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Throwing Shadows Paperback – Apr 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprinted edition edition (April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020441401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020441403
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1 x 17.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

"five short stories...all crisp and compactly tailored in setting forth their common theme of self-awareness."

-- Booklist, starred review

"Five short stories...all crisp and compactly tailored in setting forth their common theme of self-awareness." -- Booklist, starred review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.

After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls’ school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
My dad is Hixon of Hixon's Landing, the fishing camp down on the intra-coastal waterway just across Highway AIA. Read the first page
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By Jay on Aug. 13 2002
Format: School & Library Binding
Konigsburg has written 5 short stories that each are designed to teach a lesson about life in a subtle manner. The stories are somewhat entertaining and beautifully written. While there is something that can be learned from life, none of these stories have large impacting moments; rather they are all lessons we learn from daily experiences with people. That was what I liked about it.
What I didn't like is that it was very slow moving and the stories were a bit lengthy with too much background information about characters we will not know for very long anyhow. Because of this I would not use the book as a read-aloud in a classroom environment, but some children may enjoy reading.
Why 4 stars?:
This is a beautifully written book that shows some lessons that we all learn in life through varied experiences. It doesn't suit well to read-alouds and the stories can get a bit long and bogged down with unimportant details. However, this may be just the right book for some child and if it keeps him reading then it is invaluable.
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Format: Paperback
This is a collection of short stories by my favorite children's author. Although I have "out grown" her books, I will never feel that way. She is an amazing author, and although I am not Jewish, I feel like I have learned about the Jewish culture through the characters in her books. A must-have for Konigsburg fans.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Everyone throws a shadow... Aug. 13 2002
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: School & Library Binding
Konigsburg has written 5 short stories that each are designed to teach a lesson about life in a subtle manner. The stories are somewhat entertaining and beautifully written. While there is something that can be learned from life, none of these stories have large impacting moments; rather they are all lessons we learn from daily experiences with people. That was what I liked about it.
What I didn't like is that it was very slow moving and the stories were a bit lengthy with too much background information about characters we will not know for very long anyhow. Because of this I would not use the book as a read-aloud in a classroom environment, but some children may enjoy reading.
Why 4 stars?:
This is a beautifully written book that shows some lessons that we all learn in life through varied experiences. It doesn't suit well to read-alouds and the stories can get a bit long and bogged down with unimportant details. However, this may be just the right book for some child and if it keeps him reading then it is invaluable.
Nice Relationships March 21 2007
By A. Luciano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of five short stories. In the first, a conceited college president recruits a boy to help him search for fossilized shark teeth on the beach--and is disappointed when the boy is better at it than he is.

In the second story, we meet Avery, who always seems to be getting into trouble, even when he isn't doing anything wrong.

In the third story, the main character is a tour guide who takes people through Ecuador. She manages to befriend a boy who sells weavings and he takes advantage of their friendship in order to make a bigger profit for himself.

In the fourth story, a boy who is recovering from a broken arm goes with his mom to the nursing home where she volunteers. By chance, he starts to record some of the residents, and finally builds up a reputation for recording histories of what the residents went through before they ended up in the nursing home.

In the fifth story, a boy and his mother realize that they have a knack for the antiquing business.

These stories were all uplifting. The characters in them were likable and through the stories they realized something good about themselves. I liked the relationships between people in these stories. The problem with short stories is that you don't get very deep into the lives of the characters. I would have liked to have known more about some of these characters, but the stories ended too quickly.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Shadow dances Oct. 18 2004
By E. R. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In many ways, the collected works of E.L. Konigsburg can be summarized quite simply. With few exceptions, her books feature children wise beyond their years. Whether you're skimming the self-aware musings of Claudia in, "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" or chancing across the adventures of the kids of, "A View From Saturday", Konigsburg excels at creating kids that embody the statement, Know Thyself. And the best example of this, without question, is her 1979 collection of five short stories entitled, "Throwing Shadows". The bookflap for this work says of the characters that, "In each of these lives something happens that allows the hero to throw a shadow that is his very own, one that is sharp and has a shape as specific as a fingerprint". At its worst, this book seems like a series of writing assignments penned by the author. At its best, it tells unique tales about learning to be honest with one's self.

Ned, Avery, Ampara, Phillip, and William each have a separate story to tell. For Ned, his life's work consists of finding and collecting fossilized shark teeth off the coast of northern Florida. When an oblivious tourist attaches himself to Ned with high hopes of shark tooth glory, Ned has to decide exactly how he should treat this unwanted, but pitiable, tagalong. Avery doesn't have it any easier. It's taken him some years to figure it out, but by the time he reaches sixth grade Avery has separated the world into catchers and catchee. You're either the kind of person who catches others, or you get caught. Avery is in the latter category. It's only through the insightful musings of his older brother, though, that he knows what to do with that information. Ampara is a little different from the other people in this book since she is not a child. She knows one though. A guide to the rural villages of Ecuador, Ampara meets and befriends Antonio. A boy with grand ambitions for becoming a man, he comes to realize through Ampara that trust is something adults must come to appreciate if they wish to be respected themselves. Phillip tells the viewer right from the start that he's not a spaz, a fact that may strain a the reader's credulity. After accompanying his mother to the nursing home where she works, he begins to slowly record the stories of the residents there. When the project gets out of hand, Phillip finds a way to make even some of the home's more prejudiced members open their minds a little. Finally, in William's story we are sucked fully into the world of antique dealers. As his mother becomes fascinated with learning more about critiquing pieces of furniture she learns to become more self-reliant, even at the expense of being right when others are wrong.

The stories are connected by the idea that human beings, regardless of age, are capable of learning more and being more than the world would sometimes have them. When it comes to themes such as this, Konigsburg is at her best. Each story's moral is clear and defined. It's the details that sometimes ring false for me. To my mind, I don't personally mind Konigsburg's typically precocious kid characters. As long as they don't become TOO worldly wise in the course of their adventures (paging "The View From Saturday") they're tolerable. But in this particular collection of tales, Konigsburg sometimes exchanges telling her stories clearly for telling her stories cleverly. The results are not always pleasing. As much as I might appreciate her style, it has a nasty tendency of obscuring the text. For example, in Avery's story we're constantly hearing about his run ins with the law (which is almost never his fault). A reader might wonder why Avery is constantly being given a hard time by people in authority. It's only when you get 75% through the story that you learn that Avery is black. A fact that would have been nice to know at, oh say, the story's beginning. Konigsburg's stories are riddled with little quirks and missteps such as this. They don't make for poor reading. Just readings that are slightly askew.

If anything, "Throwing Shadows" is an excellent book to look at in terms of understanding how Konigsburg's style has changed over the years. The stories told here are certainly accomplished, but they lack the polished voice of her later works. I certainly think that in spite of its 1979 publication date the book still has things to say to kids today. And it is certainly more sophisticated that some of her younger works. Still, in many ways this is a book produced by an author still trying to find her voice. Worth a look-see at the very least.
Throwing Shadows Review Feb. 5 2012
By KEhresman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Throwing Shadows is much longer than it should be, with pages and pages of extra details. However, each of the 5 short stories teaches the same lesson at a different angle: know thyself.
The moral is kind of the important thing in each story, but they don't talk about that until the end. Before that, you think that the point is one thing, then another. The stories are all about everyday things happening by chance that lead to other things.
Some of the stories are good to read just for fun, but others might seem rather dull, confusing, and pointless. I think that if you are planning to read Throwing Shadows, you should read a quick sample of each story first.
Throwing Shadows by E. L. Konigsburg Jan. 31 2012
By Quackie Homer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book Throwing Shadows is interesting and confusing. The confusing part was that you didn't know there were morals to the stories after reading each one you would look up and say 'What is the point of this? or I don't get it!!' Once you understand the reasons for the story though, you find yourself in a wonderful world which then quickly ends and wanders on to the next. I think readers should know about these morals to enjoy and make more sense of the plot and other inner details.

E. L. Konigsburg uses writing tools such as metaphors and her senses to describe the characters and settings and times they are in. She has also written longer books that I think she is much better at. Like The Mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Any of these stories could be turned into suspenseful fantastic page turning chapter books especially The Village of the Weavers.
She is a truly exceptional writer.

Overall, the book taught me a few valuable lessons and I'm glad I read it.

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