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review 2017-07-31 16:05
Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - J.K. Rowling

I will admit that I watched the movie before I read this book so I was pretty excited to pick this one up and return to the amazing world of Harry Potter, however, it was not quite what I was expecting. Based upon the fact that I saw the movie first, I assumed (I know I know) that this book was going to be more of an adventure story than an education book. I now know I should have read the screen play version of this book instead, but I had no idea there was one.

This book gives an in depth look at all the creature you encounter in Harry Potter and some that you do not (maybe in future books...fingers crossed) as well as I'm sure the screen play for the movie that I just became aware of. So I guess this is a very short review of the wrong book, lol. If you want to know more about the creature in Harry Potter, this one is for you. I did enjoy learning about the creature and probably would have enjoyed it more if I would have read it when I was first discovering Harry Potter many many years ago now. I know that it makes me want to reread the Harry potter series and I am so looking forward reading them to my child and my husband discovering them as he has not read them yet (no idea why not lol). Now I just have to get my hands on the screen play and read the book I meant to.

Enjoy!!!

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review 2017-04-24 07:09
"A world has ended, and only tomorrow remains.”

The End of the Day

by Claire North

 

I cannot decide if this was the perfect book at the perfect time or the worst possible book at the worst possible time. And I don't know if it really matters. All I know is that as I watch the world I thought I knew fall apart, The End of the Day was a difficult and emotional but also an oddly cathartic read. It is an anguished, strident call to see the value of humanity, to see all people, even those who devalue others, as people. And if there's one thing we all need to remember right now, I think it is the maybe broken, maybe imperfect, but ultimately precious humanity that we all share.

The End of the Day is one of those books I think of as "stealth literature." Like basically all of the books written under the Claire North nom de plume, the story takes place in the real world, but with one fantastical element added: the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and their Harbingers, are acknowledged and visible figures within the world. Death has an office in Milton Keynes from which he hires Charlie to be his Harbinger of Death. Superficially, the premise sounds like a cross between Mort and Good Omens, but the whimsical setup allows North to examine death and change and above all, what it means to be human. Charlie's job is to travel around the world, to talk to those chosen by Death, to bring them a gift, and to honour life:

"When you’re the Harbinger of Death, the thing that matters more than anything else, is seeing people. Not corpses, not killers or victims or soldiers or criminals or presidents or anything like that. You have to see…people. People who are afraid. People who have lived their lives, in their ways. You are the bridge. Death stands behind you, but you look forward, always forward, and humanity looks straight back at you."

I admit I was underwhelmed at first. I miss the lighthearted absurd fanciful creativity of the Matthew Swift series, but this crept up on me, slowly, gradually, ponderously, until I found myself with tears in my eyes. The story is episodic, almost picaresque, a meandering tune that slowly builds into a powerful crescendo.

I read this book with a lump in my throat as the news broke about America's decision to bomb Syria while refusing to take its refugees, as the US deported its first DREAMer, as America's climate change policy began to be dismantled, as budget slashes to arts and culture and history and science were declared, as the US dropped the "mother of all bombs" on Afghanistan, as Trump and Kim Jong-un posture and threaten their way towards possible annihilation. I read this book as I feared the end of democracy in my country, as I wondered if perhaps the idea of democracy had merely been a shared delusion, now shattered. As I read about war in Syria and warmongering in America and racism and hatred and genocide and death, death, death, about the ending of one world after another, I felt, as one character puts it:

"I look and all I hear is the beating of the drums and all I see is a world in which not to be one of us is to be something else. The scientist was right, reason is dead; the dream is dead; humanity has changed into something new and it is brutal."


But that hopelessness, that depression, that dehumanization, brought on as it is by compassion fatigue or news fatigue or bitterness with a world that deviates from our expectations-- that is not the point of the book. Despite all the death and misery, despite the failed battles and broken people, I think, at its core, this story is about seeing the humanity in each of us, even in those of us who do not see the humanity in others. Sure, there are a few missteps, a few tone-deaf moments. But at its core, the book is a celebration of a humanity, a desperate cry to all of us to see the humanity in one another and to build a more compassionate future.

"This is my city, my country, my home, this is my life, my battle, my war. This is my struggle to be seen as a person, to be human, this is my human body, this is my human life, this is my everything, this is my all, this is … [...] One day we will build Jerusalem."


Who would I recommend this book to? I'm honestly not sure. Don't go into it looking for an adrenaline rush, an amusing romp, or a tidy plot. But I found it poignant and cathartic and deeply meaningful. I don't know what it will be for you, but for me, it was a reminder of all the worlds that end, for good and ill, and that while I feel powerless, I am part of endings and beginnings,
big and small, and have the power to change them, if only the smallest bit.

"The world … no … a world is ending, and I was called to witness, yes? I was called to witness because I am part of the ending. My actions … I am the change. I am the future, and it is fitting, I think, that I should see the past too, yes?"

So for me, this book was about remembering the past, remembering the humanity in all of us, remembering to see people as people, not as something other. I don't know what it will mean for you, but there's only one way to find out.

~~I received this ebook through Netgalley from the publisher, Redhook Books, in exchange for my honest review. Quotes were taken from an advanced reader copy and while they may not reflect the final phrasing, I believe they speak to the spirit of the novel as a whole.~~

Cross-posted on Goodreads.

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review 2017-03-30 20:07
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Book Review
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay - J.K. Rowling

This is written so much better than Cursed Child (which was obvious that Rowling didn't write). I hated that one and like to pretend it doesn't exist. But Fantastic Beasts has all of Rowling's humor and writing style. I don't really like this whole screenplay thing, I'd much rather her take the time to write another book but I did enjoy reading the scenes of the movie, which I also enjoyed very much. 

 

Enjoyable, but I want a full book by Rowling (Marauder's series please????). 

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review 2017-03-28 19:43
Fantastic FOR Your Brain!
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain - JoAnn Deak,Sarah Ackerley

This clever book introduces the brain to children in a kid-friendly way. This book has many illustrations, comprehendible vocabulary, and lots of humor. The book is inspirational, teaching kids to try hard, practice, and never give up. During a study on the human body and/or brain, I would read this book aloud to the class but also have it available at a center so that students can read it again. Because the book details different parts of the brain, I would use that to my advantage and split up the class into groups- one group per part of the brain. I would have the students do quick research and present it to the class. 

 

A.R.- 4.5

Lexile- 870L

Guided Reading- O

Recommended Grades: 2-4

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review 2017-01-25 15:56
by aashman garg, mind tree school
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl

Protagonist- Mr. Fox

Antagonist -  Boggis, Bunce and Bean

 

 

Short summary- Mr. fox is the father is the father of four small foxes. For his and his family's surival he uased to steal from three very mean farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean

When they are all fed up by his activities they decice a plot against Mr. Fox. Will he be able to survive the attack?

 

I recommend this book to adventure and fun loving children and adults. This book highlights the quick and sensible use of intellect also highlights that one should never be mean, moody, stingy and selective.

 

 

 

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