Tag Archives: memoir

Review! Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

26 Jul

Lucky Broken Girl
By Ruth Behar
256 pages – ages 9+
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books on April 11, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.”

What I Thought- Reading this book was an emotional experience. Behar tackles the subjects of immigration, racism and the frustration of being isolated due to an accident in a compelling story. I loved the concept of this book and the fact the main character  was an immigrant. I really enjoy stories that inject flavors of other cultures in the text. We do get glimpses of Irish, Mexican, Cuban and Indian characters, all whom help Ruthie navigate her struggles in the story. Although there are moments of hope and redemption, I found the story was rather gloomy. The constant pessimism from Ruthie wore me down. I found myself not really understanding what Ruthie was thinking and who she is but rather reacting to her actions in the story. I really think this book could be amazing with a bit more understanding of the character’s feelings. Still, I think kids in situations similar to Ruthie’s – hospitalized kids or those isolated because of cultural differences, will connect with the story. The book would best be described as a fictionalized memoir, because Behar explains that the story is based on her real life experience, but that she changed some of the facts to things she wished had happened. All of that was explained in her Author’s Note at the end of the book. When I realized that it was based on the author’s own trauma, I appreciated the story even more, as it added realism to the story for me. I wish the note was at the beginning of the story, I think I would have connected to it even more.  Having said this, I wouldn’t hesitate to try another book from Behar. I recommend this book to fans of recovery stories that contain a great life lesson within the pages!

I give this book four out of five bookworms.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

23 Nov

sistersSisters

By Raina Telgemeier

208 pages – ages 8+

Published by GRAPHIX on August 26, 2014

Synopsis- Raina and her family are going to Colorado for a family reunion. She, her sister, brother, and mom are going by car, and their dad will fly in later. Along the way, a lot of things go wrong for Raina and her family. Raina and her sister never get along, even though Raina wanted a sister for years. The arguing made the car trip even longer. After pretty much everything goes wrong, especially her parents hinting that they don’t get along anymore, Raina starts to wonder if anything will get better.

What I liked- This is a really cool graphic novel. It’s pretty interesting how, along with the story-line, there are also “flashbacks” that Raina has. That was fun. Raina (the character, reflects Ms. Telgemeier, because another one of Ms. Telgemeier’s books, Smile (also a great bookand Sisters are memoirs) is an average 14-year-old, with an average, slightly angry younger sister. They have a normal, argumentative, at times humorous, relationship. It was a nice touch that Raina and her sister were kind of brought together by the fact that their parents might get divorced, and that they were scared of what would happen. The story is full of humor, and seems very realistically done. It is a nice story, and the illustrations are top-notch. I hope that there will be another book!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

How to Stick a Dart in Your Head By Eric J. Hill

9 Jun

dartHow to Stick a Dart in Your Head
By Eric J. Hill
182 pages – ages 11+
Published by Create Space on April 5, 2014

It’s easier than you think to stick a dart in your head. All you need is 1960’s-style soft, acoustical ceiling tiles, a pool table, a hockey stick, an Indoor-Outdoor carpet, and, – oh, yeah – a dart! Then you toss the dart up, watch it get stuck in the ceiling, climb onto a pool table with said hockey stick in hand to get it down, and then the dart falls on your head. If you are wondering who on Earth would do such a thing, well – Eric Hill – that’s who! He also *accidentally* set a field on fire (and, when he tried to confess, he got congratulated for alerting the authorities), saved an infant girl from drowning in a pool, and he got sent to a summer camp at which he and the other Counselors-In-Training had an all-out war with the Head Riding Instructor. This is his memoir of his “disastrous” early years (12-16). This is the story that Eric Hill has to tell.

You know, this book has inspired me. It has inspired me to a) make Viking Toast (read the book to find out  😉 ), b) not put rubber cement in burning grills, and c) don’t make fun of Head Riding Instructors’ misfortunes (no matter how funny they are). After reading this book, I am now a smarter boy. I think this is a great memoir – it is very entertaining – and enlightening. It is a great story, totally appropriate for kids of all ages (just don’t try the stuff in the book 😉 ). I think boys will especially like to read about Mr. Hill’s disastrous adventures. Mr. Hill’s writing style is playful, and fun to read. I love his writing voice. As a kid myself, I could totally relate to the stuff Mr. Hill did when he was a boy. Um – I mean I would never do anything like the stuff he did. 😉

I give “How to Stick a Dart in Your Head” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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