Sunday, December 21, 2014
A deliciously creepy story that sucks you in and gets you invested with all the characters. The Night Gardener is truly terrible which I appreciate in a kids' book rather than pulling punches. And the story keeps moving along at a great pace that doesn't sacrifice quality writing.
Just a light, fun book, especially for budding foodies. Gladys is a charming character and I liked the new friends she makes as well. I thought the food her parents made was too bad to be believable but that does add a comedic element to the story. Perhaps a little more suited overall to upper elementary rather than middle school.
Here is another book with stellar reviews that I didn't care for much at all. Although I didn't like it personally, I think my biggest objection is the idea that it is something great for middle school. I don't see it appealing to many teens at all and the humor - especially that of Baba Yaga - is waaaayyyyy beyond middle school what with all the analogies and cultural references. Too long, too complex.
This is a great book with a realistic portrayal of people who are often lumped together and dismissed. The problems of both girls are quite mature but neither is written about so graphically as to make the book inappropriate for middle school.
This is not deep book meant to leave the reader emotional, but it is good at what it does. There are very few books dealing with Judaism - or really with any religion at all - so it's great that Tara's faith is such a big part of this one. And what's more, her religion is not the sole point of the book hitting the reader over the head. It is nicely woven in as just another part of Tara's life as she struggles to integrate all the things that are confusing her right now. The relationship with Ben-O also rings true for middle school.