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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The End of the Story

No Other Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup

This was a satisfying ending the the "Whole Nother Story" trilogy.  It contains the same wackiness wrapped in a witty, well-written world.  While this was probably my least favorite of the three books, it was really funny like the others and it contains great vocabulary and serves as a good model of writing well. 
No Other Story

I have only seen poor or luke-warm reviews for this book, but don't be misled.  If you liked the first book, you'll love the ending of the story.  If your kiddos like goofy yet very clever humor then this is a great trilogy to read.

Accidents Can Hurt and Hurt Can Heal

Because of Mr. Terupt by Ron Buyea

This was a good book about bullying and treating your classmates nicely, but not preachy at all.  The story is told in the voices of 7 kids in Mr. Terupt's class.  The kids are united because of an accident.

Because of Mr. TeruptI wouldn't let my elementary kids read this book because I think there is some rather mature material covered in the lives of the students.  One child's mother got pregnant when she was 16 and was kicked out of her family.  Another student's parents don't want her to play with this girl because her mom had her when she was 16 and unwed.  I don't want my kids trying to puzzle all of that out, but for other kids that may be their reality, so it wouldn't be new to them.  This would be an outstanding book for teens who cannot read well.  (I come across that question often at the bookstore.)

A second book is coming out in a few months, and I will probably read it.   haven't read Wonder by Palacio, yet, but hearing from others who've read both if you liked it, I think you will like this book, too.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Book is the Real Deal!

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend     This book wasn't what I was expecting but it was quite good.  I would recommend it to pretty much... everyone.  The story is Budo's, Max's imaginary friend.  Budo is six-years-old which is ancient for an imaginary friend.  Budo helps Max, who seems to have autism though his parents are really sure what's going on with him.  Budo spends a lot of time worrying about the day when Max will forget about him and he will not exist anymore.  Max ends up in trouble and Budo needs to find a way to help him, but what if helping Max will mean the end to Budo?  I enjoyed the idea of a story from the viewpoint of an imaginary friend.  (Arna you will always be in my heart.)  And I enjoyed the autism angle in the story as well.  Even though the mystery may seems pulled from a TV crime show (perhaps on purpose) I cared enough about the characters and wondered how in the world things would work out that I was very anxious to keep reading the book and to finish it.  I liked this book.  I'm very glad the author wrote it.
     One small qualm I have with the book happens when the story talks about teachers who really teach (the good ones) and teachers who just play school (the bad ones).  The comment is made that teachers who use charts and sticker sheets just pretend to teach school.  As many times as I've seen those types of things work for kids, most on the autism spectrum, I don't think that was an accurate statement to include in the book especially when one of the main characters has autism. 
     But I really loved that The Tale of Despereaux is mentioned.  And I love on page 253, when  Budo talks about how brave he thinks Max is because kids make fun of him, people try to change him, everyone tries to make him into a normal boy but no one treats him like a normal boy.  It was really touching for me thinking about my own boy.  Then he sums it up with this (I hope I don't get in trouble for quoting this), "But you have to be the bravest person in the world to go out every day, being yourself when no one likes who you are."  I can relate to that.  And I wish I was braver.  And I very much admire my sons.