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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Harcourt Childrens Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 5 of 5
1. 21+21=TED

You're as old as TWO 21-year-olds!

1 Comments on 21+21=TED, last added: 3/18/2008
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2. Twice Upon A Marigold

How happy was I when this gem showed up in the mail? Very happy, indeed.

When you think about it, much of Marigold and Christian's happiness was based on the fact that Olympia fell in the river but never came back. Well, guess what? She's back.

Turns out that Olympia has been cooling her heels down the river in Granolha, in the home of the mayor and his wife. The thing of it is, Olympia cannot remember who she is. She has decided that her name is Angelica, and sweet Angelica in no way resembles meany Olympia. She is a good listener, and treats her friends well. All good things must end, however, and after about a year's time, Olympia remembers who she is and resurfaces in all her glory.

Her aim? To get back to Beaurivage and set her plan back in motion. She just knows that her husband King Swithbert must have messed things up by now. Soon she is ordering the people of Granolha to do her bidding, rig her up a carriage, and get her home. She brings Lazy Susan along for the ride to act as her maid. (She is still resenting her sister Beauty's castle life and wants some for herself!).

What follows is a fabulous sequel to Once Upon A Marigold that will simply delight fans. Many characters are the same, but developed more deeply. And the new characters like Mr. Lucasa are such fun! Filled with cheesy jokes, wordplay, and slapstick, this tale of friendship, family and loyalty will warm even the coldest hearts.

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3. The Dead and the Gone

So, you can imagine that part of my impetus to read Life As We Knew It was the shiny arc of this title showing up at work.

The time frame is the same, but this time the setting is NYC and the Morales family's experience of the meteor.

With Papi missing in Puerto Rico, and Mami missing from a hospital in Queens, Alex is the head of the family. He has Bri and Julie to take care of, but he is sure that this is just a glitch, and that his plans of Georgetown and the Presidency may well come to fruition.

Alex is a kid who knows that there are a couple of different NYCs. He is, after all, on scholarship at his school, and some of the boys never let him forget it. He doesn't wonder too much when money loses its' value, and he and schoolmate Kevin turn to body shopping in order to provide what each of their families need.

Somehow I thought that the story told from NYC would hit me harder. I found myself persnickety about facts like feet above sea-level in my borough, and a certain lack of terror that surely would have taken place.

I wonder if it is the lack of first person narrative that led me to yearn for the feeling of Life As We Knew It. That said, however, The Dead and the Gone does several interesting things. I love the way that Pfeffer built the disparity between social classes so easily into the plot line. Rich families do not experience the losses that Alex and his family do. Folks that exist in a perpetually clean NYC do not have to see the filth of the dead, do they? This is a reality of NYC. People who live here have incredibly different existences, one could say solely because of income. Also, I enjoyed the difference between the country and city post apocalyptic experiences.

These books really make readers wonder, "What would I do if...?"

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4. The Garden of Eve

Evie is so angry with her father. They are in their truck, freezing cold, moving to a place that she has never seen, and her father is lost.
Her mother would know exactly where to go. She seemed to have a sense about her.
But she's not here. She's buried back home. And Evie cannot believe that her father wants to leave to move to a dead apple orchard.
When they finally get to Beaumont, they drive past a funeral. Evie is forced to remember the day of her mother's funeral. It was dark and gray, just like today. Evie notices someone who steps away from the crowd.
"The figure was a boy who looked to be about her own age, and he was
the palest boy Evie had ever seen. His skin was ghostly white against
the black of his coat and his pale hands were ungloved, making him
appear as if hands and face were all there was to him.
" pp. 16-17
Who is this boy, and why does Evie keep seeing him in the cemetery behind her house?
What follows is a heartbreaking story filled with magical realism and poignancy. Evie is on a quest of sorts to work through her own grief and salvage a relationship with her father. The town of Beaumont itself is broken as well. Can Evie's belief in magic help the people she hasn't yet met?
This is a very special book for deep and thoughtful readers. You have to be willing to delve into a fairytale of sorts, or it most likely will not work for you. Personally, I found this title staggering in many ways.

0 Comments on The Garden of Eve as of 7/28/2007 6:22:00 AM
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5. The Aurora County All-Stars

I love Deborah Wiles' stories. The Aurora County All-Stars is no exception! She has this incredible way of making me feel the small town in such a way that makes me yearn for a sleeping porch, and want to start canning some fruit!

This is a story about baseball, poetry and family. House Jackson is sitting in the room with 88 year old Mr. Norwood Rhinehart Beauregard Boyd when he takes his last breath. House calls the town doctor, and then high tails it out of there. Why did he leave so quickly, and what was he doing there in the first place?

House's first love is the baseball team that he and best friend Cleebo Wilson head up. Every year they have one official game against the team from the neighbouring county. Last year House had to miss the game. His arm was broken, you see. Broken because of none other than Frances (call me Finesse) Schotz and her modern dancing. This year, House is ready and he can't wait for the game.

But the town Mamas have another plan. They want all of their sons and daughters to be in a pageant celebrating the town's history, because golden son and soap opera actor Dr. Dan is coming back into town. And who is going to direct this play that just happens to fall on the same day as the annual baseball game? Miss Finesse Schotz, that's who!

What follows is a beautifully layered story about family history, death, memories, poetry and baseball. And all of the characters cast : House, Cleebo, Honey, Frances, Ruby Lavendar (!), Leonard, and all of the townsfolk, have a magic to them. This is a quiet sort of story that will stay with the reader for a long time.

0 Comments on The Aurora County All-Stars as of 9/13/2007 7:02:00 AM
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