pen rainbow

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday—The Reading Corner

Water For Elephants & Books That Make Kids Want to Read


I just finished reading, Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Pros:
  • Superb characters, human & critter!  This is an engaging story about a young man who runs away and spends a year working with a traveling circus.  It is first-person narrated by the main character, Jacob Jankowski, who at the beginning of the story is a 90-year old (or 93, he's not sure of his age) man living in an assisted living facility.  
  • I just watched the trailer, and the movie starts out with the old man wandering into a circus grounds.  This actually happens in the book in a much more interesting and satisfying way, but I won't tell you how.  Just read the book.  It's FANTASTIC and a great read!
  • The circus setting is a rich sensory experience.  
  • This novel was a NaNoWriMo book.
  • The book was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 12 weeks when it was published in May 2006.
  • There are some laugh-out-loud moments. 
  • A real page-turner!
  • You'll learn lots of neat circus lingo
  • Neat twist at the end involving the old man.  It's a great commentary on how you're only as old as you feel.
Cons:
  • There are some scenes where the psycho animal keeper is mean to the animals, but it's not unbearable.  Things work out in a really good way for the circus animals in the end. 

Books like this are the kind that make kids want to read (from our BC bookshelf).  

Homes and Habits of Wild Animals—North American Mammals, by Karl Patterson Schmidt, Field Museum of Natural History; Illustrated by Walter Alois Weber; Sponsored by The National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C.

Published by M.A. Donohue & Company, Chicago & New York, © 1934