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review 2019-02-02 03:18
The Hundred Dresses
The Hundred Dresses - Eleanor Estes,Louis Slobodkin

Young Wanda is teased by her classmates for being different than the rest. When Wanda doesn't show up at school students start to wonder why. This is a great story that allows students to understand what bullying is. Leveling system is The Lexile, reading level 870L. Students can participate in "I like you because". The students will put their name in the middle of a piece of construction paper and have it passed around the classroom for students to leave nice comments on.

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review 2019-01-28 03:50
The Hundred Dresses
The Hundred Dresses - Eleanor Estes,Louis Slobodkin

     The main character, Wanda Petronski, is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same dress everyday. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but no one believes her. Ultimately, Wanda is pulled out of class and the students feel terrible. Students will love this heartfelt story and it will open discussion about bullying.

     This book is targeted at more mature readers leveled at ages 6-9. A great way to use this book in your classroom is to let students describe characters from the story using character traits. Your students can also use compare and contrast with two different characters from the story.

    

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review 2018-04-08 15:27
Flip
Flip - David Estes

[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.]

The conclusion to this trilogy, and a satisfying one, although I found the ending a little too quick and predictable.

One of the things I liked here is that we got more information about the world around the RUSA. Not a lot, of course, the trilogy’s aim wasn’t to paint a full geopolitical portrait; nevertheless, I always appreciate it when sci-fi/dystopian settings take into account not only to focus country, but also the others. This shakes off the ‘pocket universe’ feeling that is very often prevalent in this genre. In fact, it’d almost deserve a spin-off so that the author can have fun with what’s happening around and outside the RUSA.

Like in the previous books, I also enjoyed the family relationships. Benson and Harrison could’ve been awful to each other, even when thrown in the same predicament, with constant jealousy and resentment. While there were some tensions (it was unavoidable), though, they embraced each other’s respective existences, as a discovery of the brother they didn’t know they had, instead of embracing negative feelings. Which was great. And which leads me to another aspect I enjoyed: the toned-down romance. Yes, there is a romantic subplot, however:
- It’s not the main focus;
- It doesn’t cause the characters involved do stupid things and make stupid decisions because LUUUUURVE (I’m so tired of those silly romance plots where the world is ending but the main character is still too busy pondering which of the guys/girls s/he’s in love with);
- I mentioned this in my review about volume 2 already: when Benson is concerned, I liked seeing such a predictable romance -not- happen. Having everyone find their Twue Wuv or whatever would’ve been too saccharine for me. The focus here is FAMILY, not romantic love, and especially not romantic love as the be-all and end-all and the Highest Form of Love Ever.

Bonus point for Jarrod’s arc. That character was a POS and I hated his guts, but you know what, that’s GOOD, because it means I cared. He helped emphasize one end of the spectrum (the other end being the corrupt government), with his ‘a means to an end’ attitude and terrorist ways, including what he roped Geoffrey into doing. Who does that to a kid, spewing BS such as ‘your sister would be so proud of you’? Yeah. Exactly.

Now, to expand a little on my comments about the ending:

- ‘Too quick’: that is, compared to all the reversal of fortunes previously encountered.
- Predictable: there were quite a few more twists in this instalment, with the last secrets being revealed. However, as a result, the ending felt somewhat… uneventful? As if it was indeed the last sprint, but one that led to no more surprises. Don’t mistake me, it’s a good conclusion, only just a little too well packaged and ‘clean’ and neatly tied, for a series that was grittier than a lot of YA series out there… so I guess I expected something more bittersweet, with some last twist, maye?
- Some parts were anti-climactic, like what happened with the president.
- I gather that the Destroyer is gone, buuuuut… Like THAT? Now that was disappointing, all the more since we didn’t get to see him do much in the first half of the novel. Alright, as a villain, he was ‘too much’ anyway. Yet that end felt almost… comical? And it jars with the darker tones of the trilogy, because deep down, Domino is a broken human being—he was already deranged before, but he was also treated like an object, stuffed with mechanical parts, brought back from the brink of death instead of being let go with dignity, and generally it was as if everybody discarded his humanity from the beginning, never giving him any chance at all. (I’m not saying a redemption arc would’ve been good here—he was too far gone. Just… not -that- kind of ending.)

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. In spite of my criticisms, I did enjoy this last volume.

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text 2017-12-31 14:23
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #9 - Winter Solstice
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I am completely lost.  This may have something to do with waking up at 2:15 a.m. after barely three hours' sleep.  I tried for almost four additional hours to go back to sleep, but it didn't work, so here I am trying to sort through my notes to bring my Festive Season activities up to date.

 

For Square #9, a task for the Winter Solstice is to ask a question, then open a book to page 40, line 9. 

 

My question was broad and vague, but it is also the reason I have lost so much sleep lately:  How am I going to get through the next year, financially as well as mentally?

 

I pondered and pondered which book to pick and finally, after taking the dogs outside, settled on Women Who Run with the Wolves.  I bought the book when it was first published in 1992 -- it even says "First Edition" whoo hoo! -- and have read most of it in segments, but have never sat down and read the whole thing through first page to last.

 

Page 40, line 9, is the middle of a thought:

 

". . .severs the woman from her intuitive nature.  When its cutting work is done . . . "

 

The passage refers to patriarchal control of women, in particular the "predatory potentate" archetype who does the cutting that severs the woman from her intuitive nature.  Gee, is that relevant to this particular Solstice, or what?

 

I've felt for most of the past 20 years or so that I've been cut off from my "intuitive nature," and the past dozen years or so that I've been in little more than survival mode.  Last year, 2016, was the first time I felt more at ease emotionally than I have in a long time, and I know very well that the reason for that was my writing.  After writing and publishing The Looking-Glass Portrait, I tried to get into another writing project right away, but too many external factors kept intruding.  Those external factors dominated my 2017 attempts to write, as well as virtually everything else.

 

Whatever I do to address these issues in 2018, I'm going to try my best not to be cut off from the person I really am.  I can't be someone else, and especially not for someone else.  I have to be me, for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-29 10:26
Grip
Grip: A SciFi Dystopian Thriller (The Slip Trilogy Book 2) - David Estes

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Keeping on catching up with my NetGalley readings. I finished the first book earlier this week, now on to book 2, which was also a good one in its own way, and not the dread ‘second book syndrome sufferer’ I usually fear in such cases.

It does pave up the way to the ‘grand finale’ of book 3, of course, among other things by introducing new developments and therefore a third way, so to speak. It’s not about the hunt for Slips only, not anymore; the Lifers are also involved, and no party is all black or all white. The action is not only about running away/reacting this time, although the book does have its share of such scenes since they’re part of its premise, however the characters also start making moves of their own, instead of only the villains setting plans in motion. And even if said moves are a little on the clunky side, the characters are clearly proactive and taking on their enemies now.

The story has its share of twists. Like in the first book, they are partly predictable (e.g. the one where only the audio part is played), yet at the same time some of them are of the gritty kind, that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected in a YA story (this is not YA for 12-year-old, for sure). And as far as I can tell, there’s one major twist that is a definitive one, there’s not going to be any ‘surprise, I’m back’ scene (I hope there won’t be because it was a sad moment, and retconning it would cheapen it).

The ads and propaganda inserts are interesting, too. At first I didn’t care much for them, but little by little they’re helping draw a more comprehensive picture of the world (the technology people have at hand, the comments—both published and deleted—on newspaper articles

The characters keep evolving, Harrison especially is going on a path I like: at first he felt to me like he was ‘just there’, some kind of afterthought patched onto Benson’s story, yet here he takes action, initiates moves that have their own ethical backlashes, gets to go through ordeals as well, discovers betrayal... At the same time, while he does resent his father and seems to unconsciously prevent himself from properly grieving, he’s also accepted his brother like, well, a brother. He’s an interesting counterpoint to Domino: both children had very similar backgrounds (a Slip sibling, one parent being constantly away to take care of the Slip), but Harrison is going a completely different path. On the other hand, I don’t care that much for the Destroyer, perhaps because at this point he’s so broken that even his fighting against his leash doesn’t look like there’ll be much development her, apart from ‘yay I get to be a psychopath 100% of the time now’.

A few new characters get introduced, like Destiny (another Slip, who goes through her own dark moments because of the mistakes she made, and has to learn to outgrow this—all the while showing her inner strength and resourcefulness in terms of survival techniques, -she- didn’t have a Michael Kelly to craft a false ID for her after all!). Or the Agriculturists, more in the background for now but with an agenda of their own.

Conclusion: A solid second book that furthers the overarching plot.

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