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review 2015-03-07 20:46
Excellence in children's literature is just a few page turns away
The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao,Katherine Applegate

I have a lot to say about The One and Only Ivan so get ready. Firstly, I'd like to thank Katherine Applegate for getting it. She understands the importance of children's literature and how it can fundamentally change the life of a child when they find the "right" book. I bet that this book would be just exactly right for a lot of children (and adults if they gave it a shot). As frequent readers of the blog will know, I am passionate about cultivating lifelong learners and lovers of reading. It is heartening to see this passion take the form of an excellent book for children. Secondly, I had no idea that the seed of this story was based off of a true tale. There really was a gorilla that lived in a shopping mall for almost 3 decades. (Just typing those words makes me ill.) Of course, the rest was fictionalized as the story is narrated by Ivan and it would be impossible to know what he was actually thinking and/or feeling during and after his captivity. Thirdly, I appreciated that the back of the book included Applegate's Newbery Medal acceptance speech. She touched on the importance of allowing children to read books that might make them sad or angry. For some reason, parents are always wary of allowing their children to experience any kind of negative emotions in literature. Do they truly believe that kids have no concept of pain, fear, or sadness? Wouldn't it be better if they read about it and discussed it with their parents afterward in a safe and loving environment? What if by reading a book that made them think and question the world around them they became more well-rounded human beings? In conclusion, don't censor your child's reading. If they want to read a comic book, let them. If they want to read a series with a gazillion books in it, let them. If they want to read Little Women, let them. And if they want to read this book, read it with them.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2014-06-30 15:36
Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech

I loved how the different storylines were interwoven. With Salamanca's blooming fantasy you never knew what to expect next. The book made me both laugh out loud and cry, it was just the perfect mixture. Widely recommended!

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review 2014-06-30 15:30
Löcher. Die Geheimnisse von Green Lake. - Louis Sachar

Holes is a great book which I would have enjoyed probably even more if I hadn't seen the movie before and hadn't already known the complete story. It was still a five-star read and defintely one of the best Young Adult books I've read in a while.

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review 2011-05-08 00:00
Missing May - Cynthia Rylant Ah, nostalgia! I love this book! Ever since my friend introduced me to this book a few months back and I read it, it always stood with me as a very moving, beautiful story. I enjoyed reading this again for the second time and for many more times to come, I'm sure! Everything about the novel from the characters to the plot to the writing itself was simply amazing and I cannot say enough of how great this book is. I truly do not regret picking this up!

Cynthia Rylant is such a good author. Her writing style is simple but effective. It's perfect for children to understand, seeing as how this is a middle-grade book. My favorite part of Rylant's writing style is her use of analogies. She uses things we know, things children can pick up on easily through their schooling, and inputs those analogies in the situation of the main character herself. It was very amusing and well-executed. The story she conjured up in this novel is one many of us can relate to. Whenever we lose a love one, it's very difficult to let go but the fact that we are able to move on and keep fighting... that's what makes living in this world worthwhile. The message is a great message for children to learn and I feel with this book, they could do that. I loved how she kept things consistent. This consistence helped the story flow more smoothly and effectively! Truly beautiful!

The characters were amazing! Summer, main character, was great! At first, you see she is quite pessimistic. However, this is through no fault of her own. She's been through so much at her young age that it effected her in such a negative way that she doesn't expect any good to come her way. She even takes out a lot of her frustration with Cletus, a boy from school. But, by the end of the novel, you witness her grow into something more strong and capable that you have no fear about her not being able to cope anymore about what may befall her.

Ob, her father-figure, was a sweet man who cared for his wife dearly and was suffering from her lost. He was caring and, in his own right, strong with what happend. You see him rise from defeat and become something much more as the novel progresses! Cletus was just a bundle of joy. He helped both Ob and Summer cope with the lost of May. His outlook on life and his quirkiness was definitely something to admire. I really wished I knew someone like him when I was in seventh grade! Things would have gome much more better for me! >_< May... ah... such a sweet lady. Though never really seeing her alive throughout the novel, you get to know her through other characters and let me tell you, she is one of the nicest ladies I have ever seen in literature! Much love to her!

This book was just great for me. It had such wonderful characters, a great plot, and a meangingful message. I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am that my friend told me about this book. It was right up there with all the good books I have been reading. This book is great for kids to read in order to get a better understanding of life. I highly recommend this book to all who love children's literature and who just want a beautifully told story with a very good message. This novel contains something for all ages to enjoy! The only reason why this doesn't get five stars is because I felt that it was a bit lacking in detail in some areas where it could have been expanded upon. But other than that, a great read! Go out there, find yourself a copy, and read it! You will not regret it!
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review 2011-02-22 00:00
The Giver - Lois Lowry I am in awe of this book. This is my first dystopian novel that I have ever read and let me say that it did NOT disappoint! It was so amazing being able to see a world so different from out own, where "free choices" and "feelings" are not welcomed into the society. Only "order." This book makes you realize that what we have is truly a blessing and reading this book about not being able to do what you want really opens your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities!

The world that Lowry has created is a unique one. She did such a fantastic job in describing the "rules" and the "order" that was set in place a long time ago in this dystopian world. I love her writing style. It is very simple yet flows so smoothly and she has this gift of knowing her words which makes things in her story more vivid to the reader. I know I had an easy time getting the clear images in my head thanks to her writing.

The characters were the big thing here. The are very much the same which is the point to the whole book. To get the feeling of the "Sameness." There really wasn't any depth to them except for Jonas and The Giver. Since they were the only ones who knew of the memories of the past, they were the only ones who knew of actual "feelings" not allowed to be known to the others in this "community." As the story progresses and he starts to learn more about love, anguish, sorrow, hunger, and the like, he starts to grow more as a character and he starts to question things in this world where quesitions are prohibited. The Giver is another character you love right from the beginning. Because of the fact that he knows a lot, he is able to comprehend things other characters in this book are not. You feel a sort of connection to him because he knows what we know and you want to help him help others realize what they are missing out on. Like colors!

I must congratulate Lowry on a fantastic job done with this book. It's fairly old in its time but I know it is going to go on for all of time as one of the best dysotpian novels ever written. I really love this book and I am so glad that I decided to finally listen to my friend and pick it up. It makes you really want to appreciate all the liberties we have. There's no way we would EVER want to live in a world where we have no say in the matter. I love this book and, though it's a sort read, I feel it will take an entire lifetime to get over the message of it. I highly recommend this book!
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