The Book Reviews – Website

August 6, 2008

Girl Coming in for a Landing

Filed under: G — thebookreviews @ 3:42 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Girl Coming in for a Landing

Author: April Halprin Wayland

Page Length: 129

Reading Level: 6.5

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: This is a book written entirely in poems. From the first day of school through the end of the year, the main character, a teenage girl, details her life at school and at home in poems. From the classroom to dating and parties she shares everything – her emotions, her thoughts, her hopes, and dreams. She offers authentic teenage emotions and insight – you will finish the book wishing for more.

REVIEW: This was an interesting book. It reads quickly because of the brief poems on each page (although many of the poems are worth more than one read). I think that this book would be a wonderful teaching tool for poetry. Students can see how poems can (and do) tell a story and the many forms they can take. Teachers could discussion the emotion and insight the author can convey with few but powerful words within a poem.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: poetic forms, voice

RELATED BOOKS: Braces, Bras, and Bellyrings, Lines in the Sand, The Night Horse

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375801587

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7PrN-W_mcY

http://www.kidzworld.com/article/2420-book-review-girl-coming-in-for-a-landing

http://www.readersread.com/cgi-bin/review.pl?reviewid=10010203

REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

Advertisements

True Believer

Filed under: T — thebookreviews @ 3:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

True Believer

Author: Virginia Euwer Wolff

Page Length: 264

Reading Level: 7

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: LaVaughn is 15. Despite the fact that she lives in poor neighborhood filled with violence, LaVaughn longs to go to college. LaVaughn begins to dream about life after high school. She sees how her friend, Jolly, suffers to make ends meet, take care of her two young fatherless children, and try to earn her credits to graduate. LaVaughn knows that she must find a way to a better life. Her friends have turned to a new interests, and Jody, a boy that used to be a close friend, has moved back to town. LaVaughn’s heart races every time she’s never him or even smells his wonderful chlorine scent left behind in the elevator. Life doesn’t always turn out the way LaVaughn expects. Can she keep her friends and find true love before her sixteenth birthday arrives?

REVIEW: Although this book lists as a reading level of 7, it has the potential to appeal to a lower reading level because of the short , easy to navigate and understand chapters. The only qualifier for a level 7 to me it seems are the large science vocabulary words LaVaughn shares with the reader as she learns them. The book has an excellent message about education and expectations and the discord that can arise between friends and family members who aren’t comfortable with the new developments sometimes perceived as “snootiness” in the person who is changing for the better. The book details friends who were lost to violence and a school shooting. LaVaughn walks in on two males kissing; the readers experience her shock and reaction.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: cause and effect, character sketch, technical vocabulary, conclusions and predictions, setting, theme, characters

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: violence, homosexuality, death of a parent, death of a classmate

RELATED BOOKS: Probably Still Nick Swanson, The Mozart Season, Make Lemonade

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=812&pid=417088&agid=21

http://www.multcolib.org/talk/guides-true.html

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780807206935

http://crhssreadingolympics.blogspot.com/2007/05/wolff-virginia-euwer-true-believer.html

http://www.simonsays.com/subs/pdfs/kids/Wolff.pdf

www.hbook.com/magazine/articles/2001/may01_wolff_sutton.asp

REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

Blog at WordPress.com.