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Search tags: Holly-Goldberg-Sloan
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review 2018-06-29 15:48
All the world's a stage but thank goodness I'm not a Winged Monkey
Short - Holly Goldberg Sloan

One of the things I regretted last summer was that I wasn't more in touch with the books selected for the Summer Reading program. So I decided as soon as the list was given to us that I would read as many books as I could so that I'd be better prepared for recommending them to our patrons. This is why I picked up Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan. The story is told through the eyes of Lydia, an 11-year old girl, who is super sensitive about her height...until she is chosen to be a Munchkin and Winged Monkey in her town's production of The Wizard of Oz where it suddenly becomes an advantage. She discovers that her height is just a small (no pun intended) part of her. She makes friends with a fellow cast member named Olive who is herself a dwarf as well as an older neighbor named Mrs. Chang who turns out to have many years of experience with the theater and costume making. My favorite part about this book was the main character, Lydia, who was absolutely hysterical. 

 

An example from page 26-7 as she describes the director of the play she's performing in:

He is for sure older than my parents, who are old, because they are forty-two and forty-four. He might be super-super-super-old. Is he fifty-five? I have no idea.

Sloan totally gets the 'voice' of a child. They have zero concept of age (I've been told I'm 84 so I know from experience) and they also have zero reason to lie to you. Lydia is a well-rounded character who not only makes hilarious asides but also conveys depth of feeling.

 

When confronted with an awkward conversation about death:

My voice is small. I whisper, "Life is a cabaret." I don't even know what this means, but I heard Shawn Barr say it to Mrs. Chang a few days ago and they both laughed. It works, because she smiles. I'm guessing a cabaret is a kind of wine. I hope she'll have a tall glass. - pg 240

Overall, this was a delightful little read and I've been more than happy to recommend it to the children and parents at my library. If you're a fan of the theater or looking for a book full of heart (or both) well I think you've found your book match. ;-)

 

A/N: If you're triggered by repeated mentions of pet death then don't come near this book. It's not a spoiler to tell you this is a running theme throughout the book beginning in the first couple of pages. Grief is a large theme explored in this book but I didn't find it as compelling as the self-discovery/acceptance experienced by Lydia. 

 

There are 2 different covers for this one and honestly I like them both quite a bit.

 

Source: Barnes & Noble

 

 

What's Up Next: The Royal Rabbits of London by Santa & Simon Sebag Montefiore

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-02-05 19:13
Short Book Review
Short - Holly Goldberg Sloan

Short is a super cute children's book that I think a lot of kids can relate too. Its funny, has a great theme and perfect for theater kids. The main character, Julia is very short and starts to get mad at the world, especially when her mom makes her try out for the Wizard of Oz and she's cast as a munchkin. Soon Julia realizes how much she can do no matter her size. A quick and enjoyable read.

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review 2016-12-12 12:25
A Beautiful Tale of Counting by 7s
Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan

There is so much to talk about Counting by 7s that for a middle-grade book, there is philosophy that can't be ignored. This is a story of a gifted girl named Willow Chance that has a significant character of 7s and has a way about herself that nobody understood her. Adopted by foster parents - tragedy strikes and she was left alone in a world that devastated her to a world of uncertainty and not knowing what to do. Along the way, she met flawed characters - her guidance counselor Dell Duke, a teenager girl name Mai, her brother Quang-Ha and mother Pattie and a Mexican taxi driver name Jairo. The loss of her foster parents changed her but the people she meet along the way make her a better person. It's a story that is witty, quirky and funny. There is drama, adventure and a little bit of suspense. Its the slice of life about... well, life and how we deal with personal loss and foster care. About the unknown certainty and the fear of moving forward...

 

... and what we never expect happen and what we expected, never do.

 

I truly enjoy the details and the specific grooming of each character that is significant on its own. The development is so individualistic, Holly Goldberg Sloan did a good job in creating unique flawed characters of acceptance and the important lessons of accepting people. Even a cat named Cheddar that only appear 10% of the book memorable. What I enjoy is how it brings out certain emotions when I read. Its not easy to laugh just by reading and I did mention before in previous reviews of books I read, its not easy to make me laugh and it did. There is so much that I do agree in what was said there. The book is almost perfect but there were a few chapters I felt it does drag a little, otherwise it would have been a good rating of five star. What was, to me, a let down was the closure that does not seem realistic. It does falter a little in the ending but overall, its the kind of story that I like about and its pretty well-done in the character department.

 

I am surprise middle-grade books these days are so well-written and its meant for those age group. For me, as an adult I find the appeal can also be read to older readers because its relaxing and fun to read. The chapters are well divided and given attention to and for me, I like how its done. Books like this should not be ignored, its meant to be read in any age.

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review 2015-08-25 00:00
Counting by 7s
Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan WOW. Amazing. And how is this book not a movie yet?! I would cry all the way through.
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review 2014-11-25 18:15
Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan
Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan

Just as Natasha did, I enjoyed the book enormously. I was totally enthralled and more than wiling to suspend my disbelief in order to enjoy the string of coincidences, good and bad, that were almost magical. It is a charming, humane, warm sort of book with the happy ending that implies.

But there was one flaw I couldn't overlook: Willow is a POC. She tells us, at least twice. And at least once she mentions her hair. And I never believed it for a moment because she never notices a single instance of racism. My sense of realism can't stretch that far into the magical.

Library copy

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