I stayed up .late last night to finish this book: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. I was leery about this book in the beginning because it took some time for me to get comfortable with the writing style. It starts from the voice of a unusually intelligent and mature 9 year-old Oskar. He has lost his father on September 11th in the World Trade Center. He has a secret he has kept since then and feels it is his burden to carry. His father was the most important part of his life, and Oskar spends his days trying to keep this relationship alive by searching for a lock that can be opened by the key he found in his father’s closet. He embarks on a journey through New York City meeting all kinds of people who help him indirectly. He discovers secrets that everyone around him hold onto in fear of letting the truth out. Secrets his grandmother keeps locked inside, and eventually, the reader, gains insight to Oskar and his father’s family. I was confused at times, but that is what drove my desire to keep reading. I made guesses as to the outcome, and some I pieced together while others were craftly woven throughout to help make a complete and satisfying ending. I am glad my husband bought me this book which I would never have read on my own.
Monthly Archives: January 2012
Here is one of our favorite pictures. Marshmallow roasting is a hard skill to perfect! This is a book that makes us smile and realize that life is not about being the best at everything, but having some fun trying out new things. We love it!
Earlier this week, I finished Sue Corbett’s The Last Newspaper Boy in America. This is one that I am going to recommend to my 5th & 6th graders including my own son. I read somewhere that what truly makes a great book is not the plot, but the characters in the story. If the characters are endearing….if the characters really make you care about them…then you have a good story. The characters in this book were incredibly endearing to me. It takes place in a rural small town in Pennsylvania where hard times have hit. The local hairpin factory has been bought out and left empty for years leaving the townspeople unemployed and money hungry. The story focuses on the David family. The mother Magnolia, is a avid book reader-walker who writes book reviews and can always been found with a book in her hand. She is a woman after my own heart. Junior AKA dad is unemployed, but he still takes care of the hairpin factory in hopes of a potential buyer. He is a forever optimist who looks at his unemployment as a blessing, for he now has time to cook and bake which is his true passion. They have 3 boys: Trace, the eldest and the artist, Sonny, the middle child who is a charmer yet a bit naive and then the youngest Wil. The story focuses on Wil who turns 12 during this story and is about to take over the family newspaper route from Sonny. Bad news descends when they learn the newspaper is going to cancel delivery to their small town. Wil is devastated. He has been looking forward to carrying on the newspaper tradition as well as earning some extra money. This triggers the action of the story into fast moving adventure about a family learning about each other, the people of their town and themselves. I believe readers of all ages will find something to love about this story.
The little boys and I just read a little, and they both agree this one should win an award. My 5 year-old said : “This book is so funny that it should have one of the special stickers on it!” I believe he was referring to the Caldecott Medal which by the way- the 2012 winners will be announced tomorrow.
They loved this book Zoomer by Ned Young about a puppy who would rather play and use his imagination than go to school while his older twin brothers try to get him into trouble. I think this is one that they both can relate.