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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks



One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »
  1. $13.27 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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Customer Comments

Colleen Perez has commented on (3) products.

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg and Steven T. Murray
The Ice Princess

Colleen Perez, July 8, 2013

For those of you who can't get enough of those Scandinavian mystery stories, here's another author to add to your list: Camilla Lackberg. As always seems the case, it's winter and there's a murder in Sweden. The beautiful, yet emotionally distant Alex has been found dead in her bathtub, in what looks to be an apparent suicide, but we know better. She's been murdered and there's a hidden past that has to be dealt with. Her childhood friend, Erica, a writer of biographies is going to dig into this story. With the help of her new boyfriend, Paul (did I mention he's a police detective), they are going to find out what happened.

While the story did have a sense of predictability to it, Lackberg created an atmosphere and characters to care about. The ending was satisfying and I think future stories should be entertaining.
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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Out of My Mind

Colleen Perez, January 2, 2012

Yes, this is young adult fiction (but so is "The Hunger Games"), but I have to say it is the best, most surprising story I've read all year. The main character has more "voice" in her mind than most characters do aloud. You see, the main character has cerebral palsey; she cannot walk, feed herself, or talk. However, the readers are privy to her thoughts and boy does she have thoughts. The story focuses on Melody and what she goes through being a person with disabilities. Don't feel sorry for her, though, because trapped in a body that doesn't behave the way she'd like lies a genius, really. Melody goes to school, interacts with peers ( the good and the bad) and learns what kind of person she is capable of being. Actually, everyone else learns what kind of person she really is; she already knows. Susan Draper creates a story full of voice from a person with no traditional voice, and along the way events occur that shape this into a non-predictable story. I'm usually not too surprised when it comes to young adult fiction, but Draper threw a couple of curveballs at me. Maybe I was just so engrossed that I didn't see it coming, but I was surprised by some of the turn of events. Besides the obvious, this story really enlightens the reader as to a world that most of us will never encounter. I've recommended it to many of my elementary students, but I've also insisted that my adult friends read it as well.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve
Drizzle

Colleen Perez, July 2, 2011

Magical things happen on the Peabody Rhubarb farm. The family home is a castle (literally), no one ever drowns in the lake, chocolate rhubarb grows along side your regular varieties, it rains every Monday at 1:00 pm, and the plants talk to eleven-year old Polly Peabody, although that's not something she likes to brag about. You see, she is a shy, socially awkward, scaredy-cat and the success or failure of her family's farm depends on her. When the unthinkable starts to happen (it stops raining which leads to more disasters), Polly must find the courage to overcome her fears and become the person she is destined to become.

This story celebrates the unique qualities that are in all of us and learning to be brave in the face of our greatest fears, all the while asking to believe that a "little bit of magic" never hurt, too.
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