Thursday, July 26, 2012
Interest Level: 6th Grade and Up
Reviewed by Mrs. Schauer
I first got this book as an ARC at Net Galley. I started reading it, but only read the first few pages before life got in my way and I never finished it. I have this problem where I have a hard time putting a book down once I pick it up. I have to read the entire thing in one sitting, and nothing else in my life gets any attention. For the past week, I've done nothing but read....and last night, I finally read this wonderful book...yep, in one sitting. :)
I fell in love with the characters immediately. How could I not? Four children, ages 3-18, who are named after some of my favorite book characters:
Sara, the oldest: She's named after Sara Crewe, from The Little Princess. She longs to have been born in the age of dead-heads. She couldn't get into any good colleges, so she's taking a year off to work in her parents' restaurant. She's blunt and honest at all times, and has dreadlocks.
Holden: He's the second child, aptly named in honor of Salinger's angst-filled protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is fourteen years old , and the reader is allowed the privilege of growing with him, championing his strength and bravery as he comes to terms with his sexuality.
Fern: Her mom named her after Fern Arable from Charlotte's Web, because she knew, from the moment she was born, that she had a special soul. In her own words, she knew Fern would be a good friend....a hero. The story is told from Fern's point of view, and she is indeed, possessed of an incredibly special soul.
Charlie: Ah, Charlie...perfectly named after Charlie Bucket, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie is three years old, a "surprise" addition to the family fold, and he is the light of their lives. Charlie is full of life and finds joy in everything around him.
I will not give away too much of this family's story, because it's just something that readers need to experience for themselves. I will only say that I fell in love with this quirky family, as they dealt with running a family business and the joys and sorrows of life. I laughed, I cried, my heart soared, as well as broke into a hundred pieces. By the end of the book, I was a blubbering mess of tears and snot....but in a very good way....a way that does the heart good.
Jo Knowles is one of my favorite authors because she writes about subjects that are tough...and she does it in a way that is just so REAL. She writes important books for teens and young adults...books that bring healing and hope. I applaud her!
For my review of Knowles' Lessons from a Dead Girl, click here.
To view a trailer, created by Kaycee, one of our Pettus middle school students,for Jumping Off Swings, click here.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
1-Your favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
2-Least Favorite Book: Anything by Charles Dickens. Blech!
3-A Book that completely surprised you: (bad/good) The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. I didn’t know anything about the premise and the title made it sound like a self-help Book
4. - A Book that made you laugh out loud: Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christoper Moore
5- A Non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed: It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, by Robie Harris
6- A Book that makes you cry: Far From You, by Lisa Schroeder
7- A Book that’s hard to read: The Host, by Stephenie Meyer
8- A Book you want to read, but never have: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
9- A Book you’ve read more than once: The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
10- The first novel you remember reading: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
11- The Book that made you fall in love with reading: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
12- A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set aside for a bit: Living Dead Girl, by Elizabeth Scott
13- Favorite childhood Book: Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
14- Book that should be on hs/college required reading list: Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
15- Favorite book dealing with foreign culture: A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
16- Favorite book turned movie: Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
17- Book turned movie and completely desecrated: My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Piccolt
18- A Book You can’t find on shelves anymore that you love: Little Dream, by Cynthia Leonetti
19- A Book that changed your mind about a particular subject: Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Piccolt
20-A Book you would recommend to an ignorant/racist/closed minded person: Dinner With a Perfect Stranger, by David Greggory
21-A guilty pleasure book: Does the Noise In My Head Bother You? By Stephen Tyler
22-Favorite Series: Left Behind by LaHaye, Jenkins
23- Favorite Romance Novel: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
24 - A Book you later found out the Author lied about: Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
26-A Book you wish would be written: The Gospel According to Mary Magdelene
27- A Book you would write if you had all the resources: Teresa Schauer: A Memoir J
28- A Book you wish you never read: I can’t think of one
29- An Author that you completely avoid/hate wont read: I don’t have one of these…
30 - An Author that you will read whatever they put out: Patricia Polacco
Monday, March 7, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
by Laura Wiess
Interest Level: High School
I read this book in one sitting on a recent fishing trip with my family. I simply could not put it down. It reminded me a little of LIVING DEAD GIRL, but the emotions it evoked in me weren't quite as harsh. Still, it was a tough read.
This is Meredith's story. She is fifteen years old, and at the start of the book, she learns that her father is going to be released from prison after serving only three years of a nine year sentence. For a lot of kids, hearing that their dad is coming home would likely be welcome news. Meredith however, feels her father's homecoming is like the slamming of a prison door on her own life, trapping her in with the worst possible enemy...the man who raped her when she was only twelve.
As I stated at the beginning of this post, I was riveted from the very first sentence in this book. Because her character was so well developed, I wanted to strangle Meredith's mother, who is in total denial over the fact that her husband is a monster. I wanted to grab some of the other characters up in a great big hug of gratitude for the amount of love and support they showed to Meredith.
As usual, I don't want to give too much away in my blog post...but if you like a book that evokes strong emotions, this is a great one!