about this book that I’ve really been looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with it. I understand that it’s semi-autobiographical, so it must be an accurate portrayal of a 14-year-old boy’s thoughts and concerns. And teenage boys are a little bit gross. So maybe that’s why I was a bit put off by it – the MC’s relationships with and reactions to the female characters are definitely off-putting, no matter how realistic, and the humor, while perhaps accurate to the 14-year-old protagonist, is also juvenile. But the story itself is both funny and sad, that of a boy living on the “rez” and dealing with the fallout of asking to transfer to a town school where he will be the only non-white student. The book doesn’t pull punches in portraying alcoholism, violence, bullying, tribalism, and racism. It’s a lot to pack into a relatively short book. But the ending contains a redeeming message of hope, too, which helps to rescue a story that threatens to sink under the weight of these heavy themes.

 

Hardcover version. I read this book for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 11: December 21st-22nd. Soyal (December 21st) is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi (Hopitu Shinumu), The Peaceful Ones, also known as the Hopi Indians. It is held on the shortest day of the year to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber. Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist. This book fits the square, as the main character is Native American.

 

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text 2017-11-11 04:16
16 Festive Tasks: Sq 11 Dec 21st-22nd: Soyal
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie,Ellen Forney

 

Soyal (December 21st) is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi (Hopitu Shinumu), The Peaceful Ones, also known as the Hopi Indians. It is held on the shortest day of the year to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber. 

Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist.

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review 2017-09-28 07:17
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss

Title:  Green Eggs and Ham

Author:  Dr. Seuss

Genre:  Children's / Food / Humor / Surrealism


Year Published: 1960


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: 
 Beginner Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 3+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Green

“Green Eggs and Ham” is another brilliant classic from the creative mind of Dr. Seuss and it is about how Sam-I-Am tries to convince a furry guy in a black top hat to try out green eggs and ham. “Green Eggs and Ham” is an excellent book for children of all ages, but the repeating verses can be a bit painful to read over and over again if you are not used to reading the same verses over and over again.

Dr. Seuss’ illustrations are colorful and hilarious as they show images of Sam-I-Am and the tall furry creature in the black top hat going on outrageous adventures such as riding a car into a tree and then having the car drive on top of a train, while the images follow the repeating verses that Sam-I-Am proposes different ways of eating the green eggs and ham. Also, the characters themselves are creatively drawn, especially of the images of Sam-I-Am wearing a yellow shirt and a red hat, indicating that he is laid back, while the tall creature, who is nameless, wears a black top hat and is furry, which indicates that he has a somewhat reluctance to accept anything different. Dr. Seuss’ story is highly creative and hilarious as it details how Sam-I-Am tries to get the tall furry creature to eat green eggs and ham in a humorous way and children will easily be drawn to the wackiness of this story.

Green

Some children and parents might be a little annoyed at the constant repeating verses that the furry creature with the black top hat makes each time Sam-I-Am mentions a new way to eat green eggs and ham such as eating on a train and then eating on a boat. Some children might be a little bored with the repeating verses as they might complain that they already heard what the tall furry creature is complaining, while parents might find it a bit of a hassle to read the same verses over and over again.

“Green Eggs and Ham” is a wonderful book for children who are huge fans of Dr. Seuss and who want to read books about trying out new things in a creative way. I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate about this book and the verses are easy for small children to understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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text 2017-09-26 16:52
Book bloggers read banned books [#BannedBooksWeek]

BookLikes blogger at Bookish Blerd presents the top 10 challenged books of the last year and we had to share. Words have power!

 

A book is challenged when someone requests it to be removed from a library or notifies that access to a given title should be restricted. The OIF (the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom) each year shares a list of the top 10 most challenged books in the schools and libraries.

 

Here's a list of the top 10 of 2016 with a reason why it has been reported and banned.

 

 

This One Summer - Mariko Tamaki,Jillian Tamaki This One Summer - Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki  

Challenged because it includes LGBTQ characters, drug use, and profanity and was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.

 

Review :

I loved the artwork in this graphic novel; the portrayal of the characters all seemed so real. I especially loved the rendition of Windy, which perfectly captured that pudgy, just-before-puberty, before-you-start-to-get-self-conscious stage. Most of the story surrounds the dynamic between Windy and her friend Rose, who is maybe a year or two older than her... continue reading on A Reading Vocation blog ->

 

Drama - Raina Telgemeier Drama - Raina Telgemeier  

Challenged because it includes LGBTQ characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.

 

Review :

I see now why Raina Telgemeier has such a devoted fanbase. Drama was a great deal of fun and brought back a lot of fond memories of my own drama club experiences. Callie is in 7th grade and passionate about set design for her middle school's productions. Being of the age when you're drowning in a sea of hormones she spends a lot of her energy on thinking about certain cute guys in school and the chances she takes with those crushes don't always pan out the way she'd hope... continue reading on Books Read, Not Necessarily Well blog->

 

 

George - Alex Gino George - Alex Gino  

Challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”

 

Review :

This is a touching story about a child trying to get people to accept her for who she is. Her struggle is presented in an age-appropriate way that while difficult at times, remains hopeful. The reason I became interested in this book is because a third-grade teacher at school was complaining about it. She didn't like that one of the students in her class was reading it. She came into the library to ask if we had the book and to point out that she thought it was inappropriate for third-graders. I looked into it and School Library Journal recommends it to grades 4-6, Kirkus Reviews says ages 9-12 and Publishers Weekly says ages 8-12. The student got the book from home so it wasn't really an issue. I am glad I read the book... continue reading on Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality! blog ->

 

 

I Am Jazz - Jessica Herthel I Am Jazz - Jessica Herthel  

 

Challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.

 

Review :

I Am Jazz is a book that follows the story of a transgender girl (an individual born genetically as a male). This book is kid-friendly, stressing the importance of acceptance of all individuals no matter their back story. Because this book follows Jazz through her issues at school and also troubles with herself, this book is great for a classroom that might experience a child who is transgender. I would say this book would be great for any elementary school child... continue reading on Lit Block Book Blog ->

 

 

Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan  

Challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBTQ content.

 

Review :

This is an amazing inside look at the struggles of being gay in the past and present. The narrator is the collective voice of the gay generation during the AIDS epidemic. The storyline follows a cast of several gay teens in different walks of life during the age of the internet... continue reading on Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents blog ->

 

 

Looking for Alaska - John Green Looking for Alaska - John Green  

Challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead students to “sexual experimentation.”

 

Review :

I finished this book this morning on the way to work. I don’t know why I like the book. Probably because it’s everything I wanted to experience as a teenager but never had the guts to. This book gave me my teenage years back and I liked it. Sure, the story is sad and the second half of the book plays out as some sort of teenage crisis but I feel as if I can relate to the characters. That’s what we want from a good book, to feel the characters as if they were real. No one is perfect and that’s what I liked from the character Pudge... continue reading on the AMAITKEN.COM Book Reviews blog ->

 

Big Hard Sex Criminals - Matt Fraction,Chip Zdarsky,Chip Zdarsky Big Hard Sex Criminals - Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky

Challenged because it was considered sexually explicit.

 

About the book:

Suzie's just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we'd ALL do: rob a couple banks... continue reading->

 

Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread - Chuck Palahniuk Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread - Chuck Palahniuk  

Challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”

 

Review :

I have a love/hate relationship with Chuck Palahniuk. I love him because he can somehow get away with writing the most offensive, politically incorrect, disgusting fiction ever. I hate him because I don’t feel smart enough to read his work. Somehow, I always have the feeling that he’s laughing at me...continue reading on the Read All The Things! Reviews blog->

 

 

The Meanest Thing To Say: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3 - Bill Cosby,Varnette P. Honeywood,Varnette Hon Eywood The Meanest Thing To Say: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers - Bill Cosby

Challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.

 

Review :

This one also had a good meaning behind it. No one has to submit to peer pressure, especially when it's being mean to each other. There are alternative paths to take, and those paths may change the way other people think as well... continue reading on a I'm A Book Shark blog ->

 

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell  

Challenged for offensive language.

 

Review :

I thought this novel was phenomenal. This novel is told in alternating chapters by Eleanor and Park. Both of these characters are two 16 year old teenagers living in Omaha in the 1980s. Park has an American father and Korean mother and except for those things comes from a home that could rival the Cleaver family at times. Park does his best to stay out of firing range from the cool kids on his bus. Feeling like a disappointment to his father and not very interested in girls he just likes to listen to music and read his comic books. Eleanor comes from a broken home and is finally after a year long absence allowed to return home to live with her mother... continue reading on Obsidian Blue blog ->

 

 

Keep on reading!

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review 2017-06-18 00:25
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.,Eric Carle

Genre:  Animals / Colors / Children's / School


Year Published: 1967


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company

Series: Bill Martin's Bears #1

 

 

Bear

I have been an avid fan of Eric Carle’s works, especially of his well-known children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and one of the books that Eric Carle had worked on that I did not get the chance to read when I was little was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which was also written by Bill Martin Jr. All in all, this was one children’s book that children should definitely check out!

Since this story is extremely short, the summary will be brief.
Basically, the plot of this book is about the reader seeing various animals comment on what other beings they are looking at that precise moment, while each animal states a variation of this quote:

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear,
What do you see?
I see a red bird looking at me.

Red Bird, Red Bird,
What do you see?
I see a yellow duck looking at me.”

Wow! I cannot believe that I waited this long to finally pick up this popular children’s book and it was definitely worth reading in the end! I loved the simplistic style that Bill Martin Jr. brought to this book as the plot is basically having readers see various animals in different colors popping up in the book and commenting on other animals they have seen. I loved the fact that each animal is a different color such as having a blue horse and a purple cat as it brings a unique spin to the storytelling of this book and I was quietly anticipating seeing what kind of animals we will see pop up in this book. Eric Carle’s artwork is as always, a delight to look at as all the characters are rendered in paper cut outs which gives the book a creative look and I really loved the images of the different animals that show up in this book, such as the purple cat and the blue horse!

Bear

Even though there is nothing wrong with this book, I have to wonder why it was banned in the first place? Well, it turns out that when it was banned, the person who banned the book made a mistake regarding the author of this book, who is Bill Martin Jr. and the person thought that it was the same Bill Martin who wrote the book “Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.” Now, I have never read any of the “other” Bill Martin’s books, but this was the first instance where a book was mistakenly banned for the wrong reasons and that got me curious yet annoyed.

Overall, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” is a truly cute book for children who want to have fun with identifying animals and colors all wrapped up into one book! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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