Realistic Fiction

Book & Film Review: Flipped

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Flipped 

by Wendlin Van Draanen

Ages 10 & up, 224 pages

Flipped is an adorable book about young love and coming-of-age. The first time Juli Baker looked into Bryce Loski’s eyes she flipped for him and desires her first kiss. They meet in second grade when Bryce moves across the street. Bryce wishes he could have space from Juli even though they hardly talk. The book flips perspectives between Bryce and Juli, so the reader learns their struggles as they deal with life and feelings. Bryce’s grandfather lives with his family and he questions Bryce why he isn’t Juli’s friend. Bryce hasn’t realized that Juli is the ‘girl next door’ with spunk and tries everything to get rid of her. Gossip, misunderstandings, and situations occur and their feelings for each other flip: Bryce soon can’t stop thinking about Juli and Juli doesn’t want to speak to Bryce ever again. Will they ever flip for each other at the same time? Flipped is a very humorous and sweet book with adolescent love struggles.

Flipped

Directed by Rob Reiner

PG, 90 minutes – 2010

I saw the movie before I read the book. I didn’t even realize it was based upon a book until the credits. Bryce Loski is played by Callan McAuliffe and Juli Baker is played by Madeline Carroll. The film is set during the late 1950s and early 60s, unlike the book that didn’t really provide an exact time frame. I thought the movie was very close to the book and the reader won’t be disappointed. It’s a family friendly movie with no violence, perhaps three swear words used the entire film, no real ‘sensitive’ topics (besides their feelings for each other), and provides wonderful awkward moments during junior high that I’m sure many viewers can relate to. I highly suggest this delightful movie!

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Book Review: Hoot

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Hoot 

by Carl Hiaasen

Ages 10 & up, 292 pages

Realistic Fiction, Humorous

I really enjoyed this book and finished it in a day. I don’t want to share too much information about the book, because part of the reason that kept me reading was the mystery held my attention. Roy Eberhardt is the new student at Trace Middle in Florida. He’s constantly bullied and misses his last home in Montana. If it wasn’t for Roy’s bully, Dana Materson, pushing his face against the window on the school bus then he wouldn’t have seen the strange boy running with no shoes. Roy’s curious about this boy and is determined to see him again, which causes Roy trouble. Another story plot occurs with mysterious vandalism at the future site for the next Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House. Survey stakes in the ground are removed and even animals are let loose. The running boy and vandalism mystery plot move back and forth and finally intertwine in the middle. The characters are well developed and the story elements move smoothly. Hoot will surely keep your interest as you discover what all the hoot is about in this humorous tale as a young boy attempts to do what is right while surviving at school. I highly recommend this book for all ages! Hoot also won a Newbery Honor in 2003.

Book Review: The Library Card

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The Library Card

Written by Jerry Spinelli

Ages: 9+, 148 pages

The Library Card describes various ways that a library card enhances someone’s life. The book contains four ‘mini’ stories about teens experiences that guide them to obtain a library card. Each mini story is divided into chapters. Mongoose turns from shoplifting to curiosity about information for a particular insect. Brenda discovers the library during a TV turn off week and realizes that she doesn’t truly know herself. Sonseray finds comfort at the library where he’s missing elsewhere in life. April rides a bookmobile and meets a unique individual. Overall, I thought the book was good that highlights four very different teens who benefited from the library.

The Day They Came to Arrest the Book

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The Day They Came to Arrest the Book by Nat Hentoff

Young Adult, 176 pages

Fiction

I’m completely against any form of censorship and this book by Nat Hentoff helps individuals, especially teens understand the importance of what exactly censorship is and its consequences. The subject of the book is simple: the school board wants to ban The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn from the curriculum and school library after a parent complains, however not everyone agrees. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book reflects different opinions with teachers, parents, school board, community, and students. This book could be used in the classroom simultaneously while reading The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn to form their own viewpoint about why the book is so often banned and whether they agree. The writing itself is not spectacular, but it’s the message that sparks a classroom discussion about censorship. The topic may be complex and sensitive at times, so I suggest this book to middle school age and older.

opening page:

“No group should have veto power over what books we can read,” Barney volunteered.

“Exactly.” The librarian nodded her head. “Think, Kate. If Huckleberry Finn is going to be thrown out of school because it offends some black parents, what’s to stop other groups of parents from getting up their lists of books they want out of here? Catholics, Jews, feminists, anti-feminists, conservatives, liberals, Greeks, Turks, Armenians. Where does it end, Kate””

Banned book week occurs  September 24−October 1, 2011, so I’ll highlight different banned books. You’d be surprised which books have been banned or challenged in the past. How many of these classics have you read that were banned or challenged?

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedclassics/index.cfm

http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/radcliffes-rival-100-best-novels-list/

You can also examine my banned/challenged bookshelf on Goodreads which is on my blogroll.