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review 2018-09-09 17:56
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book. Children's Edition - Neil Gaiman

This is a fiction horror novel about a boy who lives in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts. I would only read this to kids in 5th, or 6th grade because it is kind of scary and definitely has complex/mature themes including death and violence. If a 4th grader was mature enough and their parent allowed it, I would allow him or her to read it independently. I think Fountas & Pinnell would level it as a U or V which would be 5th grade. When I read it for the first time in 5th grade it scared me, but I read it again in my children's literature class and it still gave me the creeps! I would definitely have to send home a permission slip before I read this to a class.

An activity could be to have kids decorate their own headstones around Halloween. This sounds super creepy, but I would want them to describe themselves with strong adjectives or to write a short poem to be printed on their head stones. I would hang these on the door around Halloween.

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text 2018-08-16 21:24
Recently Read
Halloween Party - R.L. Stine
The Secret Bedroom - R.L. Stine
milk and honey - rupi kaur
Frindle - Andrew Clements,Brian Selznick
Coraline - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean
And Tango Makes Three - Justin Richardson,Henry Cole,Peter Parnell
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures - Ben Hatke
The Sleepwalker - R.L. Stine
This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Earl, Esther Earl Lori Earl Wayne (2014) Paperback - Esther Earl Lori Earl Wayne Earl

For anyone curious, here is my most recent read books!

176271 Halloween Party by R L Stine [3/5 stars]

I'm really torn on what to rate this book. In many ways it is outdated and problematic, but the nostalgia factor hangs on really tightly to me. I've probably read it at least a few times since I was a preteen. This read through was the slowest I've ever read one of these books; it wasn't engaging me.

Started: July 2 Ended: Aug 2

Read for R L Stine: Fear Street Challenge (June book - was behind)

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The Secret Bedroom by R L Stine [3/5 stars]

I read it in one day. Some of his books are like candy, though that might be the nostalgia speaking. I felt a lot more engaged in this book. I really must say that I hated the mean girl aspect, which seems to show up in most RL's books. Also, why do the mean girls have to be redheads?! (Are we really seen as mean, stuck up people?)

Started: Aug 2 Ended: Aug 2

Read for R L Stine: Fear Street Challenge (July book - was behind)

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milk and honey by rupi kaur [4/5 stars]

I started this one on a whim after getting the Scribd subscription. I listened to the author "perform" these poems with the audiobook while reading the physical copy. That heightened my enjoyment of the collection. Some are very hard to hear/read and deal with abuse, sexual abuse and other things people might find triggering.

Started: Aug 8 Ended: Aug 8

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Frindle by Andrew Clements [4/5 stars]

Another book I started on a whim after getting Scribd. Nostalgic book. I enjoyed the story very much, but not sure how to rate it. Child me would probably say it is a 5 star. I'm not afraid to admit there were a couple parts that made me choke up in a happy way, especially the ending, which I adored. Is this book farfetched? Maybe, but I love that it might give kids and kids at heart a feeling that anything is possible.

Started: Aug 8 Ended: Aug 8

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman [5/5 stars]

I read the 10th anniversrary copy on Scribd. The 10th Anniversary Edition does not really offer that much more, so if you already own a copy of the book, I wouldn't suggest you buy the 10th Anniversary Edition, too. Unless of course you want to collect everything Neil Gaiman (I know some people like to collect multiple copies of the same book...etc.) This is my second time reading it. I still love the story (I even love the movie more. Shh, don't tell anyone.)

Started: Aug 8 Ended: Aug 8

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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson [5/5 stars]

Ahhhh I love this picture book!

Started Aug 9 Ended: Aug 9

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Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke [4/5 stars]

I am proud to be an adult who still loves and finds comfort in books published/meant for children. I don't think books should have age limits anyway. This little picture book was very cute.

Started: Aug 10 Ended: Aug 10

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The Sleepwalker by R L Stine [4/5 stars]

I really liked this one. I read it as a preteen, but I couldn't remember the plot twist. My only reason for not giving it 5 stars is how R L Stine always writesa male characters who think they are entitled to the girl character and how the boy treated the girl when she turned him down. Very problematic element. Rape vibes and abusive treatment.

Especially, considering how she ends up getting back with that boy and they joke around with "maybe I like creepy guys." Uh...no thank you! People, please don't stay with a person who treats you how Link treated Mayra. His actions were way over the line, he even threatened her with the "you'll be sorry" line.

(spoiler show)

Started: Aug 13 Ended: Aug 14

Read for R L Stine: Fear Street Challenge (August book)

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This Star Won't Go Out by Esther, Wayne, Lori Earl, with parts written by friends and family. [3/5 stars]

I don't know how to sum up my feelings about this book. I've read it twice. I started it again this "Esther Day" in her honor. It is hard to read and heartbreaking because you know the end before you start.

5 stars for my feels for Esther for sure. 3/3.5 for the layout/presentation of the book.(All the pictures and drawings were great, though.) It was confusing in parts and if I was clueless about all the references, I'm not sure I would have understood much. I relate to Esther and her Nerdfighter ways, love of Harry Potter...etc. She was a great girl that we lost too soon.

Started: Aug 3 Ended: Aug 16th

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quote 2018-08-09 05:34
“Come here, little girl. I know what you want, little girl.” It was a rustling voice, scratchy and dry. It made Coraline think of some kind of enormous dead insect. Which was silly, she knew. How could a dead thing, especially a dead insect, have a voice?

She walked through several rooms with low, slanting ceilings until she came to the final room. It was a bedroom, and the other crazy old man upstairs sat at the far end of the room, in the near darkness, bundled up in his coat and hat.

As Coraline entered he began to talk. “Nothing’s changed, little girl,” he said, his voice sounding like the noise dry leaves make as they rustle across a pavement. “And what if you do everything you swore you would? What then? Nothing’s changed. You’ll go home. You’ll be bored. You’ll be ignored. No one will listen to you, not really listen to you. You’re too clever and too quiet for them to understand. They don’t even get your name right.

“Stay here with us,” said the voice from the figure at the end of the room. “We will listen to you and play with you and laugh with you. Your other mother will build whole worlds for you to explore, and tear them down every night when you are done. Every day will be better and brighter than the one that went before. Remember the toy box? How much better would a world be built just like that, and all for you?”

“And will there be gray, wet days where I just don’t know what to do and there’s nothing to read or to watch and nowhere to go and the day drags on forever?” asked Coraline.

From the shadows, the man said, “Never.”

“And will there be awful meals, with food made from recipes, with garlic and tarragon and broad beans in?” asked Coraline.

“Every meal will be a thing of joy,” whispered the voice from under the old man’s hat. “Nothing will pass your lips that does not entirely delight you.”

“And could I have Day-Glo green gloves to wear, and yellow Wellington boots in the shape of frogs?” asked Coraline.

“Frogs, ducks, rhinos, octopuses—whatever you desire. The world will be built new for you every morning. If you stay here, you can have whatever you want.”

Coraline sighed. “You really don’t understand, do you?” she said. “I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn’t mean anything. What then?”

“I don’t understand,” said the whispery voice.

“Of course you don’t understand,” she said, raising the stone with the hole in it to her eye. “You’re just a bad copy she made of the crazy old man upstairs.”
Coraline - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean

I'm currently re-reading this book (I got Scribd back again!!) and I came to this scene. It really is true what Coraline says and I think we forget that. Also just because you might get everything you want... that doesn't equal happiness.

 

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[This bit of wisdom from a Children's book (though I believe no matter your age, you should be able to read any book/books shouldn't have age limits) Coraline by Neil Gaiman.]

 

 

 

*Not sponsored:(I'm nobody) For those who don't know, Scribd is an ebook and audiobook subscription service. I really like it! They don't have the largest catalog, but enough to make the price worth it. $8.99 a month, and I think they might have a free trial. Heck, if you read or listen to one book, I believe you got your money's worth. Scribd's worldwide! You'll be able to access Scribd in any country unless local service providers or authorities have blocked it. Please note: not every title is available in every country.

 

Sharing this, because I wish I had known about it sooner!

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/17061.Coraline
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review 2018-06-23 19:38
The Caboose Who Got Loose by Bill Peet
The Caboose Who Got Loose - Bill Peet

Title:  The Caboose Who Got Loose

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Trains / Traveling / Children's / Adventure


Year Published: 1971


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Caboose

“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a great story from the creative mind of Bill Peet about a small caboose named Katy who wants to escape her life as a caboose and live happily in a peaceful place. “The Caboose Who Got Loose” may be a bit tedious for some children, but it is still a cute little story nonetheless. 

Bill Peet’s story about a caboose who wants to live a peaceful life in the countryside is a great tale for many children. Children will feel for Katy’s sadness at being a mere caboose and not having a peaceful life of her own. Bill Peet’s writing is highly creative as he narrates the story in a rhyming prose that fits the mood of the story perfectly. Bill Peet’s illustrations are always the highlights in his books and this is certainly no exception. The characters are drawn in a similar fashion as “The Brave Little Toaster” as the cabooses and the houses have windows for eyes. 

Caboose

“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a cute story about how one must be satisfied with what life brings us and will definitely interest many children who love books about trains and how to love life. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate about the story.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2018-06-23 19:31
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent - Bill Peet

Title:  Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Sea / Adventure / Pirates / Traveling


Year Published: 1975


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Intense Scenes)

 

 

Sea

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is an adventurous book from Bill Peet about how a friendly sea serpent who at first wanted to wreck a ship to have fun, ends up trying to protect a ship full of passengers looking for a new land. “Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” may be tough for smaller children to read but older children would most likely enjoy the adventurous scenes contained in this book. 

Bill Peet’s writing is extremely inventive and exciting as he writes the story about a sea serpent that is willing to risk his life to protect the people on a voyage for a new life. Bill Peet is extremely inventive whenever he uses various words such as “doldrums” and “bedraggled” to make the story more clever and dramatic. Also, the idea that Cyrus is more like a friendly sea serpent rather than a vicious one makes the story more creative as people usually believe that sea monsters are meant to be scary. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful, especially of the scenes where he illustrates the sea as a calm ocean for the water is beautifully blue and during the storm scenes, he makes the sky dark and the ocean smashing viciously at the Primrose. 

Sea

Parents should know that there are many advanced words in this book and that this book may be a bit too long for younger children to handle. Some of the advanced words mentioned are “pilings,” “doldrums,” and “bedraggled” and young children may not understand what those words mean. Parents should write down the advanced words down on a piece of paper and define them so that the younger children would understand what the word means and therefore, it would make it easier for them to read this book. Also, the length of this book is a bit too long than any normal children’s book and that may be a bit too tiresome for some small children to handle, so parents should read at least a few pages a day so that children would not get too tired of this book. 

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is a wonderful story about the power of friendship and how it is better to help people rather than be cruel towards them and children would easily enjoy this book for ages. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the advanced words and the length of the book may be a bit too challenging for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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