logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: middle-grade
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-23 18:03
I'm conflicted
Grandpa's Great Escape - David Walliams

I am struggling with how to express my feelings about Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams. This is due to the fact that this man might actually be a bigger Roald Dahl fan than myself and his writing definitely reflects that. I don't think that Walliams makes any bones about this but I do think that if you've read Dahl's works it will be difficult not to compare the two which leaves Walliams falling a bit short. (Sorry!) Read on its own merit, it's a great little book which touches on topics which I think are really important in middle grade fiction. Our main character, Jack, has a very special relationship with his grandfather who was a fighter pilot in WWII. Their relationship is a unique one which is further complicated by the fact that his grandpa has Alzheimer's disease and believes he is once again in the midst of the Battle of Britain. Jack's parents are torn about what to do with the old man but Jack is adamant that he continue to spend time with him...until the vicar puts an idea into their heads about the old folks home beyond the moors. In typical Dahl fashion, Walliams fashions a slapstick comedy amidst flashbacks to WWII and serious discussions over elderly care and familial loyalty.

 

What I didn't care for:

  • What felt like blatant ripoffs of Dahl's works as well as his illustrator, Quentin Blake

 

What I legitimately enjoyed:

  • The approach and handling of serious discussions revolving around elderly care and Alzheimer's
  • The glossary at the back which discussed in more detail the topics touched on in the book such as the Royal Air Force, Battle of Britain, etc.

 

I'd love to know what you guys think so please check the book out and leave a comment below. :-)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-20 00:18
Save Me a Seat
Save Me a Seat - Gita Varadarajan,Sarah Weeks

Save Me a Seat is a recent middle grade book co-authored by veteran Sarah Weeks and newcomer Gita Varadarajan.  While not explicitly discussed in the interviews, I believe the two authors met at a Teachers College Writing Workshop directed by Lucy Calkins and that the collaborative project may have been born during the workshop. 

 

The book features alternating chapters of the first week of 5th grade from two viewpoints, Joe (written by Ms. Weeks) and Ravi (written by Ms. Varadarajan).  Joe has lived in the same small town in central NJ all his life.  Ravi has just moved to the US from India.  Taking place over the course of a single week, the boys find common cause and the seed of a friendship as they are both targets of their class bully, an Indian-American kid named Dillon Samreen.

 

There were many moments of humor and realistic tween emotions throughout Save Me a Seat. I also liked the clever way the book used food as a framing.  However, I didn’t fall in love with the story or the characters. While seeing yourself represented in books is important, I thought it was just too convenient that Joe’s defining characteristic is a learning disability.  And there were times that the moral lessons of looking beyond the surface to find potential friends were just a bit too blatant for my adult eyes.  As I read, I kept wondering if this is a book kids would really be attracted to on their own or if it was written to be a parable and the basis of lesson plans and won’t find many readers outside that context.

 

Read for Tomorrowland 34 in Booklikes-opoly

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-19 19:46
Book 33/100: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
The Amulet of Samarkand - Jonathan Stroud

I just wasn't as enamored of this book as a lot of other people seem to be.

While I found Bartimaeus' narration more compelling than Nathan's chapters, I didn't really find myself "getting behind" either character. I don't really need characters to be "likeable" in the books I read, but I kept wondering exactly who or what I should be rooting for in this book, what should keep me reading. Was I supposed to want Nathan to succeed in his endeavors, even though he was kind of a jerk to Bartimaeus? I kept thinking the book was probably trying to be something of a "buddy comedy" where Bartimaeus and Nathan were supposed to start out loathing each other but would eventually come to be reluctant comrades, and that perhaps THAT was the outcome we were supposed to be pulling for. But that aspect of the story never really seemed to materialize, either.

So I'm sorry to say that my mind wandered a fair amount during this book. It took me a long time to figure out the era it was taking place in, and I eventually determined it's in a sort of alternate present-day since a laptop was mentioned at some point. And although the magic system and political set-up and hints of a coming revolution were all interesting, it also felt somewhat muddled to me. It did remind me of a children's version of "Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell," and it was well written, but I probably won't be reading further into the series.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-06-19 04:08
Booklikes-opoly Fantasyland 7 Read
The Wild Robot - Peter Brown

 

 

The main character is a robot, but she interacts and talks to the animals on the island. So, talking animals (check) and a sunshine state 17-18 book (check). Perfect!!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-18 22:54
Who is Fever Crumb?
Fever Crumb - Philip Reeve

 

I have to admit, I'm relieved to be finished reading this book. I borrowed it from my school library because it wasn't being checked out and I wanted to see if I could find readers for it. I need to know a book to really promote it. However, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. Which is sad because I hear so many good things about the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve.

 

I didn't realize this was a prequel series until I looked into the next book on Amazon. And why would I look into the next book in the series considering my experience with this book? Honestly, the best part of the book was the last 26 pages.

 

Up until that point, I found all of the characters to be selfish and self-serving. Fever, the main character, has been taught to hide her emotions because they are foolish and irrational. This makes it difficult to connect with her or even like her. The engineer Fever is sent to help (Kit) seems more in touch with his emotions, but even he has selfish motives for asking Fever to work with him. The Scrivens and the skinners seem like two awful sides of the same coin. Apparently even in the future, society is ruled by hate and fear.

 

So, I'm torn. I may read the next book in the series or skip right to the Mortal Engines series or even just give up on it completely. If any of you have read the series, I would love to hear your input. :)

 

I read this book as my second Memorial Day extra roll, space Paradise Pier 28, a book tagged steampunk on GR.

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?