It is probably a bit sad to admit that I did not read any stories by about Winnie-the-Pooh until I was in my late 30's. By the time I was a child they were already animated, so I am still very familiar with the 100 Acre Woods and Christopher Robin. I knew the lore about how A.A. Milne wrote these stories for his son. Yet, I had never read any of the books.
Thankfully my quest to finish Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime encouraged me to pick up this book, the second in the Winnie-the-Pooh series. There were benefits to starting with the second book. Most of the stories were new to me. I did not have preconceived pictures from seeing them on film - well as many at least. I will never be able to view Pooh, or Eeyore, or Piglet as anything other then their movie versions.
This is a collection of stories all of which take place in the imaginative 100 Acre Woods revolving around Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. The stories are a journey of friendship and of growing up. They would be great to read to your younger children, but they are also perfect for your early reader to read as they transition from being a "big kid" to being a kid. If you are nostalgic for your own childhood then I highly recommend that you pick up this book and relive a bit of magic that can be found between a child and their bear.
Encounters with Authors by Dale Andrew White is a unique and intriguing book to read. It is a collection of twenty interviews that were conducted by White around 1980; however, the book itself was published over thirty years later. All the writers included in this collection are older, most have passed on before this book was published. Getting to read interviews of authors who have now moved on is the biggest appeal of this book. It is a way to know them outside of their novel, something that we will no longer have the chance to do firsthand.
Most interviews are approximately five pages long. White always includes an antidote about the author, a way of seeing the author from Whites perspective. Most also include a question and answer portion as well. In the case of Agatha Christie, who had already passed on, White interviewed someone who worked closely with her theater productions.
It is no surprise that authors are real human beings, with faults and virtues. However, it is interesting to see their personalities and how they match (or do not match) with their works. There is also a wide variety of authors who are included in the interviews. You may even find someone new to read.
I tend to stay away from young adult novels. When it is a young adult romance novel I really want to run far away. What do teenagers truly know about love? They think they know a lot. Yet, what I have learned in my age is that no one really knows anything about love. This is my excuse for why it took me so long to read The Fault in Our Stars despite everyone talking about the book. Although, maybe everyone talking about the book is another reason that I stayed far away. I regret taking so long to read it.
This is a young adult novel. It is a romance. Yet it is not a traditional young adult romance novel. One reason is that the main characters are both dying. When you have already had to face your own mortality then you have a maturity that goes beyond traditional young adulthood. This is cliche because it is true.
What I love most about this book are the characters. They are quirky. They are obsessed about a book that has no ending written by a complete jerk. They intertwine cancer with teenage rebellion. Then they dash off to Austria and kiss in the house of Anne Frank.
The entire novel is a bit quirky. Yet the ending is heartbreaking. The story was powerfully told. I have come to respect John Green's writing and will continue to read his books, even though they continue to be young adult fiction.
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