Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Interesting Facts: Wonderstruck is a historical-fiction book which describes New York in 1927 and 1977.  The American Museum of Natural History as well as its exhibits mentioned in the book are real and some are still on display there. The book also tells two stories simultaneously. Ben's story is told through text and Rose's is told through pictures.

About the Book:
1977: Ben's mother (the town's librarian) died in a car accident and he now lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousins in Gunflint, Minnesota.  He feels as though he does not belong and is worried about losing the house he and his mother shared.  His mother never told him about his father, so Ben has no idea whom he is or where to find him.  One stormy night, Ben decides to search through his mother's things and comes across clues that may lead him to his father. It is because of those clues that Ben runs away to New York in hopes of finding his father.  Since he is deaf, he encounters his share of problems trying to communicate with those he comes across.  However, he does find a few people that help him find his place in this world.

1927: Rose lives with her father in Hoboken, New Jersey. She is deaf and makes small models of NY buildings with her books.  She also collects pictures of a famous NY actress. Like Ben, Rose runs away to New York in search of a place where she belongs. 

How will these two characters finally connect? Read to find out.

Why read it?
If you have gone to NY, you will automatically relieve your experience with the city and the museum.  If you haven't, then why not enjoy the journey through Selznick's detailed description of the city.

Sometimes, we tend to take our senses for granted.  This book helps us become aware of our hearing and raises awareness of the challenges that deaf people have to face in the world. 

I also found it interesting that careers such as librarian and curators are featured in the book.

One of the greatest reasons to read the book, is to fully appreciate the intricate artwork!

P.S. If you are not going to read it, please take a moment to browse through the artwork!
P.S.S. Do not get intimidated by the thickness of the book, remember much of it consists of artwork. I read the entire thing in one busy day with time to spare!

Site to Visit: Official Wonderstruck Site        
                      Scholastic's Wonderstruck Site

The view from Hoboken to NY! This must have been sort of what Rose could see from Hoboken.  As I read, I was envisioning everything! You can see the Empire State Building right above my head.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crossed by Allie Condie

Interesting Fact: This is book two of the Matched Trilogy, which is a dystopian romance and a sci-fiction novel.

About the Book: If you have not read the first book, I recommend that you scroll down my blog and read the Matched summary. At the end of book one,  Ky is forcibly taken away by the Society and sent out the Outer Provinces to war against the "enemy." The Society usually orders this as a punishment and it is pretty much equal to a death sentence.  Cassia was left heartbroken and quickly devises a plan to reach the Outer Provinces (Ky's original home) in search of Ky.  She soon discovers that Ky has managed to escape into the Carving which is a tough place to survive.  Ky unknowingly leaves clues that eventually lead Cassia to him and their reunion plays like a movie scene in your head.  However, it does not take long for danger, deception, and confusion to test their relationship.  Ky holds several secrets....one involving the Rising and another one about Xander! The reasons for such secrecy involve Ky's past experiences and the fear of losing Cassia. When one of those secretes is exposed, Cassia is left feeling deceived by the one she trusted the most.  Once the truth is out, Ky and Cassia must decide whether they will stick together or follow different paths.

Why read it? Discovering more Society secrets, continues to build appreciation for the freedoms we possess in our societies today. Readers may identify with Ky who is dealing with overcoming his past including the lose of his parents and Cassia who is risking her life not only for love but for a a bigger cause that she believes in.  There are also new characters in the story such as Indie. Although she is brave and intriguing, I find it difficult to like her.  I find it especially difficult to trust her, since she steals from Cassia, is in on Ky's secret, and invites him to join her on a journey while suggesting to ditch Cassia! She also does some things to help Cassia, which is why I have trouble figuring her out.

OH, and one of the best reasons to read this book is that it is filled with so many great quotes!!!