It’s amazing to me that the same author that wrote The Giver wrote the book I'm reviewing today because they couldn’t be more different. The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry is a nontraditional fairytale about a princess who’d rather live among the people than follow any ridiculous royal decrees. (Roman Holiday, anyone?) Now that she’s turning 16 years old, Princess Patricia Priscilla's expected to marry one of the three suitors who are courting for her hand. Each man is more ghastly than the last. A lot of time is spent describing these hateful men (and the illustrations by Jules Feiffer really drive it home how disgusting and despicable her choices truly are. As in much of middle grade fiction, her parents are blind to her discomfort and unhappiness as they are caught up in their own lives and interests. (Dad is obsessed with butterflies and Mom is preoccupied with her wardrobe and appearance.) So neither takes any notice of her switching places with her maid and escaping out into the village to go to the local school. Dark humor coupled with the somewhat realistic portrayal of what it's like to be a village peasant plus the fantastic illustrations make this a quick, fun read. 7/10
What's Up Next: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton
What I'm Currently Reading: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
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This is one of those books that I had been meaning to get around to reading. Multiple people had told me I would like it, but I always got distracted by other books. When I finally started it, I did not want to put it down.
I absolutely loved this book. Clever, magical, and wonderful. While there is a transitional quest plot, it was easy for me to get caught up in the descriptions and adventures along the way, allowing me to enjoy each page without speed reading to find out what happened next in the quest. I liked the plot, but it was all of those other things that made this such a splendid read. I especially liked the witty word play and overall silliness. Absolutely amazing.
I am so glad I finally read this book. Although now that I've read it, I already want to read it again. No wonder this is such a classic.
Bark, George is a story of a dog whose mother is concerned because he making different animal noises instead of barking. His mother takes him to the vet who finds animals inside of him. Students could practice sequencing by placing the animals in the correct order of how they happened in the book or could do a character study on George the dog. This book is a level 14 on the DRA leveling system.