Thursday, May 29, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Specials (2006, 372 pgs.): "Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she's one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid." (From the back cover) In this one, the action picks up again, and Tally again strives to gain control over her own mind and learn to trust her own instincts, not the ones that have been wired into her brain. She recognizes the power of the need to belong to a group, and the evils of government restricting freedoms. The ending is not what I expected, and I like that.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the series. I love novels that look at society and pick out certain trends and then envision where those trends could lead us into the future. These books are quick to read, imaginative without being unbelievable, and filled with situations that make you reflect on the world around you.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The story is about an 11-year old orphan named Hugo Cabret that works on an invention called automaton. Hugo steals from a man that works at a toy booth to get stuff to build the automaton.On his way to get stuff, Hugo meets a girl who sort of helps him. I think this story is for boys and girls. I thought that it was a good book and it contains lots of detail.
If I had to give Hugo Cabret a rating from 1 to 5, I would give it a 4.5. It is a book with a good plot and it is suspenseful at times. My favorite part was the part where the Automaton was drawing the picture. At first it just looked like random scribbles, but then it revealed itself as...random scribbles! Actually, it was drawing a picture, but I can't tell you what is was of. That might ruin the story. Although, I might have already ruined the story by telling you it is a picture. Ah well. Anyway it was a good story that I think a lot of people will enjoy. (The book is better than the audio-cd because it has pictures.)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Review a la Amazon:
From Audio File
Unlikely characters and moments in history are set to converge when Amedeo Kaplan moves to St. Malo, Florida. At school, he befriends William and, subsequently, Williams mother, as well as his neighbor, Mrs. Zender. As the boys assist Mrs. Zender with her upcoming move, they discover much about her past, the artist Modigliani, and the interconnection between them all. While he sets a definitive pace and an intimate tone, Edward Herrmann is an unobtrusive narrator. He lets Konigsburgs distinctive characters share their story. As Mrs. Zender, he is imperious; as art collector and godfather Peter Vanderwaal, flamboyant; as Amedeo, alternately confident and introspective. Listen attentively. A.R. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the audio CD edition.
Despite being well-narrated, I just couldn't get into the story, and had a hard time imagining a child getting into it either. Much of the story is focused on the adult characters rather than the two boys, and the plot also introduces the topics of homosexuality and nude art. If you need a springboard to discuss these with your child, maybe this is the book for you, but if these subjects are not quite on your child's radar yet, either wait or pass this book by. The one thing I did like about it was the World War II art history, but that may be a bad sign for non-history fans that the history portions were the most exciting part.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
My first task to tackle was to do something about what we have affectionately named "The Pile" on the kitchen counter--a stack of a variety of school papers, ads, coupons, etc. that sometimes gets to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Any time any one is looking for something, I say, "Look in The Pile." I know that I am not going to file everything right away, and some of these items I don't want to file because I like to have them on hand-like the ads for the week and forms that need to be filled out. So now they are in a tabbed file box and everything just goes directly in there rather than on The Pile, and things are easier to find. This solution may not work for everyone, which is Morgenstern's point--we all have our own natural habits and psychological needs that will influence our strategies to organize.
My next project is my nightstand. I would post a picture, but it would just be too embarrassing. It must be a sign that I'm getting older that I regularly have Tums, mentholatum, two inhalers, and cough drops always within arm's reach at night. I just need to find a way to arrange all of those items along with books, glasses, phone, alarm clock, etc. in a way that will keep it all from falling off every time I grab something! Wish me luck!