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    $10.85 $3.95 list($15.95)
    1. Kira-Kira
    $6.29 $3.73 list($6.99)
    2. Monster
    $4.95 $3.26 list($5.50)
    3. The Cay
    $6.29 $2.88 list($6.99)
    4. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
    $5.85 $2.77 list($6.50)
    5. The Watsons Go to Birmingham -
    $5.99 $3.45
    6. Romiette and Julio
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    7. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster
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    8. I Don't Have Your Eyes
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    9. Girls for Breakfast
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    10. The Land (Coretta Scott King Author
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    11. Journey to Topaz: A Story of the
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    12. Maniac Magee
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    13. The Hundred Dresses
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    14. Six Million Paper Clips: The Making
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    15. If You Come Softly
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    16. Remember : The Journey to School
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    17. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
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    18. The Crayon Box that Talked
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    19. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
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    20. The Other Side

    1. Kira-Kira
    by Cynthia Kadohata
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689856393
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
    Publisher: Atheneum
    Sales Rank: 299151
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    kira-kira (kee' ra kee' ra): glittering; shining

    Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future.

    Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata's stunning debut in middle-grade fiction. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars !WOW!
    WOW! this book was one of the best books i have ever read! Read it and i am sure you will love it! It is about a girl whose best friend is her sister but then her sister gets really sick. ... Read more

    2. Monster
    by Walter Dean Myers
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064407314
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
    Publisher: Amistad
    Sales Rank: 7897
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER.

    FADE IN: INTERIOR COURT. A guard sits at a desk behind Steve. Kathy O'Brien, Steve's lawyer, is all business as she talks to Steve.

    Let me make sure you understand what's going on. Both you and this king character are on trial for felony murder. Felony Murder is as serious as it gets. . . . When you're in court, you sit there and pay attetion. You let the jury know that you think the case is a serious as they do. . . .

    You think we're going to win ?

    O'BRIEN (seriously)
    It probably depends on what you mean by "win."

    Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout.

    Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of "the system," cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life.

    As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers's writing at its best.

    2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 2000 Michael L. Printz Award, 1999 National Book Award Finalist, 01 Heartland Award for Excellence in YA Lit Finalist, 00-01 Tayshas High School Reading List, and 00-01 Black-Eyed Susan Award Masterlist

    2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), Hornbook Fanfare 2000, Michael L. Printz Award 2000, 2000 Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor Book, 2000 Quick Picks for Young Adults (Recomm. Books for Reluctant Young Readers), and 2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)

    ... Read more

    Reviews (341)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Monster
    "Monster" is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the "all clear" to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this innovative novel by Walter Dean Myers, the reader becomes both juror and witness during the trial of Steve's life. To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. Interspersed throughout his screenplay are journal writings that provide insight into Steve's life before the murder and his feelings about being held in prison during the trial. "They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can't kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment."
    Myers, known for the inner-city classic Motown and Didi (first published in 1984), proves with Monster that he has kept up with both the struggles and the lingo of today's teens. Steve is an adolescent caught up in the violent circumstances of an adult world--a situation most teens can relate to on some level. Readers will no doubt be attracted to the novel's handwriting-style typeface, emphasis on dialogue, and fast-paced courtroom action. By weaving together Steve's journal entries and his script, Myers has given the first-person voice a new twist and added yet another worthy volume to his already admirable body of work. (Ages 12 and older) --... --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Monster
    Luis G.
    I read the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. The story is about a 16-year-old boy, Steve Harmon, on trial for felony murder. Steve, who wished that experience were only a movie, writes the story in a movie script format. There only needs to be enough evidence to say he was at the scene of the crime and participated in the drug store robbery, regardless of whether or not he pulled the trigger on Mr. Nesbitt, the person killed. If so, he might spend the rest of his life behind bars. Steve is the only dynamic character in the story; when the movie begins, he is a simple 16-year-old boy who had only seen the world through his somewhat happy life. Towards the end he realizes not all people in this life are decent, or anywhere close to decent human being, but rather there is a mix of good and bad living amongst each other. Steve's movie contains flashbacks that sometimes leave the reader wondering of their significance to the story. In them we see a Steve Harmon prior to him being in jail. We see him hanging out with his friends and family. Readers are able to relate with Steve regardless of whether or not they have experience a jail term. Walter Myers does an excellent job of characterization especially in those flashbacks, because Steve seems so much like a real. Because you are able to relate with Steve you begin to feel sympathy for him just because of the awful place he is at. Myers's imagery of the jail is excellent. You realize the brutality and the perverse minds of some inmates, and also the depressed state Steve is in. as a consequence, you begin to feel sorry for him and wish he be found not guilty. This book is on of a kind because you observe the brutal side of jail through the mind of a 16-year-old boy. I think that all teens might want to consider reading this book, and I also think they are the ideal audience.

    4-0 out of 5 stars MONSTER

    This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I don't usually like reading books. I know you have heard that many times before but when you hear it from me you know its true because I absolutely despise reading.
    This book is based on a true story: Three men planned a robbery at the local drug store in which the local drug store clerk was shot and killed. Now these three men are on trial and one of them is innocent, can you tell who? One of the characters is Steve. He was one of the three being convicted of murder. Whether or not he was guilty, you'll just have to see for yourself. Evans was another of the three that were on trial for felony murder. And James King is the last main character that is on trial for murdering the store clerk.
    This book is good because all of these characters seem realistic. The author describes how appropriately they dressed for their court trials. The way that the author talks about the characters makes me able to picture the characters in my head. " Cut To: Steve Harmon getting dressed in his cell wearing a tie and button up shirt". The author also makes the murder scene real because the police go through the proper procedure that they normally would at a regular murder scene.
    The court case also seems true, Mostly because the book is written in play form, with characters being given dialogue and actions. Its almost like its being written by a court reporter.
    The way that this book was written was the first thing that jumped out at me because it is so realistic. You can picture the man or woman who is talking. However there were some flaws to the way it was written because the narrative alternates between third person play form and first person diary format making parts of the book hard to understand. I would get lost while I was reading because I would get so into it I wouldn't bother reading the names of the person who was talking.
    In conclusion I think that this was an extremely good book. I recommend this book to people who like mystery books because with this book you never know what's going to happen next.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The master piece
    This book is amazing.This book is about a kid on the streets that is accused of robbery and murder .The book can be compared to the movie "juice" .

    3-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
    Monster is mainly about a 16 year old boy named Steve. Steve is a very timid kid fighting for his innocence. This book takes place in a Manhattan Detention Center. Steves problem is that he is being falsely accused for commiting murder. Now he has to go on trial and see what happends.

    This book "Monster" is basically all dialogue and no actions. There are alot of characters in this book and it is hard to keep track of them since it's written like a movie. This book has alot of realism since it was based on a true story. There really isnt alot of suspense in this novel. "Monster" drags out alot and i wouldnt recommend this book to anyone.

    To the peron who wrote this book, I think he should have sold this "script" to a movie maker. This book was a waste of time to read. Thank You. ... Read more

    3. The Cay
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440416639
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-28)
    Publisher: Yearling
    Sales Rank: 14356
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A complete guide to teaching The Cay. Includes an author biography, background information, summaries, thought-provoking discussion questions, as well as creative, cross-curricular activities and reproducibles that motivate students. ... Read more

    Reviews (350)

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Cay (A witty title proves nothing.)
    The Cay, have I read this book before? Yes. Every single lost at sea adventure book I have ever read. The book is dull and leaves the reader wanting more excitement. This book ruins the lost at sea adventure reputation.

    Could the plot of The Cay be any more predictable? Of course not, a boat sinks, people lost at sea, find an island. It's the same old cliché that leaves the reader hoping it will suddenly change but never does. Timothy, Phillep and stew cat are on the island then what happens... they build a hut for a long stay. Duh! Foreshadowing in the cay was in all the wrong spots and the event s that should be suspenseful turned out to be boring and ongoing because I always knew what was going to happen. Timothy is very old and is teaching Phillip to live on the island by himself maybe because Timothy is going to die? The only difference with this book and the other lost at sea adventures is that Phillip is blind and it's interesting to hear how he manages on the island. The plot should be survival and should keep the reader on edge but the lack of detail and bad foreshadowing make it impossible. Theodore Taylor tried his best to have unexpected turns but the foreshadowing before hand made it so the reader knew what was going to happen. Reading the book was plain awful and dull, however the overall meaning intrigued me.

    The moral of the story was to not judge a book by its cover. In this case the book was Timothy and the judge is society's opinion, which was pressed upon Phillip's mind prior to his meeting timothy. When Phillep woke up from the wreck he was stranded on a boat with and I quote "An ugly black man". Phillep never crossed paths with a person of color in a friendly way. To Phillep Timothy was a person of ignorance and of less importance, so says the way he was raised. When Phillep became blind he started to see things for what they are and not for what they seem to be. Phillep forgot about Timothy's color and started to become a first-class friend. Phillep now realizes that Timothy did everything he could to help him including giving his life. Even though the plot was terrible the moral is still there and I would recommend the book simply for that.

    Wrapping up my review to say the least people who love adventure and suspense don't get this book. But people who like a good moral and a deeper meaning then go get this book. It ruins the lost at sea reputation by the lack of details, but once again if you can manage a dull and boring story just for a good insight then get this book

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Memorable Classic
    This is an award-winning novel for good reason, and will always remain a classic. This novel touches on serveral important topics such as prejudice, love, and survival.

    This novel takes place during the years of World War II. 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents on the island of Curaçao. When the war becomes too close for comfort, his mother decides to travel with him back to Virginia in hopes of finding safety. It is on the journey to Virginia that their boat is torpedoed. Phillip is one of only a few known survivors, and is blinded during the sinking of his ship. He soon finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man named Timothy and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted scarap of land much too small to be called an island (hence the name Cay).

    Phillip is suspicious of Timothy, but as they suffer through the hardships they must face he soon grows to trust and to later love Timothy.

    This is a truly remarkable book, and leaves small wonder as to why it is now required reading for school children. I find it benificial to all ages myself, and would recommend it to anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Cay
    The Cay, by Theodore Taylor, is a really good book. It is about a boy named Phillip who has to survive on a small island with an old man named Timothy. Will they survive or will a strong hurricane harm them. You will find out in The Cay. Anyone who enjoyed Hatchet will like this book. It is eventful and beautifully written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Cay Review
    This is the BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!!! When people ask the usual question of "what is your all time favorite book", I don't reply with a Hemmingway or a "best seller"...I always say THE CAY. Please read this book, you will not be let down. The memories of this story will stay with you forever!

    5-0 out of 5 stars briliant!!!!!!!!
    this story is about a boy around 12 years old who lives with his mom in a foreign country were there is a war going on. Now the mom wants out of it so she and her son go on a trip two the U.S on a boat. But what they dont no is there about to go on an adventure there regret. While there on this ship they get torpedoed down by a war sumarine were only the boy and a black man survive. Now they have to work together to live on this strange island in the middle of nowhere. But at firsty they dont get along with eachother but there friendship grows stronger and stronger as time goes on but they are going threw some tuff times with food and water and then something really bad happends to the blind man and the boy is out of ideas. And now times get harder as he trys to care for him and his friend then the unexpected happens and everything gets really bad. What will he do? Find out by reading the book. This story is a real adventure to read and is a great suspense novel. I recomend this book 2 ages 13 and up. The Cay is also an exiting book filled with lots of ideas and a great kid book to read.It also shows how very different people can get so close to eachother in such a different way. ... Read more

    4. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
    by Mildred D. Taylor
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 014034893X
    Catlog: Book (1991-10-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 9164
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Read by Lynne Thigpen
    Approx. 8 hours
    6 cassettes

    Why is the land so important to Cassie's family?It takes the events of one turbulent year--the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black--to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood.It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (338)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Roll Of Thunder is Amazing
    Roll of Thunder,Hear My Cry
    Written by Mildred .D. Taylor
    Publisher: Puffin

    The book I am choosing to write about is Called Roll of Thunder,Hear My Cry. The genre is realistic fiction. It is about a black family living in Mississippi during the 1930s. The family struggles through racism,deaths and trying to maintain their land that they live on during the height of the Great Depression. Many scary things happen to the family. Such as burnings, night riders,and other close encounters. All through the hard times the family managed to keep their courage, love, and pride. It is a wonderful novel and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a story of courage and hope.

    The main characters are Cassie, who is the one telling the story a brave daughter of the Logan family. Stacey, Cassie's older brother considers himself the man of the family when the father is gone. David, who is the father, is often gone from home by working on the railroad. Mary and Big Ma are the mothers of the family. Mary is the mother and Big Ma is the grandmother. There are many other supporting characters

    I personally love this book . I highly recommend it to anyone. Especially African American children. To learn how hard it was for their race during that time. It is good for people of all ages. It is a story of faith, courage , hope, love and family. The family in this book are very brave. It is one of the best books I have read in quite a while.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry
    It was the late 30's and the logan familiy had been trying to pay their bills and support each other. David, their father, worked on the rail road and Mary, their mother, worked as a teacher in the local school for blacks. Their kids names were Cassie(the nararator), Stacy(the oldest brother), little man, and Christopher John. They had many struggles, keeping up the farm, paying the bills, and having money for food were very hard things to do while the whites were harrassing, teasing, and trying to kill them. On top of all that, David and Mary were both out of a job. David got hurt by the Wallaces and Mary got fired for not teaching the white version of history. The Wallaces, Simon, and Mr. Granger were watching them like hawks, so that at any moment they could take their land and their lives. T.J., Stacy's friend, was not so lucky after Stacy stopped being "friends" with him. This was a very good book. I like how most of the book was in dialogue. I think that made it easier to read and tell what was going on and it gave me more emotions which makes it more interesting. It was just right for my reading ability, The book showed me how unfair it was bakc them for blacks to be hated so much and people could tease or kill with little emotion.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It was okay...
    I had to read this book for school, and it just made me bored out of my mind. It didn't really hold my attention, and the only reason I finished it was because I had to. It was a very well-written book, but just not the kind of book I enjoy to read in my spare time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
    I really love this book. It kept my attention through the whole thing. I loved the characters and I felt for them as they suffered. The characters were well formed and it helps show what it might be like to be a black family living in that era and what they had to put up with.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A View into a new perspective
    This book was about a family living in the 1930s in the Deep South. They struggle with racism and segregation. This family tries to stay together and keep their land. You are given a good perspective on what life was like as an African American in that time period and how they were unfairly treated. This story was low on action but told a great story, however, your interest is never lost. ... Read more

    5. The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 (Yearling Newbery)
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440414121
    Catlog: Book (1997-09-08)
    Publisher: Yearling
    Sales Rank: 10377
    Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Enter the hilarious world of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who's 13 and an "official juvenile delinquent." When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. They're heading South. They're going to Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the darkest moments in America's history.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (400)

    4-0 out of 5 stars heba heba heba heba
    The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963

    The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 is a magnificent book. I really recommend you reading it. It is filled with fun things and Historical Fiction at the end.

    The setting is where the story takes place. It begins in Flint, Michigan. It was very cold and Byron and Buphead teased Kenny a lot. On the road trip, Kenny's mom had planned everything out like where to stay. At the rest stops, Kenny and Byron said that rest stop's restrooms stunk and were really dirty. When they finally got to Birmingham, everyone complained how hot it was. Then there were racial problems. This is how I remembered the setting.

    Kenny is very smart but is also very funny. In Chapter 2, he reads a book to Byron's class up side down. Some times Byron tortures Kenny. In Chapter 1, Byron and his friend Buphead threw Kenny around in the snow. Kenny sometimes doesn't believe what Byron says and then does like in Chapter 13. He doesn't believe in the Wool Pooh and then does when he thinks he sees the Wool Pooh. That's how I relate to Kenny Watson.

    In the beginning, Byron gets his lips stuck to the car mirror. Then his dad buys the Ultra-Glide and they go on a three-day trip to Birmingham, Alabama. After Kenny seeing the Wool Pooh and to white men bombing Joey's church, the finally go back to Flint.

    As I said in the beginning, The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 is a very good book. I recommend it to children of all ages.
    By Plunky Universe

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963 book review
    The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis, is a great book. It takes place during the Civil rights movement. It is about a Family that lives in Flint, Michigan. The family is made up of Daniel (dad),Wilona (mom), Byron,Kenny, and Joetta, also known as Joey. I think the characters in this story are really interesting. Kenny is smart. He reads stuff to higher grades than he is in. He is also one of the least popular kids in his school. And, he has a lazy eye. Kenny's big brother Byron is a trouble maker. He is known as the god of the school children at Clark elementary. Joetta, Kenny's little sister, likes to protect Byron from her mom. She also believes all the tall tales he makes up. The whole family seems so realistic. Christopher Paul Curtis does something cool with Byron in the book. Byron changes from a trouble-maker to a nice person. He changes because of a true historical event that happened in this story.In the beginning of the story is parents get so mad because of the bad stuff he did. They decide to drive to their grandma Sands house in Birmingham, Alabama. That is how they end up going to Birmingham.

    Christopher Paul Curtis has a cool bad guy for the story. When they are in Birmingham, Kenny goes some where he shouldn't go and meets the bad guy of the story,The Wool Pooh. He says that it has a gray body, no face, square feet, square shoulders, and square fingers. Kenny sees the Wool Pooh twice in the story. When he is swimming where he shouldn't and after the historical event. Kenny thinks that it means death.

    I think there are some bad things about the book. Christopher Paul Curtis skips the part when they are going back to Flint. There are some other things he doesn't tell about. For example,He doesn't tell when Kenny tells his Mom, Dad, and Byron that Joey is back at Grandma Sands house I give this story four stars. It is a great book to read. One of the morales of this story is how important family is. That is why Byron became changed from a trouble-maker to a nice person. So all in all I think you should definitely read this book. And if you want to find out what the historical event is, read the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dy-No-Mite!
    This book had me lauging one minute, and crying the next. Curtis takes his reader on an adventure with the Watson family, whom coincidentally has family members with which we can all proably relate with in one way or another. I would highly reccommend this book to my fourth grade peers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars if you like history books
    I read The Watson's go to Birmingham -1963.
    The author is Christopher Paul Curtis.
    I loved this book . It has 5 characters.
    The character that I liked is Byron. Hi's a bully,
    But he cares for his brother and sister. Kenny is
    a great boy. He likes to hang out with his
    brother. Joetta is a four year old girl. She likes to
    go to Sunday school at church. Dad is a cool
    He likes to decorate the brown bomber(the car). Mom is a women that likes stuff her way.
    Whenever they travel she has everything
    Ordered in her note book .I Enjoyed this book because it's fun and awesome and I loved it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Review
    I read the book The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963 and found it very interesting and funny. The story is about a boy named Kenneth Watson who has an older brother, Byron, a younger sister, Joetta, a mom, and a dad. They all live in Flint, Michigan. Byron is constantly getting into trouble, so mom and dad decide that he should spend the summer with his grandmother in Birmingham. The whole family has to go on the trip because they can't leave anybody at home. While they are in Birmingham, the church is attacked by white people who throw a stick of dynamite into it. Kenny goes into the church after this and thinks he sees Joetta's shoe, and he thinks that the Whool Pooh, an imaginary evil twin of Winnie the pooh, is trying to kidnap her, so he leaves. When he finds out that Joetta wasn't in the church, he feels guilty because even if she had been in the church he wouldn't have helped her escape the Whool Pooh. After this, they decide to leave Birmingham. When they get back home, Kenneth hides behind the couch in their house and hopes to not feel guilty about not rescuing Joetta. Byron finally (...). I like this book and would recommend it to readers of any age. It is funny and entertaining. For example, one funny part is when Byron tries to kiss his reflection is the car mirror and gets his lips stuck to it. In conclusion, I think the book is amusing though it is sad and is a good book for anyone to read. ... Read more

    6. Romiette and Julio
    by Sharon M. Draper
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689842090
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Sales Rank: 50184
    Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Star Crossed Lovers

    When Romiette Cappelle meets Julio Montague, she feels as though she has met the soul mate who can rescue her from her recurring nightmare about fire and water. But like the Shakespearean characters whose names echo theirs, Romiette and Julio discover that not everyone approves of their budding romance. In their case, it is because Romiette is African-American and Julio is Hispanic, and the Devildogs, a dangerous local gang, violently oppose their interracial relationship.

    When the Devildogs threaten to teach them a lesson, Romiette and Julio come up with a risky plan to escape from the gang's fearsome shadow. But things go terribly awry, and the two find themselves caught up in a deadly reality more frightening that Romiette's nightmare -- and in a desperate struggle to avoid the tragic fate of Shakespeare's famous young lovers. ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book!
    A modern version of Romeo and Juliette with some twists kept me turning the page for more excitement. Julio Montague moves from Texas to Ohio because of gangs at his old school and falls in love with the beautiful, African American girl Romiette Cappelle. What happens though, is that the Devil Dogs - a gang at this school - threatens the Hispanic boy of the dangers of seeing Romi. When both of them reufse to stop liking each other, the Devil Dogs take matters into their own hands and create a nightmare for both Romiette and Julio that they will never forget. This wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was still pretty good. Don't judge it based on the title because you'll be surprised at how different it is from Shakespeare's version considering you can only take the story line so far...very good book overall.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great modern twist to Shakespeare's classic play
    For my ninth grade English class, we were assigned to read the play Romeo and Juliet. That's why, when at the library, I spotted this book and decided to read it. Compared to the original play, this book was wonderfully sweet and romantic. African-American Romiette Cappelle (called Romi) and Hispanic Julio Montague are the two heros this time. Both sixteen and juniors in high school, they meet over the internet and develop a strong relationship, that even objections from a local gang cannot deter. This book chronicles thier journey to an open relationship that overcomes racial boundaries. I recommend this book for approximately ages 9-14.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Romiette and Julio
    Romiette and Julio have become very close since Julio moved to Cinncinati from Texas, but a gang in their school( the devil dogs) decide that their diffrent cultural relationship should be put to a stop. The young couple with the help of there friends Ben and Destiney come up with a plan to get the gang off there backs. The plan goes wrong and Romiette's worst nightmares come crashing down on her and Julio is the only one who can save her. The novel is appealing to your sense of love and adventure. If you like to read about young love that has a strain put on it and pulls through you will love this novel that follows along the lines of Romeo and Juliette.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A pretty good book
    Jimmy Gross

    Romiette & Julio; Sharon Draper; New York; Simon Pulse, 1999. 320 pages.

    Romiette & Julio is a pretty good book. I would highly recommend it to young people

    that have just finished reading Romeo & Juliet. The plot is similar to Romeo & Juliet,

    with a twist on names and places, but the story takes place in the world of today.

    Romiette & Julio can be used to better understand Romeo & Juliet because it is

    about gangs and the psychology of today's youth, particularly in cities full or crime,

    drugs, and shootings. Romiette is an African American girl. Julio is Mexican teenager.

    When they fall in love, their parents and the gang at school do not exactly like the idea of

    them being together.

    The story begins when Julio moves to Ohio from Texas. He first gets in a fight with

    another boy, and when the fight is over, they became best friends. His new friend is Ben.

    When Julio is on the computer, he begins talking to a girl. When he asks

    her what school she goes to, he finds that they attend the same school. They meet

    up with one another for lunch at school and quickly fall in love. The gang has

    something against Julio and threaten him all of the time. The gang kidnaps Romiette and

    Julio, and I suppose that you will have to read the book to find out what happens to

    them, because I don't want to give anything away.

    The author's writing style is exciting and entertaining. Sharon M. Draper does a very

    good job of making the book suitable for teenagers. She has a very good style, relating to

    teenagers in today's time using today's language. She uses gangs and real life situations,

    showcasing kids who are having similar problems today, as the Romeo & Juliet of


    The book makes it very clear as to the time period, place, and setting of the story.

    The author tells a lot about who the characters are. The book describes Destiny, who is

    Romiette's best friend, who happens to be psychic. The book also portray Ben, who is

    Julio's best friend. The author also descriptively depicts the gang called the Devildogs.

    The story takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Julio moved from Corpus Christie, Texas.

    The author's voice is very good. The author does a great job of changing tones, and

    sounding either emotional or angry. She can make Romiette and Julio sound like poets,

    and have the gangs always sounding angry or against everything.

    I feel that the book achieved its goal. I feel that the way Romeo & Juliet is

    written makes it just about impossible to understand. The author made a book with

    today's English and made it easy to understand.

    I think the book left out very few things. I cannot think of anything. One thing

    I think is the book should have gone further into the future instead of just a few

    weeks. (at the end).

    I am not sure how the book compares to others on the subject, because I have not read

    any others. Compared to Romeo & Juliet, I think it is a lot better because kids can

    actually read and understand what they are reading, and also they can relate with it a lot.

    I think that Romiette and Julio was a very good book. If a kid is reading Romeo &

    Juliet and doesn't understand it, they should read Romiette & Julio. I would recommend

    this book to anyone.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Could have been written better
    I was so disapointed at the phony plot details in this book. For example, Romi's parents make good money and are educated, but they live in a really nice house with a spacious yard that happens to be in a rough, inner-city school district? And when Ben gets sucker-punched by Julio he gets up and says "It's okay. I can tell you've had a rough day." Or Julio, who for much of the book speaks like an average hispanic teen, says "Don't worry, the principal has dispersed the crowd." Come on. The book's basic premise was cool, but the bad writing blew it. ... Read more

    7. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
    by Gary D. Schmidt
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618439293
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-24)
    Publisher: Clarion Books
    Sales Rank: 173143
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he's a minister's son, even if he doesn't act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father's-and the town's-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine's rocky coast.
    The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie's island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity.
    This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community's destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change.Author's note.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY
    "From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."
    --Charles Darwin, THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

    "Like angels appearing in the sky,
    whales are proof of God."
    --Cynthia Rylant, THE WHALES

    Because it is based upon a series of true, race-related events in Maine during the early 1900s, LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY might make you think of Karen Hesse's WITNESS. Several of the "good guy" characters--Mrs. Carr and the elder Mrs. Hurd, for example--have a charm reminiscent of the idiosyncratic folk in BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE. But, because of the depth of the evil behind the tragic real events upon which the fictional story of Lizzie and Turner is built, the feelings of despair and anger with which we're left evoke memories of such books as MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955 and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

    The enchanting Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl of great strength and few words, belongs to the youngest of many generations of African Americans who have called Malaga Island home.

    "Lizzie held close against her grandfather as the people of Malaga Island came out from the pine woods, gathered around their preacher on the shore to hear what had been said. Before they turned, Lizzie felt her grandfather ebb as though his soul were passing out of him, the way the last waves of a falling tide pass into still air and are gone. "She took a deep breath, and she wasn't just breathing in the air. She breathed in the waves, the sea grass, the pines, the pale lichens on the granite, the sweet shimmering of the pebbles dragged back and forth in the surf, the fish hawk diving to the waves, the dolphin jumping out of them.
    "She would not ebb.
    "Then she turned with her grandfather to tell the gathering people of Malaga that times had moved on, and they would have to leave their homes."

    Across the water, on the mainland, Turner is the new kid in town. And even worse--from his perspective--he's the new minister's son.

    "Turner Buckminster had lived in Phippsburg, Maine, for almost six whole hours.
    "He didn't know how much longer he could stand it."

    Here, as with the fight over the towers in Elaine Konigsburg's THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE, the root of conflict involves money and property values. Phippsburg's shipbuilding industry is dying, and the local "boys with the bucks" reckon that tourism may be the source of future prosperity if only the "less desirable" portion of the community can be run out of town.

    " 'Would you look at that monkey go? Look at her go. She climbing down or falling?' Deacon Hurd watched the last leap to the ground. 'Sheriff Elwell, I believe she thought you might shoot her.'
    " 'Wouldn't have been any trouble, Mr. Hurd. One less colored in the world.' "

    The character who is most difficult to decipher in this story of Turner's coming of age is his father. Reverend Buckminster was hired by the church leadership and is supposed to be serving God. However, he is being pulled in various directions: by the white community, by his own knowledge and conscience (or sometimes lack thereof), and by the beliefs of the maturing son he apparently loves, albeit in a stiff, 1912 Congregationalist ministerial fashion.

    "And suddenly, Turner had a thought that had never occurred to him before: he wondered if his father really believed a single thing he was saying.
    "And suddenly, Turner had a second thought that had never occurred to him before: he wondered if he believed a single thing his father was saying."

    Reverend Buckminster is but one of several characters who end up throwing Turner a curveball.

    The innocent, against-all-odds friendship that develops between Turner and Lizzie repeatedly caused me shivers, delight, and despair. It is first among the many reasons why LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY is an entertaining and important piece of YA historic fiction. (...) ... Read more

    8. I Don't Have Your Eyes
    by Carrie A. Kitze
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $14.41
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0972624422
    Catlog: Book (2003-11)
    Publisher: EMK Press
    Sales Rank: 10955
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Family connections are vitally important to children as they begin to find their place in the world. For transracial and transcultural adoptees, domestic adoptees, and for children in foster care or kinship placements, celebrating the differences within their families as well as the similarities that connect them, is the foundation for belonging. As parents or caregivers, we can strengthen our children’s tie to family and embrace the differences that make them unique. Each child will have their own story and their own special place to belong.

    This beautifully illustrated and uplifting book, for the 2-5 set, will help to create the intimate parent/caregiver and child bond that is so important. While others may notice the physical differences between us on the outside, inside we are the same. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Seeking Similarities
    My 8-year-old loved this book. She was fascinated by the illustrations and the idea that despite our physical differences as a racially blended family, we are very much the same inside, where it makes all the difference. Excellent source for starting a dialogue with any child.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent balance
    I have found this book to be an excellent connecting point with our children who were adopted. The way that Kitze acknowledges physical differences and yet affirms the similarities that truly matter is reassuring for children who have concerns about not resembling their adoptive or foster parents. Multicultural illustrations add to the thoughtful writing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book for All Families
    Carrie Kitz has written a wonderful story for all families to enjoy together. My girls, ages 5 and 2, ask me to read it over and over. As a mom to one daughter from China and one from Cambodia, I especially enjoy the message the book sends- we may look different on the outside, but on the inside, we are the same.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A New Adoption Classic !
    Don't be fooled by the cover. Carrie's newest creation speaks to the entire adoption and foster community. " I Don't Have Your Eyes" is the novel, one-of-a kind kids' adoption book we have needed.

    Although a " feel good" book, there is nothing sterotypical about how adoption is discussed. The illustrations include and normalize all different type of families.

    "I Don't Have Your Eyes" helps kids go beyond " blood" and "genes" as the only important ties between family members. Instead, Carrie gently points out, even more important, shared strengths and similarities. The book's concrete examples ( with a little dab of houmor) are delightful.

    Congratulations to Ms. Kitze for carefully considering the needs of the adoption community as she publishes her 'adoption and empowerment- themed' books.

    Beth O'Malley M.Ed adoptee and newly adoptive Mom .... ... Read more

    9. Girls for Breakfast
    by DAVID YOO
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385731922
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
    Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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    10. The Land (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner)
    by Mildred D. Taylor
    list price: $17.99
    our price: $12.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0803719507
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
    Publisher: Phyllis Fogelman Books
    Sales Rank: 20515
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

    The Land is Mildred D. Taylor's wonderful prequel to her NewberyMedal winner, Roll of Thunder,Hear My Cry. In the stories Taylor has to tell, life is not fair, hardwork doesn't always pay off, and the good guy doesn't always win. That's becausethis extraordinary author tells the stories of her African American family inthe Deep South during and after the Civil War, a time of ugly, painful racism.

    Paul-Edward Logan, the son of a white, plantation-owner father and a slavemother, is our narrator, bound and determined to buy his own land and shape hisown future at whatever cost. Caught between black and white worlds and notfitting into either one is devastating for him, but his powerful, engaging talesof the love of family, the strength of friendship, and growing up will inspireanyone to dare to persevere despite terrible odds. Taylor's books are not onlyessential in understanding what led up to the Civil Rights movement inAmerica--they are also breathtaking page-turners, full of suspense, humor, love,and hope. The Land certainly stands alone, but the other award-winningtales of the Logan family--Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Let theCircle Be Unbroken; and The Road to Memphis--are excellent as well.Heartily recommended. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK
    When I discovered, through the note provided by Mildred Taylor, that The Land was more than five years in the making, I literally swooned in admiration of the freshness of the story. Any book which takes half a decade to research and write evolves with a certain degree of vulnerability. How can any author sustain such an endeavor, especially in the face of her readership, so familiar with her own impossibly hard acts to follow, and emerge holding such a live treasure as The Land, in the end?
    The Land is a prequel, in that it tells the stories of the Logan family that chronologically came before those of her beloved, already known, characters. What sets this novel apart from typical prequel status, in my mind, is the electricity between its pages. The Land is filled with its own magical energy. Paul-Edward's many adventures, his beliefs in himself and his family (as well as his view of all the other people living on his father, Edward's, land) his complex relationships with his white father, his African-Indian mother, his white brother (Robert), and his African-American friend (Mitchell) are exclusively important. They are exclusive in that they are whole, in and of themselves, and a reader can appreciate their strengths without prior knowledge of Taylor's previous work. They are important in that they can and should be told, breathe, and stand on their own. I feel that comparing them might fail them, to a certain degree. That said, the stories of the life of Paul-Edward are certainly crucial... beyond their status as prequel. The private pain and pride of Paul-Edward that we come to know, as we follow his evolution into the young landowner we reluctantly must depart at book's end, all the great sorrows and victories that spill before him in his quest to, in his mother's apt words, have "something for himself"-his own land-while caring for Caroline, her brother, and Mitchell are wondrous, well told, at times lyrically rich.
    There is nothing, in The Land, of the staleness that can threaten to tinge any writer's work when she is forced to write a prequel, by her readership, critics, or heart. Perhaps the staleness comes when a writer is not certain of the very something she must be precise about, as she attempts to trace steps prior to the heart of her matter (previous, related book(s)). I have come to believe that a great many prequels and sequels are created not in order to answer an author's own calling, but to answer the call of the readership. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still, in Taylor's writing of The Land as a whole thing, contained in one book, which tells a before so well, as well, is wholly felt, the mold of the prequel is broken. The Land is exceptionally revealing for those who have known and loved the Logans. The Land is also its own, gorgeous, story.
    I believe the heart of Mildred Taylor's matter is, actually, those family stories she finally tells, through fiction twinned with the breath of heritage, in The Land. The novel has clarity and life and a protagonist we love, and a singular life-almost as if The Land contained the most essential things the writer (the niece, the daughter, the landowner) needed to write; almost as if all those stories she'd already made were leading us to this great center.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Taylor Never Fails
    Paul-Edward Logan has a unique life situation in the late 1800s. Born on a southern plantation following the Civil War, his mother is black and Native American, yet his father is a white man. As a child, he is treated with almost the same care given to his white half-brothers, yet as he grows up he begins to learn the harshness and injustice of his world. But Paul is determined to make something of himself. He wants his own land, he wants his own destiny, and he wants things that many others of his race wouldn't even dream of.

    I was shocked with just how much I was impressed with this book! Throughout my life I have loved the powerful stories told in Taylor's "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" trilogy, yet often authors kind of fizzle after a couple of amazing books. But not here!

    I think one of the best things about Paul-Edward's story is how once again Taylor draws on family stories. Anyone who has read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" will recall that Paul-Edward is the grandfather of the Logan children, and will find it even more fascinating to read his own story. Which brings me to another point-the fact that Taylor not only draws on family stories, but brings them so vividly and credibly to life makes her writing all the better.

    And the writing was indeed good. Paul's first-person narrative sounds intelligent and interesting, while still managing to sound realistic and fresh. He is a character full of pride and determination that makes him truly admirable. But the book never feels preachy, and the pride and strength that Taylor fashions into her stories never feels fake.

    "The Land" is a book that is at once a story of hope and a realistic portrait of the ugly racism that plagued our society at the time. Just as in her other books, the author deals with racism in a balanced, up front, and intelligent manner.

    I was so impressed with this latest from Mildred Taylor! The character-driven story is the perfect balance of timeless values and a compelling historical backdrop.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a good book
    The book The Land was a great book a bout a boy named Paul Logan who was just trying to get by. he was th son of a white man and a black women. Paul was born with lighter skin so sometimes he could get away with things, but at other times they just treated him as if he were another one of the black people. Paul gets into a little bit of trouble along with his friend Mitchell. The boys end up becoming very close and helping each other out of achieving the goal of getting "the land." if you want to find out what happens, i recommend you read the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Land
    The Land by Mildred D. Taylor is a WONDERFUL book. It is the best book I have ever read. It is about a man, Paul Logan, and his life from childhood to adulthood. Paul has a hard life because he his half black and half white, meaning his dad white and his mom black. To make matters worse, it is right after the civil war. Paul has to learn that not all white men are going to treat him and be as fair to him as his white dad and brothers. This book has adventure, action, and suspense. It tells a GREAT story. I recommend this book to everybody!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST Book
    I loved this book. I could hardly put it down. Paul-Edward is a half black, half white slave whose owner is his father. He gets tired of his homelife and runs away. He meets Mitchell, a childhood friend, and they travel together. They work at a logging house and then find land that they would love to live on. I won't tell you the rest, because it would RUIN it!! This book has a whole lot of flashback and foreshadowing. I loved this book and encourage you all to read it!! ... Read more

    11. Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese-American Evacuation
    by Yoshiko Uchida, Donald Carrick
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1890771910
    Catlog: Book (2004-10)
    Publisher: Heyday Books
    Sales Rank: 269987
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Unforgetable Tale
    This story is very well written by author Yuskiko Uchida. This story takes place around the time when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. A normal Japanese-American girl lived in Berkekly, California and her life was like a regular girls life. Until her father was taken from her and her family. That was when World War 2 started. This girl and her family were moved from concentration camp to concentration camp taking away from her normal life. Will her friends and family ever be reunited again? Friendship, courage, and faith soon will come to her and her family .

    I am only 11, 10 at the time I read the book, and it taught me so much. I have always been a "bookworm" and this book surely proved it. I read this book in a restuarant, lawyer office, and everywhere else we went. This book is so good, you will not want to put it down. This amazing boook an unforgettable, heartwarming story that you'll definitely want to read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful historical fiction
    I homeschool my 12 y.o. son, and we read this book for a historical fiction book group. It is a beautifully written story of the tragic internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. It brings to life both the physical realities and the emotional burdens that were imposed by tearing people from their homes and sending them to dismal war camps. I highly recommend this book as an accompaniment to non-fiction reading about the internments, because it provides such a vivid picture of this sad chapter in American history.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Topaz
    Journey to Topaz

    The plot of the story is that Yuki and her family are sent to various places to live, they are camps for only Japanese, because the Japanese across the ocean have just bombed Pearl Harbor. In the time between when Yuki is still living in her home, and Yuki and her family are sent to the last camp, Topaz, are very horrible ones. People get sick, they die, and they don't like conditions they have to live in among many other things. Like the second camp they are sent to is really sandy and gritty. The "apartments" that all the Japanese had to stay in are really cold and dark.
    I liked the book to an extent. The reason for this is because this book is a lot different then the books I usually read. There are some suspenseful parts, but there weren't too many. The book deals with the Japanese living in America being marked as traitors because of the bombing on Pearl Harbor. That was pretty interesting, but I still like adventure books. I would recommend this book to everyone who like history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jouney To Topaz
    Journey to Topaz is a great book. I love the advanced words in it and the way that the author throws in Japanese words into it. My reading teacher said that the school didn't have enough books to supply all of us with books, so I had to get a photocopied book. But it was such a great book, I'm going to beg my parents into buying it on! I think my teacher should have gone onto and bought us books so we could have the pleasure of having a real copy! I think Journey to Topaz is the best book I have ever read, because it teaches you that not only the Jews were affected by World War 2, but the Japaneese were affected as well, just as much as the Jews. It was also a breaking to the constitutional laws. Yoshiko Uchida(the author of the book) says it was uncalled for. I think that this book is great-five stars is definitly underestimating it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars an unforgetable book
    i first read this book when i was about 9 yrs. old and i still read it and i'm 15. it's a really good book and i like how Yoshiko Uchida comined real hisorical events that really happened in the internment camps and to the japanese-americans in america at that time to make the story relistic. it's is a moving stoy about yuki a girl who lives a perfectly normal life in Berkley, CA. until japan bombs pearl harbor and her life is turned upside down. i really recomend this book to anyone who'd like to read a good book. ... Read more

    12. Maniac Magee
    by Jerry Spinelli
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316809063
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 4657
    Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Read by S. Ephatha Merkerson
    Approx. 3.75 hours
    3 cassettes
    He wasn’t born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park “frog” homer; how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Maniac Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (517)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Boy of Many Feats
    Running short of books to read? You're looking for a good to read? Well look no further because Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli, is waiting for you. Jeffrey Lionel Magee, AKA Maniac, is just a twelve year old, scruffy, orphaned boy but as soon as he sets foot in Two Mills, Pennsylvania a legend is born. He's as fast as sound: bunting a frog for a homerun, scoring 49 touchdowns in one day, and beating a kid running backwards and the kid was running forwards. Unfortunutly, Two Mills is split into two ends, with Whites on the West End and Blacks on the East End but does Maniac know about the difference between skin colors? No he doesn't.
    There are many events that take place in the story to move along. First, Maniac's (then Jeffrey) parents die in a famous trolley crash. Then, he goes to live with his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan who hate each other. After that he runs away at a chorus recital and isn't seen for a year. Next, he wanders into Two Mills and makes 4 appearances that day, also getting the nickname Maniac. Next, he starts to live at the Beales. Then he leaves the Beales and runs away to the zoo. Then, he is found by an old man,Grayson, who lets Maniac stay with him. After that, Grayson died. Maniac runs away to Valley Forge waiting for death. Then he meets Russell and Piper McNab, who invite him to their run-down house which will later be turned into a pillbox. After that, he provoaks Russell and Piper to stay in school by doing "heoric" feats. After that, Maniac doesn't stay in one set place and starts goes all over. Finally, Maniac stays with the Beales forever. Those are some important events in Maniac Magee.
    Many people have different opinions about Maniac Magee. I believe this is an excellant book, everything clearly stated. I would recommend it to kids who are in thier seventh month of fourth grade through their fifth grade. I liked everything about this book except one thing which is the way the McNabs' house is described with roaches and things like that. This book truly deserves its five stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nothin' Scares Magee
    Maniac Magee is another awesome novel by Jerry Spinelli. Jeffrey(a.k.a Maniac) Magee has very bad luck when it comes to families. He can never seem to stay with a family for very long. His parents die in a train crash. After that he runs away from his aunt and uncle. He ends up in Two Mills, Pennsylvania.
    Two Mills is split into two sections. East End, which is all black people, and West End is all white people. While in Two Mills, Maniac meets a girl named Amanda Beale. She lends Maniac a book to read. Maniac then goes to a man named Finsterwald's backyard. There was a kid there. Maniac carries the "petrified" boy off the lawn. The boy ran away. Maniac is then served dinner by the Pickwell family. They didn't even notice him. After that Maniac plays baseball with John McNab and is the first person ever to hit a homerun off of him. He then ventures into the East End(Remember, Maniac is white). He meets Mars Bar Thompson. Mars Bar rips the book that Amanda gave to Maniac. Amanda comes to the rescue and invites Maniac to stay at her house. To know what happens next, you have to read this book.
    I really like the way Jerry Spinelli writes. I'd really recommend this book and other books by Jerry Spinelli to people of all ages who love adventures.

    2-0 out of 5 stars
    Right...well, I suppose you could say I didn't fully understand the point of this book. A little boy's parents die, he has to live with his feuding Aunt and Uncle and then he runs away one day. When he finds a place to live he runs away. The book is about a boy running for no I said I didn't fully understand the point.

    1-0 out of 5 stars my review
    My name is Carmen and i'm the reviewer for the book,Maniac Magee.I think this book deserves one star, because it doesn't make sence.This book is talking about a boy who is running for no reason.I don't see why he didn't stay at home because he has to find places to sleep and it's cold at night.I cant compare this book to a movie because no one has ever made a movie like this or maybe iv'e

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rakiem's Book Review
    (...) I give the book Maniac Magee five stars.The reason why I give Maniac Magee a five star rating is because I read this book in fifth grade and most of the books that I read a second time are boring but this one was different.The book is about a kid named Jeffrey Magee and something bad happened to his parents so now he's an orphan and he goes through a lot as a kid.So I think that you should really go buy this book or go check it out of the libary because this a veryawsome book. ... Read more

    13. The Hundred Dresses
    by Eleanor Estes
    list price: $6.00
    our price: $5.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152052607
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 30331
    Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Never out of print since its 1944 publication, this tender story offers readers of all ages a timeless message of compassion and understanding. At its heart is Wanda Petronski, an immigrant girl in an American school, who is ridiculed for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. When she tells her classmates that she has one hundred dresses at home, she unwittingly triggers a game of teasing that eventually ends in a lesson for all.

    In restoring the reproduction of Louis Slobodkin's artwork, this new edition recaptures the original vivid color. And to celebrate the book's enhanced beauty, Helena Estes, the daughter of the author, has written a new letter to readers about the true story behind The Hundred Dresses.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (67)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Hundred Dresses
    Wanda Petronski is a poor Polish child living with her father in Boggins Heights. She wears the same ill-fitting blue dress every day. One day Wanda tells the other girls that she has one hundred beautiful dresses in her closet. The other girls don't believe her because she wears the same dress every day. The girls make up the hundred dresses game to tease Wanda. Maddie decides one day that the hundred dresses game is wrong but she is afraid to stand up to the other girls. Then Wanda isn't at school for several days. When there is a contest at school nobody thinks about Wanda until her one hundred drawings of her dresses win the contest. All the other children are amazed at Wanda's drawings. The teacher tells them that Wanda has moved away and that they will have to forward her award to her new home. Maddie decides to write Wanda a letter apologizing for teasing her and send it to her new address. She never finds out if Wanda gets the letter but she learns a valuable lesson about the consequences of her actions. This is an older book but it teaches valuable lessons about teasing and prejudice. It also teaches children that there are consequences to their actions. This is a great book to have in your classroom or at home. This book is on reading lists for grades 4 - 6 but the lessons it teaches can be used for children of all ages. This book can be used in connection with language arts, social studies, and math.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It was fun to read!
    The Hundred Dresses is about a girl named Wanda Protronski. Wanda is poor and has no mother. She lives up on Boggins Heights. Some girls make fun of her. The name of the mean girl that teases Wanda is Peggy. Peggy is pretty, neat, and very popular. Her best friend is Maddie. Maddie is messy, poor, and sort of popular. Almost all of her clothes are hand-me-down. Classroom 13 has a drawing contest and Wanda wins. Everyone thought that Peggy was going to win. Wanda leaves town and moves to the city. Peggy and Maddie try to get her to come back. This took place at the school's playground, classroom 13, and in Boggins Heights. I thought this was a wonderful book because it tells why you should be nice to people and not tease them. I recommend this book for 3rd-5th graders because it is a little to hard for lower grades and too easy for higher grades.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Missing the Point
    An incredibly ugly depiction of a little Polish girl and her classmates making fun of her. Promotes the stereotypical "Dumb Pollack" without showing any betterment of the little girl's situation. I found this book very offensive. I had ordered it as a gift for a little girl, but this book is wildy inappropriate in that there is no moral resolution at the end. The tormenters get away with their harassment, and there is only suffering for the Polish girl. The only thing it would teach a child is that you can get away with being bigoted and rude to others. Too bad Amazon doesn't allow for a zero rating because this because deserves it. "

    (...) Of course it is an ugly story; it is also realistic. Children do treat one another that way; adults do too. As another reviewer pointed out, although the little Polish girl is not stated explicitly to be Jewish, it is very much a Holocaust story; although she is definately not African-American, it is a Civil Rights story; although she is (probably) not a Lesbian, it is a gay-bashing story. It is the story of anyone who is put upon because she/he is or is percieved as 'different', and how this sort of thing can only go on when good people stand by and do nothing.

    Of the two other little girls in the story, the one who makes fun of the poor Polish girl and the other who stands by and doesn't want to defend her (although she knows she should)--how do you think they feel at the end of the story? Will they do it again? And, what if later 'the shoe is on the other foot', and they find themselves victims?

    Every child will be able to identify with each of the children in the story, and the story can be a starting point for discussions of prejudice, bullying, and many other important moral topics. The book doesn't give pat answers, nor does it tell us what to think--but it gives us an opportunity to think about these things.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wanda Petronski's Success Story
    This story about Wanda Petronski, an immigrant girl from a poor family ridiculed by her more popular, wealthier and American-born classmates is as relevant to children today as when it was first published. I read and re-read this book as a child; like Wanda, I was the only one in my class with a funny-sounding Eastern European last name. Fortunately, my situation was not as dire as hers, but I felt Wanda and I were kindred souls.

    Estes' perceptive take on the effect of cliques of popular girls and the influence they wield was ahead of its time. The relationships between the girls echoes what we read today in books like "Odd Girl Out" and "Queen Bees and Wannabes." Peggy, an Alpha Girl if there ever was one, ridicules Wanda's foreigness and the shabby blue dress (her only dress) that she washes and irons each night to wear the next day. Maddie, Peggy's wannabe friend, is troubled by Peggy's insensitivity but is afraid to speak up. Maddie's afraid that Peggy might turn on her, too. Then, Wanda stops coming to school. The other children forget about Wanda, but Maddie still thinks about her and wonders what happened to her. She persuades Peggy to go visit Wanda's house on the wrong side of the tracks; the part of town where the poor people and "foreigners" live. Wanda has moved away to a larger city, but the experience of knowing Wanda has changed Maddie for the better. She's more independent and willing to question Peggy and the values she represents. She's more open and empathetic to the experiences of people from different and less fortunate backgrounds than her.

    And what becomes of Wanda? In this book's wonderfully ingenious ending, Wanda takes her poverty and marginalization and turns to a creative end. Wanda, so poor that she only owns one dress, paints pictures of a hundred dresses and sends them back to the class at her old school. Wanda refuses to be victimized by her classmate's ridicule. Instead, she becomes an artist! I loved this ending as a child; it shows how children can overcome their problems with imagination and a respect for their own inner lives.

    Louis Slobodkin's illustrations complement the story perfectly (he also collaborated with Estes on the Moffat books). His evocative artwork supplies just the right amount of detail and leaves the rest to the reader's imagination. This is a truly great work of children's literature and we should rejoice that it's still in print.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Second/Third Grade Fiction
    Wanda, who has no mother and lives with her father, wears the same dress to school but claims she has 100 beautiful dresses in her closet at home. She is teased by other students. Wanda moves away and the truth behind her hundred dresses is revealed. Is it too late to make amends?
    (...) ... Read more

    14. Six Million Paper Clips: The Making Of A Children's Holocaust Memorial
    by Peter W. Schroeder, Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand
    list price: $7.95
    our price: $7.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 158013176X
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
    Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
    Sales Rank: 193595
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    15. If You Come Softly
    by Jacqueline Woodson
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0698118626
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
    Sales Rank: 65139
    Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he's in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he's going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don't exactly fit in there. So it's a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock and after that they know they fit together -- even though she's Jewish and he's black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that's not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.Reviewers have called Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson's work "exceptional" (Publishers Weekly) and "wrenchingly honest" (School Library Journal), and have said "it offers a perspective on racism and elitism rarely found in fiction for this age group" (Publishers Weekly). In If You Come Softly, she delivers a powerful story of interracial love that leaves readers wondering "why" and "if only...." ... Read more

    Reviews (68)

    4-0 out of 5 stars IF You Come Softly!!!!
    If You Come Softly Scholastic Inc., 1998, 181pp., $3.99
    Jacqueline Woodson ISBN 0-439-36738-7

    If You Come Softly is an outstanding book that brings up very delicate issues like, interracial relationships, different races, racism, and love-at-first-sight. This book is about a Jewish girl named Elisha, and a Black boy named Jeremiah who fall in love at their private prep school, Percy Academy. The two teenagers don't see what's on the outside but only the kindness and beauty on the inside of each other. But some people don't see it the way that Jeremiah and Elisha do, which makes it difficult for them to have an open relationship. Apart from this they already have their own problems with being teenagers in general. How can their love for each one another stay strong under this much pressure? How can it stay strong when to the rest of the world "love" just isn't enough?

    The author Jacqueline Woodson did an excellent job at touching these very powerful subjects, without going to the extreme. This book is a very intense, emotional, and heart aching book. I recommend this book to anyone who is 12-16 years old, who likes to see other peoples' points of view on racism, interracial relationships, and are very emotional.

    This book is a great read all the way through and the excitement of what will happen next will keep you on the edge of your seat!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars if the world was againts you would you go against the world
    Do you like romance books? Yes? no? Either one I think you should read "If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson. I personally don't like romance books, but I love this book. I rate this book five stars. "If You Come Soflty" is about a Jewish girl and an African American boy who fall in love at first sight. Ms. Woodson wrote this amazing modern love story. Some of the main characters and Ellie, Jeramiah , and both of their families. Ellie and Miah don't care what the world thinks about thier realationship. To them all that matters is that they love each other and are always there for one another. When one person thinks that they can't handle the pressure, the other one holds them up and they stay strong through it all. If you were in their sitiation what would you do? To find out what happened to Miah and Ellie please read this book. It's worth it. Trust me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars this book is wonderful
    When I first read this book i couldnt put it down i think i finished it in a few hours it is the most beautiful story. The whole thing like everything about it is beautiful the love jeremiah and ellie have for eachother and how the ending is just really wonderfully put together. i definately have this book in my favorites, and you should too.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Book... Except.....
    This was a great book. Its a story of when a Jewish girl meets a black boy and have a relationship together. It was really good, but keep in mind that when Miah's(the black boy)father says to him "never run in he park". He says that when he is really young. Then when Miah is 15, he is walking through the park and is really happy and decides to run through the park. This was the first time he ever ran in the park, and the police shoot him. That was the WORST ending I have ever read in my life! It was the worst ending to a good book. So if the things in this book were real, then I would get shot by the police if I ran through the park because I was black? Thats really dumb.....

    4-0 out of 5 stars If You Come Softly
    For Miah and Ellie love at first sight is not only possible, it is colorblind. Miah is he only child of two very famous African-Americans. His father, a movie director, has recently split up with his mother, a writer. His father has also decided to send Miah to a fancy prep school outside of the black neighborhood in which he has grown up. Ellie is the youngest child in a large Jewish family. Her father, a doctor, is often away from home, her siblings have all grown up and left, and she is unable to trust her mother, who abandoned their family on two occasions for several months at a time. Ellie is also sent to the fancy prep school.

    When the two meet, their loneliness fades away and in each other they find a soul mate. Yet their relationship is shadowed by the distant disdain of onlookers and the fear of their family's disapproval, and eventually tragedy strikes and Ellie and Miah are separated for good.

    In this novel, Jacqueline Woodson displays her delicate, well-crafted prose and her sensitive portrayal of adolescents and their families. Yet sadly her portrayal of Ellie and Miah's relationship is not as powerful as it could be. Their relationship is beautiful to read about but it never becomes grounded in reality. If Woodson wishes to speak about the very real and important issue of interracial dating, she must write about a relationship that the readers can relate to. The bigotry that Ellie and Miah encounter is so subtle (appropriately so) and their relationship is so idyllic that it is hard to see the effects of this bigotry on their relationship.

    In addition, the ending is overly dramatic, especially considering the gentle nature of the story up to that point. One feels that Woodson chose to end her novel as she did because she did not want to bring Ellie and Miah's love into the real world and because she knew that it could not go on as it was. This is a great shame, especially considering the quality of Woodson's character development.

    As it stands If You Come Softly is a lovely story about a tragic and fairy-tale romance. Yet it has the potential to be a powerful portrayal of love, family and the problems of interracial dating in our modern society. Unfortunately this potential is never realized. ... Read more

    16. Remember : The Journey to School Integration
    by Toni Morrison
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $12.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 061839740X
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-03)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 40280
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    Book Description

    Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison"s text—a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of "separate but equal" schooling. Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today. Remember will be published on the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision ending legal school segregation, handed down on May 17, 1954. ... Read more

    17. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440229383
    Catlog: Book (2002-12-10)
    Publisher: Laurel Leaf
    Sales Rank: 49730
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    There’s bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don’t have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway. A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant), the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to find their places in a school that has no place for them. T.J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket–exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T.J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High–will also be an effective tool. He’s right. He’s also wrong. Still, it’s always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets soon becomes the space where they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit, to grow. Together they’ll fight for dignity in a world where tragedy and comedy dance side by side, where a moment’s inattention can bring lifelong heartache, and where true acceptance is the only prescription for what ails us. ... Read more

    Reviews (57)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
    Chris Crutcher builds a story about challenging the status quo and finding the common humanity that unites those who believe they are alone in the world. The Tao, or T.J., grows up in Washington where racism dominates the town. T.J. attends Cutter High School where they are known for their respectable athletic program. One of the prize symbols to wear is an athletic jacket earned in a sport. Mike Baubour, a known enemy of T.J., tries to prevent Chris, less fortunate than many, from wearing his dead brother's letter jacket. T.J. fights to organize a male swim team. After he finds his teammates, including Chris, he sets up the criteria for earning a letter. This stirs up controversy among the Athletic Council, and finally come to a conclusion: each swimmer must better there time every meet to earn a letter. T.J.'s determination throughout the novel sets him above the pride of Cutter's athletic program and sets him in each teammates pride. T.J. is determined to achieve success for each one of his teammates, which would equal success to him. This book shows great teamwork, pride, and success when not everything comes easy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
    The book Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful book for all religions and races. That is because in the book T.J. is black, Japanese, and white, but in school he is mostly considered black. One day T.J. spots all-school jock Mike Barbour picking on Chris Coughlin, a retard whose dead brother is the best athlete in the school ever, for wearing his brother Brian's letter jacket. So, T.J. decides that he will get Chris a jacket of his own. He does that be creating a swim team. Meanwhile T.J. is visiting a woman who helps kids with family problems. T.J has become more of a teacher than a student. He gets involved with a father that really dislikes T.J. The daughter adores T.J. so the family, minus the father moves in with them. T.J.'s family continues to get a lot of hang up calls which they know is the father. In the swimming world, T.J. gets 6 unique guys to go out for the team. T.J. is by far the best swimmer. The team gets a practice facility and an interim coach, Icko who lives at the workout place, until the teacher Simet can get permission. Practices are hard, but usefull as the team improves greatly. The team does horrible in the season, except for T.J. who wins the 50 meter and the 100 meter at regoinals. The team keeps on getting questions on weather swimming is a sport which might deny their privilege to a Cutter jacket. The book ends with many controversial decisions made by both sides. I believe the author, Chris Crutcher wrote about the book to teach the world about racism. He wants to show how it is tearing the modern world apart. Whale Talk is a wonderful book for teens and adults. Children should not be allowed to read the book because of some profane language and sexual harasment. They also will not get the idea about racism and prejudice. Teens, on the other hand, will understand the book and it will teach them about modern conflicts. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful for teens and adults.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Got a whale of a tale to tell you friends...
    A good book rises above its own premise. Reading a short synopsis of this story without knowing anything about it beyond its plot could easily suggest to the average viewer that it's going to be awful. Think about it. A multi-racial protagonist and his motley crew of rag tag misfits puts together an unlikely swim team and everybody learns a little bit about what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. Bleaugh! That's the kind of After School Special plotting that can get a book seriously ignored by its intended audience. Now I had never read a Chris Crutcher book coming into this. Frankly, I know the man has a reputation for producing darned good books. Then I read "Whale Talk" and found, to my incredible relief, that this was not really a book about a swim team. It's about the circle of abuse and the amount of control an individual has over his or her own actions. It's about hurting other people and what the cost of that can be. In short, the book takes amazingly gigantic themes, renders them bite size, and gives them humanity and humor. It's the humor part that really impressed me.

    T.J. Jones (actual name The Tao Jones... pronounce it, I dare you) is probably one of three people of color in his small Washington town. Adopted by his parents when he was a seriously abused toddler, T.J.'s a pretty well put together kid. That's probably in no small part due to his amazing mom and dad and his fantastic (some might say godlike) child therapist, Georgia. Which isn't to say that T.J.'s life is bereft of odd problems. His favorite teacher, Simet, is trying to lure T.J. into helping him start a school swim team. There are a couple problems with this plan. For one thing, T.J. refuses to join any organized sports. Cutter High School is run by and for its jocks. These jocks have been trying for years (unsuccessfully) to get T.J. onto one of their teams. Also, the school has no swimming pool. So T.J. isn't exactly thrilled about the idea of getting roped into this situation until he sees some of the local heavies beating up a mentally handicapped kid because he refuses to stop wearing his dead jock brother's letter jacket. Suddenly our hero has a mission, and the mission is clear. To create a swim team comprised of the kind of guys who otherwise could never be able to get involved in an organized sport. Even better, he's going to get each and every one of them a letter jacket.

    This is just the barest of outlines describing this book. T.J. has a lot going on in his life and this includes his father's guilt about accidentally killing a toddler some thirty years before, a girl who tries continually to wash her skin clean of pigment, her psychotic father who is both a wife abuser and T.J.'s enemy, and a team that becomes closer as their problems become clearer. This is truly a book written about a man for men. Which isn't to say that girls won't love this tale, or that it's bereft of strong female characters. In fact, Crutcher is especially good at balancing women who've been abused in the past with their far stronger counterparts. No, when I say that this is a boy book, I'm referring to the fact that the central focus of this story rests squarely on the male swimming team. Sure, T.J. has a girlfriend but her presence in this story is probably just to prove to the viewer that he's a well adjusted guy with a well adjusted gal. Honestly, his relationship is not the focus of this tale. And that's kinda refreshing.

    I think what I liked best about this book was that it recognized that behind every crazed idiot, there's a reason they act the way they do. Crutcher isn't the best young adult writer that knows about abuse (that honor belongs squarely to Alex Flinn) but he comes close. A person could learn more from reading this book about the cyclical nature of violence than they would from almost any other source. I'm praising the book beautifully, but it's not without the occasional flaw. Consider, for example, the character of Tay-Roy. This is a bodybuilder that joins the team and has, basically, no real personality. As far as I could determine, everything Tay-Roy does could have been accomplished by T.J. They're similar in every respect, except that Tay-Roy's slightly better looking. It's odd that Crutcher would have kept himself from omitting extraneous characters like this one, but as flaws go, this one's pretty minimal. The worst I can say is that it slightly derails the flow of the text. Big whoop.

    What Crutcher has as a writer that puts him heads and tails above and beyond his peers (some, at any rate) is his sense of humor. You cannot dislike a book where the main character is named The Tao Jones. You just can't. I mentioned that I think that Alex Flinn is the all-powerful guru of abused teens, but what Crutcher doesn't have in superior knowledge he makes up for in funnies. I'm sick and tired of all the deadly depressing books out there. If every writer could fill their texts with half as much pleasurable writing as Mr. C, I'd have a heckuva harder time figuring out which book to read next. In the end, "Whale Talk" accomplishes that mighty difficult task of being a good book about a near impossible subject. Abuse. Whether or not you agree that Crutcher wrote about this topic with the correct amount of respect, you have to admit he wrote about it well. I tip my hat to the man who's books I will now have to devour one by one to satiate my now uncontrollable young adult literature craving. Such is life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars english project
    Picture your high school's outcasts, the kids no one talks to and no one really knows. Now imagine if you heard that this motley crew was about to become your high school's new varsity swim team. The same kids who are picked last for every team in gym, who has never been seen near the weight room or the track, who are the last people you would imagine wearing your high school letter jackets. Despite his natural athletic ability, the main character T. J. has always shunned Cutter High School's sports teams because, as he says, "something inside me recoils at being told what to do, and that doesn't sit well with most coaches, who are paid to do exactly that." However, when a favorite teacher asks him to help start a swim team at Cutter, T. J. sees an opportunity to turn the school's narrow idea of what an athlete is, privileged, good-looking, white, and male on its head.
    Chris Crutcher is an excellent writer that keeps you reading. I could not put the book down. The reason why I liked the book so much is that it is dramatic, had a good conflict and kept me reading. Whale Talk is an awesome book that I would recommend to anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING!!!
    I recently read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. It's about a boy, T.J. Jones, who gets together a group of misfits and outcasts to join a swimming team. As usual in Chris Crutcher's books, there's another story behind the sport.
    When I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Crutcher grabs you in this story with ways that sometimes you wouldn't think possible or interesting. He puts together real problems, not just he said-she said stuff, but things much more realistic. This book is definitly worth reading!!! ... Read more

    18. The Crayon Box that Talked
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679886117
    Catlog: Book (1997-10-21)
    Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 16521
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "While walking through a toy store, the day before today, I overheard a

    crayon box with many things to say..." Once upon a time, Shane DeRolf wrote

    a poem. It was a deceptively simple poem, a charming little piece that

    celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity. The folks at the Ad

    Council heard it--and liked it so much that they made it the theme for their

    1997 National Anti-Discrimination Campaign for Children. Following on the heels

    of nearly a year's worth of televised public service announcements, Random

    House is phonored to publish the picture book, illustrated in every color in

    the crayon box by dazzling newcomer Michael Letzig and conveying the sublimely

    simple message that when we all work together, the results are much more

    interesting and colorful.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Diversity & Team Workshops
    I use this story with just about every adult and youth group I speak to. I use it to build upon our diversity and how if we all get together (as the crayons do in the book) the picture is complete.

    This is a MUST BUY if you work with any age group. The story is so simple, yet powerful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites!
    I frequently use books to teach lessons (in an indirect way) to students. My area of expertise is teaching students with disabilities.

    For the individuals that I teach, it is important to make them think about issues -- rather than "telling" them what to think.

    This books lends itself to some great discussions. Recently a friend of mine used it with members of the Student Council at our high school -- they LOVED it!!!

    A must have...(along with Giraffes Can't Dance).

    J. Michael Woods, M.Ed.
    Teacher, Exceptional Student Education
    Doctoral Student, Florida Atlantic University

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids!
    We regularly use this book for team building training for teens and adults. Before "story time" we hand out crayons to the group. The participants are asked what color they would like and then are given a different color (as an example that in life you don't get to pick your gifts and talents!). And then everyone gets to sign the book with their crayon. This book is a hit with all ages and a fun way of dealing with the serious topics of respecting differences and working as a team.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book About Cooperation
    This book is great for children at the elementary level. It teaches about cooperation and how to get along with others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Crayon Box That Talked has a lot to say!
    This is my son's favorite book. I used to read it to him (he's 4) but now he reads it to me...and I learn something new everytime he does.

    The poem is simple yet's about a box of crayons that doesn't get along until...well, read it and find out!!!

    It's a must have for all home libraries. Adults can learn a lot from this book, too. ... Read more

    19. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
    by Joyce Carol Oates
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064473473
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
    Publisher: HarperTempest
    Sales Rank: 40079
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Big Mouth

    No I did not. I did not, I did not. I did not say those things, and I did not plan those things. Won't It anyone believe me?

    Ugly Girl

    All right, Ugly Girl made a mistake. I'd told my mom what I'd heard in the cafeteria, and she'd told Dad. Evidently. I'd thought for sure they would want me to speak up for the truth.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Mouth that cried Wolf
    The Young Adult book field is not one that comes to mind when I think of the body of Joyce Carol Oates'work. Yet here it is from the prolific Oates, "Big Mouth and Ugly Girl."
    BMUG chronicles the high school and family life of Ursula Riggs(known to herself as "Ugly Girl") and Matt Donaghy (Big Mouth).
    The plot is very simple and up-to-date newspaper headline-wise as Matt is accused of plotting to blow up his high school and Ursula, though heretofore not a friend of Matt's, comes to his rescue out of a sterling sense of "what is right."
    Both Ursula and Matt suffer from what most of us suffered in high school: self-esteem problems, not feeling part of any group, hating our parents and siblings, etc.
    Oates,being the master craftswman that she is, takes this rather tepid plot and fills it with telling details of both Matt's and Ursula's life after the accusation which sets the plot in motion:"It was like Matt had been wounded somwhere on his body he couldn't see, and the wound was visible to others, raw and ugly. When they looked at him, they saw just the wound. They weren't seeing Matt Donaghy any longer."
    Under normal high school clique circumstances Matt and Ursula would have never made a connection. But through Ursula's sense of what is right and her acting upon it; and despite her parents objections, Ursula and Matt become a couple.
    The moral of the story is simple but definitely needs restating to teenagers, but not only to teenagers, especially when it is restated in the glorious, tight and controlled prose of Joyce Carol Oates.
    What Oates has done is pare down her gorgeous style to the bare minimum of words necessary to convey a mood, a thought or an emotion. What lessons and morals are to be learned can be easily picked off like so many berries off a tree. But in no way whatsoever does the storytelling seem didactic or obvious or over-simplified.
    Joyce Carol Oates has fashioned a novel for teenagers brimming over with morality and resposibilty but has done it in a way that does not talk down to her specific audience. All of we Oates fans need not be wary of this book as it is wriiten on the highest level of craftsmanship and deserves a special place in the oeuvre of one of our finest contemporary writers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bookreview Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
    The young adult novel "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl" by Joyce Carol Oates is about a popular boy named Matt and an outsider-girl named Ursula.
    Matt has got many friends, gets good marks and he often makes people laugh about his jokes. Ursula has got only some false friends in her basketball team. She is an outsider and likes to do everything alone. Because of a bad accusation Matt and Ursula find together and the plot rises... .
    Both characters are real-life characters. Ursula is a moody but self-confident girl who does not care about pretty High School stuff. Matt is known and liked by a lot of people. Matt is not the best looking guy but in spite of his brainy and comic manner he writes for the school newspapers and is the vice president of the school. To my mind Joyce Carol Oates' intention is to make the people understand and to persuade the reader not to leave your friends whatever will happend. And that you should fight against all prejudices in every case!

    My personal opinion is that the book and the contents is easy to understand. The author used a simple sentence structure and hardly colloquial language. I think the novel can be read easy alone at home for example. Another possibility is that you read the novel in groups or in classes. All in all the story is not as exciting as a oscar-nominated movie but the plot and its development is interesting and often change unexpected.
    I liked to read the book very much, you should try it, too!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good romantic tale
    First off, from the descriptions in the book, the "Ugly Girl" in this novel really doesn't sound all that ugly to me. She's tall. She's athletic. She's a tomboy. And if the girl on the cover is supposed to represent what she looks, she's actually not too bad looking.

    All in all, the Amazon review is pretty on target. Matt and Ursula are great, full blooded characters. The supporting characters are not. In a sense, the book is about these characters in a sort of vacuum. And the climax and ending of the story has some of the most purely romantic scenes of any book I've read, because it's real. Their relationship feels honest. When the sentiment comes, it's believable rather than sappy. A nice romantic tale for teens--male or female.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baskkeettball!!
    I first picked this book up because of the title. How interesting and unusual the title was. I started reading it, and got extremely bored. But, it didn't stop me. I read on to learn that Ursula (ugly girl) was a lot like me in various ways. I had a keen love for basketball, and so did she. She always tried her best in basketball, but sometimes it wasn't enough. Her parents didn't come watch her games; they didn't really care.

    The book switches sides and introduces you to Matt. Matt is a friendly guy who is the "Big Mouth" in reference to the title. Matt makes a joke that he's going to blow up the school, which is overheard, and a dispute calls out. Matt is in serious trouble, not only with his higher school authorities, but the police.

    Matt is well-liked, popular and interestingly funny. Ursula is...well ugly. Urusula stands up for Matt, which surprises him, because he hasn't ever talked to Urusula. He tries sending her e-mails, chickens out a lot, but soon befriends Urusula.

    Urusula's parents tell her to stay away from Matt. They stereotype him as a "Bad, horrible" kid, not knowing that his mis doings were unintentional. Urusula and Matt start hanging out together more and more. Matt's life is turned upside down, and Urusula helps him through the horible times.

    I believe anyone would enjoy this short story. The book is so simple, but it rewards you with so much more.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Crouching MOuth hidden Ugly
    Big Mouth, and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates is an excellent book. This book is a perfect example of not "Judging a book by its cover or title." In the beginning I had absolutely no intention of checking this book out. I mean the title to me was pretty dumb. I had my heart set on Lance Armstrong's autobiography, but it was checked out. I then went to find Silent to the Bone, but that was also checked out. At this point all the books that I really wanted to read were gone and I was getting desperate. I had no choice, but to borrow this book and see what happens. Fortunately, this book was just outstanding. The whole entire book really appeals to teenagers and the types of things they go through.
    Even so, the thing that I liked most about this book was that the author really made it appealing to teenagers. I was really able to relate to Matt and Ursula, which made the book even more fun to read. For example, I was able to relate to the pressures that their parents gave them to do certain things or how their friends left them when something bad happened. Therefore, this book is very well written and worthwhile to read. It teaches you a lot about friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing. ... Read more

    20. The Other Side
    by Jacqueline Woodson, Earl B. Lewis
    list price: $16.99
    our price: $11.55
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0399231161
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 51722
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Clover has always wondered why a fence separates the black side of town from the white side. But this summer when Annie, a white girl from the other side, begins to sit on the fence, Clover grows more curious about the reason why the fence is there and about the daring girl who sits on it, rain or shine. And one day, feeling very brave, Clover approaches Annie. After all, why should a fence stand in the way of friendship?

    Beautifully rendered in Earl B. Lewis's striking, lifelike watercolor illustrations, Jacqueline Woodson gives us a moving, lyrical narrative told in the hopeful voice of a child confused about the fence someone else has built in her yard and the racial tension that divides her world.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for the 3-5 grade classroom
    This is a touching story about how children don't see black and white, but see potential friendship and possibilities. Two little girls learn how to work around "the fence" that adults have constructed and find a friend. For teachers, this is a fabulous book for teaching questioning strategies in reading. The illustrations are wonderful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Poignant tale reflecting America's "Apartheid"
    What baby boomer cannot relate to a book that portrays the "dividing line" that separated blacks and whites in this country prior to the Civil Rights Movement!!!

    This story shows two youngsters, one black and one white, that come to bridge the gap by making a simple gesture of sitting on the fence that comes between their two homes.

    Such a simple act has great power and the book is perfect for primary and elementary learners, thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated.

    4-0 out of 5 stars On the Fence
    This picture book is an excellent book. It helps explain in simple terms what life was like during the civil war. The story involves two girls, one is white, the other is African American. They live on either side of a fence. Their mothers tell them that they can not cross the fence, the girls listen to their mothers for a while and sit on the fence but never crossing it. After a while the girls eventually cross the fence, and suprisingly no one seems to mind, so they continue their friendship.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Top Choice
    Moving, simple, perfect. It needs to be in every library, and dare I say every home. It is one of those rare read alouds that will hold children ages 5-12 spellbound. A great choice for literature circles, it's especially strong for questioning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Fence.....
    "That summer the fence that stretched through our town seemed bigger. We lived in a yellow house on one side of it. White people lived on the other. And Mama said, "Don't climb over that fence when you play." She said it wasn't safe..." Soon our narrator, Clover, sees a little white girl, Annie, hanging on the fence and staring into their yard, day after day. She was always alone. Finally, one day Clover gets close enough to the fence to talk to the little girl. They exchange names, and smiles, and pretty soon the two are sitting together on top of the fence. "My mama says I shouldn't go on the other side," I said. "My mama says the same thing. But she never said nothing about sitting on it." "Neither did mine," I said. That summer me and Annie sat on that fence and watched the whole wide world around us..." Jacqueline Woodson's eloquent and understated prose captures the feel of the old South in the 1950's, before integration, and is both poignant and uplifting. E B Lewis's elegant watercolors complement the text with expressive heartwarming and lifelike illustrations in soft summer tones. Together, word and art paint an engaging portrait of times gone by with a gentle message that won't be lost on young readers. Perfect for youngsters 7-10, or as a read aloud for younger children, The Other Side is a sensitive and evocative story, told with great insight, wisdom, and truth. "Someday somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down," Annie said. And I nodded. "Yeah," I said. "Someday." ... Read more

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