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review 2017-01-30 21:40
The Warden's Daughter
Warden's Daughter - Jerry Spinelli

I felt so alone reading this novel. Here was a twelve-year-old girl living in a county prison with her father, the Warden, crying out for help. She was surrounded by individuals yet she was all alone. The one person she wanted, she couldn’t have and the one person she could have, was emotionally not there. I felt she was drifting away, she was trying to throw out lines for others to grab but no one was reaching for them. Then, at the end of the novel, there was some saving graces but why put people through the pain so there is sunshine later.

Her mother died when she was a baby. As Cammie watches, she notices what she is missing not having a mother and now Cammie wants to find another mother. She feels the prison trustee that takes care of her father and her might be the replacement she is looking for but Eloda is not picking up on the clues that Cammie is leaving for her. Cammie becomes annoyed with her best friend when her attention strays to the boys and suddenly Reggie is interested in makeup and being seen. Cammie finds friendship in the women’s gated exercise yard at the prison. I found myself sad that she found acceptance with older women and was having a hard time being noticed at home. There were times when Cammie had friends, she was enjoying herself and the time with them but the time ended and she was alone again. I did enjoy the ending, it was amazing but I thought Cammie felt isolated and confused throughout the novel and when the ending occurred, it didn’t make it all right.

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review 2016-11-11 23:36
Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli

He wasn't born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park "frog" homer; how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Mania Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.

He was special all right, and this is his story, and it's a story that is very careful not to let the facts get mixed up with the truth. In the end Maniac solves his problems and finds his forever home. I would use this story in a 5th-6th grade classroom to try to teach students better ways to solve there problems. It is crucial for all students, especially older ones to know that  the solution for problems is never to run away from them. My 6th grade class at Centerville Middle School are currently reading this book and they love it so much that it encouraged me to want to use it in my own classroom as well. 

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review 2016-11-11 15:08
Stargirl
Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli

This book teaches students that it is okay to be yourself and you don't have to try and fit in. This book would be great for a 4th grade class. I would have the students fill out a graphic organizer as they read the book. They could also pull out vocabulary words from the text.

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review 2016-10-13 02:25
MILKWEED by Jerry Spinelli
Milkweed - Jerry Spinelli

MILKWEED By Jerry Spinelli

208 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2003)

ISBN:  0439682363 (ISBN13: 9780439682367) 

 

  Set in Warsaw, Poland from prior to World War II and following an orphan with many names in his quest to survive not only living in the streets, but, also, in the Warsaw Ghetto. Author Jerry Spinelli wrote this as a young adult book, and definitely gives the young adult reader something to think about and to learn. I found it very well written. When given the name Misha by an older orphan helping take care of him, he started to believe his "story"of where he came from. Milkweed is his story of survival of the streets, the Ghetto, and the Holocaust; this is also his search to belong. I loved the characters that Misha interacted with throughout the story. Spinnelli kept the story moving. He didn't shy away from some of the horrors that Misha had to deal with, but wrote about the longing to belong, to be someone, understanding, and becoming family. I definitely would recommend this book to others, both the YA readers and adult readers.

 

One of my favorite things-I found this on one of those Free Little Bookshelves in the apartment complex that I baby sit at. Really cool.

 

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2016-05-09 18:28
Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli

The story is surprising because no one know who he was and were he was from. When they saw him for the first time they were surprised because he had beat up shoes. Everyone thought that he did not know anything till one day he untied the hardest knot.  

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