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teachermd79 (Illinois)

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Caddie Woodlawn
Caddie Woodlawn
by Carol Ryrie Brink
Edition: Paperback
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring role model, June 23 2004
This review is from: Caddie Woodlawn (Paperback)
While I get a little antsy reading frontier stories with their detailed descriptions of prairie life, the Woodlawn children's adventures and loving family provided a fairly interesting read. I enjoy Caddie's determination to be a tomboy, despite her mother's wishes, and I love that her father only encourages it. Caddie's bravery (when warning her Indian friends of a white men's attack), kindness (spending her entire silver dollar to cheer up on her motherless classmates), and eventual understanding (of her pesky little sister's loneliness and her own need to be a mature young lady in her own way) make this an inspiring book. I also like that the bully turns out to be not so bad, and that the Woodlawn boys learn "female" chores like quilting in order to spend time with Caddie when she decides to broaden her interests. I especially like Caddie's final thoughts: "How far I've come! I'm the same girl and yet not the same. I wonder if it's always like that? Folks keep growing from one person into another all their lives, and life is just a lot of everyday adventures. Well, whatever life is, I like it." The backdrop might be different, but the lessons and values portrayed in this book are just as applicable today.

Bud, Not Buddy
Bud, Not Buddy
by Christopher Paul Curtis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.40
126 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Blend of Mystery, History, and More!, June 23 2004
This review is from: Bud, Not Buddy (Paperback)
"Bud Not Buddy" is the story of a young boy in the Great Depression whose mother has died, leaving him with what he believes to be a clue to his unknown father's identity: a flyer for a band featuring bass player Herman Calloway. When Bud exhausts other options to finding a happy home, he listens to his mother's advice ("When one door closes, another one opens") and heads to Grand Rapids to find his father. Bud's naive nature and vivid imagination lead to many humorous moments and observations along the way. Readers find themselves constantly guessing about Herman Calloway's relationship to Bud and trying to put the artfully-inserted clues together. While Bud is surprised when he finds out the truth, he ends up learning a great deal about his mother, his past, human nature, and what it really means to belong. The book is an excellent introduction to the Great Depression, while at the same time interesting readers with a likeable character and excellent mystery.

Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.67
167 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Life Lessons, June 23 2004
This review is from: Bridge to Terabithia (Paperback)
I have read "Bridge to Terabithia" many times as both a child and adult, and have continued to return to it for many reasons. Jess, an unappreciated artistic boy, feels pressure from his family and school to live up to their expectations of "male" behavior, yet he learns with the help of individualistic Leslie that he needs to be true to himself. Together they create a magical kingdom where they can be themselves, applaud each others' talents, and escape the closed-minded world that fails to understand them. When Leslie suddenly leaves Jess' life, Jess realizes he has gained the confidence (with Leslie's help) to face the world on his own. He then passes Terabithia on to someone else who needs its "powers" the same way he did. This powerful, touching book teaches readers to always be themselves, that struggles and tragedies can make us stronger and bring us closer together, that appearances can be deceiving, and that friendship and imagination have remarkable powers. My class of reluctant 6th grade readers loved this book as well.

The Door in the Wall
The Door in the Wall
by Marguerite De Angeli
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.89
87 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Had Hoped, June 23 2004
This review is from: The Door in the Wall (Paperback)
While I am a lover of reading and especially Newbery literature, I was disappointingly bored. I appreciated the basic storyline, how a crippled boy becomes stronger with the help of a community of monks who teach him patience and work ethic. I also love the theme that there is always a door in the wall if you look hard enough, and that anyone can be a hero. However, the story moved too slowly and the language made me sleepy, despite my appreciation for medieval literature. This is definitely not a book I can see many children enjoying, certainly not my own class of 6th grade students.

The City of Ember: The First Book of Ember
The City of Ember: The First Book of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.96
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.18

5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, June 14 2004
WOW! I came across this book while browsing and thought it looked interesting. Now I'm surprised I hadn't heard more about it, because it's unbelieveable. I actually broke plans with family to finish it because I could not put it down. I was intrigued by the book's mysteries, such as: Why are these people in an unusual dark city, and where is it located (since they know nothing of an outside world)? Why are they running out of supplies and who were the "builders" who put them there? Will the clever children who find a damaged note from the builders decipher its cryptic message? Not only was this story mysterious, suspenseful and well-written, but it contained powerful messages about striving for truth in a land of ignorance and not just following the status quo. The sequel, "People of Sparks," is also excellent.

Belle Prater's Boy
Belle Prater's Boy
by Ruth White
Edition: Paperback
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for even reluctant readers!, Nov. 14 2003
This review is from: Belle Prater's Boy (Paperback)
I loved "Belle Prater's Boy" from the moment I began reading it, and my love only deepened when I began teaching the book to my 6th grade students. The children were immediately fascinated with the many mysteries in the book, such as the sudden disappearance of Belle Prater, the mysterious circumstances of Amos' death, and why Gypsy has strange, violent nightmares. The author skillfully reveals clues steadily throughout the book, causing readers to keep reading until their teacher forces them to put the book down. :-) My students loved examining the clues and playing detective to determine how the pieces fit together, as well as discussing the themes of forgiveness and how appearances can be deceiving. "Belle Prater's Boy" proved to be an excellent book for my 6th graders, many of whom are reluctant and/or struggling readers. I give it my highest recommendation for children's literature!

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