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Friday, March 7, 2008

Quick book reviews

Read a number of books this week so here's a quick run down:

"A Wreath For Emmet" by Marilyn Nelson
One of the Printz Honor books for 2006, "A Wreath..." is a complex poetical remembrance of Emmett Till, a young man, only fourteen years old, brutally murdered for supposedly whistling at a white woman in 1955. Everyone has heard the story at one point or another in high school history class, though this book drives home the true horror, and reminds the reader that Emmett was not simply another death, another note in the history textbook. The book is a quick read, but it will stay with you for a long time. The art completes the power of this book, and compliments the poems. This is a powerful book, though one you may want to read with a dictionary handy, as it has some complex vocabulary. Make sure to read the author's notes at the beginning and end.

"Not the End of the World" by Geraldine McCaughrean
This book theorizes what life would have been like on the Ark, and is told largely through the eyes of Noah's daughter, Timna (no daughter was mentioned in the Bible). It is realistic, sparing no details of grim and horrors of the flood and spending more than a month in a large boat with a zoo's worth of animals. The first days involve Noah's family dealing with the swimming survivors who are trying to get on board. It is ultimately a book about understanding God and His will. Does he speak to and work through only Noah, or does Timna have some part of the great plan as well.

"eleven" by Patricia Reilly Giff
Sam is just about to turn eleven, and he's decided to find out where his birthday presents are hidden. In the attic he finds a box of things, including a newspaper article with his picture. Sam cannot read, and only is able to figure out the word "missing." Does the contents of the box have anything to do with the dreams he has been having? Maybe the new girl at school can help him figure it out, though she starts out by telling him she won't be around long.
Patricia Reilly Giff writes another book with a tween with a mystery and a secret in their life. A enjoyable read, though it wraps up a little too nicely in the end. As the book is from Sam's POV, though it is in third person, certain details are left out, such as why Sam can't read, that would have been helpful. Also, the cover makes the book look more creepy and exciting than it is.

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