Amelia Bedelia is a children's picture book about a maid on her first day of work. She is left a list of chores to accomplish while her new employers go out. The story is about the literal use of language, and watching what we say as opposed to what we mean. It is a great lesson for children, but for adults as well.
While I have heard of Amelia Bedelia before I have never read the story. I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud. The picture of the turkey was as humorous as it was disturbing. I can see children laughing at the weird things that Amelia does, like hanging the light bulbs out in the sun. Although, I wonder if they would take away as much humor from the story as I did.
The illustrations are black, white, green, and gray. They are pleasing, well done, and work well with the text.
The fiftieth anniversary edition also includes pages about how Amelia Bedelia was developed, drafts of pages, and the history of Amelia Bedelia.
Silent Spring is perhaps the first environmental book that was ever published. Published back in the 1960s, originally, it is unfortunately just as relevant now as when it was first put into print. It is a book that will make you think about what we are doing to our food, to our planet, and to ourselves.
The writing is passionate and relatable. The science is readable by most anyone. The message is one that needs to be heard. If I had the power to make this mandatory reading in middle school then I would do so. Since I hold no power even close to that I will implore that if you read just one nom fiction book this year that you make it Silent Sprint. Not only is it well written and well presented it has a message that is of importance.
Life After Life is an intriguing work by Kate Atkinson. Ursula Todd, the main character, is born in 1910 and dies. She is then born again and again living out a variety of themes on essentially the same life. The novel brings into question how much free will does an individual have. It also looks at how our choices shape our future. The very construction of the novel is unique and will leave the reader with much to think about.
Atkinson is a wonderful writer. She brings her characters to life (and then to life again). She can tell the same story in new ways making it interesting all over again. There is no question that she is truly talented.
However, I did not, especially, like this novel. There was no growth. I am fairly certain that this is at least part if the commentary that Atkinson is making in Life After Life. Yet, even with that speculation, I am left unsettled. Life is growth, without growth is Ursula really living. It could be argued that she is growing in each life, or there could just be changes in her lives. Yet any growth is not followed up with the ending of the novel.
This is a rare novel. It is both brilliant and lacking at the same time.
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