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  • Karr, Kathleen
  • Kerr, M. E.
  • Klass, David
  • Kingsolver, Barbara
  • Klause, Annette
  • Knowles, John
  • Konigsburg, E.L.
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    $8.00 $3.60
    1. A Separate Peace
    $7.19 $3.75 list($7.99)
    2. The Poisonwood Bible
    $7.19 $3.14 list($7.99)
    3. The Bean Trees
    $10.50 $3.93 list($14.00)
    4. Prodigal Summer: A Novel
    $5.39 $3.62 list($5.99)
    5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs.
    $10.50 $3.10 list($14.00)
    6. Animal Dreams
    $5.39 $1.99 list($5.99)
    7. The View from Saturday (Jean Karl
    $7.19 $2.91 list($7.99)
    8. Pigs in Heaven
    $10.46 $7.86 list($13.95)
    9. Small Wonder : Essays
    $11.86 $7.74 list($16.95)
    10. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
    $6.29 $4.49 list($6.99)
    11. You Don't Know Me
    $5.39 $1.49 list($5.99)
    12. Danger Zone (Point Signature)
    $9.75 $4.99 list($13.00)
    13. High Tide in Tucson : Essays from
    $10.40 $2.29 list($13.00)
    14. Homeland and Other Stories
    $5.39 $1.60 list($5.99)
    15. Blood and Chocolate
    $5.50 $1.72
    16. The Silver Kiss (AFI Film Readers)
    $4.99 $2.99
    17. A Proud Taste for Scarlet and
    $5.39 $3.44 list($5.99)
    18. Silent to the Bone
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    19. Gentlehands
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    20. Throwing Shadows

    1. A Separate Peace
    by John Knowles
    list price: $8.00
    our price: $8.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743253973
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 8042
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

    A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles's crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic. ... Read more

    Reviews (647)

    2-0 out of 5 stars personally I did not enjoy this book
    A Seperate Peace is supposed to be a story about friendship, betrayal, and conflict. The Story is written with a sense of irony and sadness in the tone. I personally found the book depressing and pointless. The story really shows a dark side of human nature that most people don't like to see or even acknowledge. The story is about boys in a private New England school at the time of World War 2. Gene, the protagonist seems life-like and well-defined, but in a way that makes hima whining idiot. He is impossible to sympathize with, and the only thing that keeps the other characters from being the same is that they have no sense of realism at all. Conflict develops in many different times, and different levels throughout the novel. The conflicts are mostly well-defined, but since the story has no plot, it is hard to see their connection or point. I found the authors tone harsh and cold. The author probably could have defined the other characters better. The book also presents many conflicting views that are darn near impossible to figure out and relate to the story. If you do read this book (and for most students it is mandatory), I certainly hope that you enjoy it and get a lot out of it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The loss of innocense - the dawn of war
    John Knowles captures the loss of innocense in his "A Separate Peace." Set on the eve of a larger conflict overseas in World War II, the book is a stream of consciousness writing, as the narrator reflects after the war the incidents at Devon that were a sort of rites of passage for him into adulthood.

    But 'A Separate Peace' also reveals the deep twists of an unusual friendship between a scholar and an athlete. Their bond and the betrayal that follows. It is a moving drama on a human scale, the climax and conclusion being most unexpected, but reminicent of the tragedy of war, not the resoluution of Peace.

    For looking at the youth that will fight the war, rather than the war itself, the author details the peace found between friends that will have to recreated on the battlefield. An agonizing book, it will live in your heart long after you have read the last page.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a separate peace
    This book is a good book. in the beggining it starts slow but then it picks up the pace, it starts getting personal with the characters, and all the action happens after the introduction of the characters, when Finny and Gene become real good friends.
    i like this book, and i think you will enjoy it too. and also watch the movie, but they act kind of gay but they are not, so dont take it the wrong way.
    1love

    1-0 out of 5 stars This book is not good
    It is BOORING and i will not recomend it to anyone. The vocabulary is very difficult too!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars even lisa simpson thinks this book is lame
    i don't understand why they still make high school kids read this. ... Read more


    2. The Poisonwood Bible
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060512822
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
    Publisher: HarperTorch
    Sales Rank: 3156
    Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In 1959, Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist, takes his four young daughters, his wife, and his mission to the Belgian Congo -- a place, he is sure, where he can save needy souls. But the seeds they plant bloom in tragic ways within this complex culture. Set against one of the most dramatic political events of the twentieth century -- the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences -- here is New York Times-bestselling author Barbara Kingslover's beautiful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable epic that chronicles the disintegration of family and a nation.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1208)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Stunning, wild, hungry... Kingsolver is a wonder
    The author of the magnificent books, 'The Bean Trees', and 'Pigs in Heaven', leaves her protagonists Turtle and her mother in the Southwest and puts us in Africa, the Congo, Kilanga, in 1959. This stunning book is the tale of the family (of girls) of a Baptist preacher who moves them to a Congolese village to convert the heathens. The story is told through the voices of the girls: Rachel, Leah, Ruth May, Adah, Rebecca, and their mother, Orleanna Price. Their father's ignorance and somewhat violent tendencies, the sheer poverty and simpleness of the village, and the vast differences in their lives for these girls from Georgia are expressed by all of them. Their personalities, their strengths, their needs and their confusion are evident by their every word and their complex thoughts. Kingsolver, who is a brilliant writer anyway, brings a fascinating perspective to her imaginary family in the Poisonwood Bible - as she, the daughter of public health care workers who spent time in the Congo when she was very young, "waited thirty years for the wisdom and maturity to write this book." A powerful story, an excellent read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Would Definitly Recomend
    The Poisonwood Bible set in the Belgian Congo during the 1960's, releases the story of a missionary family and their journey to Africa. The Poisonwood Bible is a historical based novel, where much happens politically in just a small amount of time. Within five hundred pages of mostly fiction plot isn't the main focus of the novel. The story is made of mostly thoughts and reflection, and some of this could have been replaced with more action and adventure for some extra balance to the overall tale.
    Kingsolver seems to make a huge effort to drive this book by its characters. The characters seem so real, because the reader can see inside the protagonist's heads. Kingsolver allows five women, four being only children for a majority of the book, to release such strong views, beliefs and emotions. Within the family of characters, each person was given such a different personality; this was key to get the broadest sense of the story possible.
    The language is consistent through out the entire novel. I wouldn't say it was an easy book to read, but I wasn't sitting next to a dictionary looking up three words per page. The content of the book is what was more difficult to undertake. Depending on what stage of life the reader is in could change the book entirely. Kingsolver makes it easy for the reader to relate to book by incorporating 'every human' thoughts into the characters thoughts.
    The beautiful and unique style of The Poisonwood Bible is what kept me turning the pages in a smooth rhythm for so long. The images and writing techniques used in Kingsolver writing of this book, is what made it seem so real. After finishing this book it was hard to believe it was a work of fiction. Detailed descriptions and portrayal of the big picture are two aspects of writing Kingsolver managed to use and put together to keep the equilibrium of the book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Meh...
    Maybe it's because I'm a Senior in high school who was forced to read this over the summer, but I really despise this book. I give it 2 stars because it is obviously well-written, but it is just one big incessant ramble. I thought it would never end; thank God I was wrong. The book is a composition of "journal entries," although the characters never really wrote in journals. One of the characters is a little girl who writes her chapters at the college level. The main flaw with this book is that the characters are completely unlikeable. One daughter is a vain superficial jerk (and I liked her the best out of all of them, which is not saying much), the other is a pretentious snob, the other is mentally handicapped and annoyingly writes a lot of things backwards, and the 4th daughter is a little girl who seems to have terrible luck. The mother is submissive to the father and shrouds herself in self-pity, and the father is a preacher who does nothing BUT preach.

    I understand why women would like this book (...), but if you are a red-blooded male who enjoys car chases, explosions, and the occassional romantic comedy (who didn't love You've Got Mail!), do not subject yourself to the torture of reading this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a truly profound and abstruse novel
    i first read this book when i was twelve and got little meaning or understanding out of it. now five years later i re-read it for my junior research paper. the level of understanding and knowledge that Barbara Kingsolver potrays in her novel is simply amazing. i found myself to have a greater understanding and a much greater knowlege of the trials and tribulations that a white American family would have during the 1960's in Central Africa during their time of Independance. Through the Price family's gained understanding of the African culture, we as Americans can truly see and appreciate our American lifestyle. I believe that it is important for people to read this book because of the recondite worldview that Kingsolver's novel allows us to have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
    This book was such a well written story, I made my husband read it after I finished. It is still up there on my list of favorites. Afterwards I sought other books by Barbara Kingslover and picked up The Prodigal Summer which took me a while to get into and was written differently, but also became a favorite. Kingsolver has a way of making me want to go to the places that she writes about so I can see it for myself. I feel what she writes very strongly. ... Read more


    3. The Bean Trees
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0061097314
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: HarperTorch
    Sales Rank: 4593
    Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.

    Available for the first time in mass-market, this edition of Barbara Kingsolver's bestselling novel, The Bean Trees, will be in stores everywhere in September. With two different but equally handsome covers, this book is a fine addition to your Kingsolver library. ... Read more

    Reviews (319)

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book has brilliant political and family views.
    For the english portion of my communications class in high school, we were told to write a book review of The Bean Trees. A novel written by Barbara Kingslover. During this book review I will be discussing the plot, theme, character analysis, and author's style. The story tells about a young girl named Taylor Greer. She takes a '55 volkswagon bug and sees where it will take her. On the way to her unknown destination, she recieves a baby by a mysterious woman. She takes the baby with out really knowing what she is doing. She ends up moving to Tucson. She winds up living in a house with another woman whose husband has just left her and she had a baby of her own, Dwayne Ray. Taylor ends up working in Jesus is Lord Tires with Mattie as her bus. Mattie has a sanctuary above her buisness. Esperanza and Estevan are two people running from their government of Guatamala. Later in the story Tayloe decides to take Esperanza and Estevan to a safe place and on the way she decides she is going to try to find Turtle's aunt so she can give Turtle to her legally. She doesn't fine them so Esperanza and Estevan act like her parents and let Taylor adapt her from them. At the end of the story Taylor and Lou Ann figure out that they are a family. The author use many themes in her story and one major theme is family. Everything that happens in this story had something to do with family. Taylor and Lou Ann become a family through out the story and figure it out that they are at the end. Lou Ann describes family as knowing everything about each other good and bad sides. The politcal theme is very strong also. It also plays an important role in the story by using the immigrants form Guatamala. The main characters in the story are Lou Ann, Taylor, Turtle, Mattie, Esperanza, and Estevan. Lou Ann started out with a low self esteem to being confident and sticking up for herself. Taylor was strong willed and confiednt from the begining and became more sensitive through the story. Mattie likes to help people through hard times. Turtle was extremly quiet but then became rather talkative through the story. Esperanza was extremly emotional and quiet. Estevan was brilliant and strong. The author's style was brillant and well put together. She used a lot of figuaritive language. She knew when and where to put in the politcal points and she explained everything in detail. She used a strong theme and stuck to that one through out the book. I thought that this book was pretty good and overall I gave it four stars. This story took people from entirely different worlds and meshed them together. They discover each other and help them discover themselves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Bean Trees is an excellent book in my opinion.
    The Bean Trees is an excellent book in my opinion. I read it for my 10th grade English class and really enjoyed it. It's about a young woman who leaves her Kentucky home to escape becoming pregnant at an early age and to see what else is out there. When she gets to Oklahoma, a woman puts a baby in her car and says take her. Taylor, the young woman, now had the burden of this young child. The rest of the the book deals with her learning to become a mother, fitting in, and realizing the hard decisions you have to make as an adult. There are many themes in The Bean Trees. One of the main ones, in my opinion, is family. Throughout the story, Taylor has to learn how to be part of a family. Her father had left her and her mother when she was young so she doesn't know what a complete family feels like. When she reaches Arizona, her final destination, she meets Lou Ann. She becomes her new roomate.Lu Ann also has a child named Dwayne Ray. She and her husband, Angel, have gotten a divorce and he had left them so Lou Ann is also searching for a "family." So, this novel also deals with Taylor, Turtle (her baby), Lou Ann and Dwayne Ray learning how to become a family. Taylor, who's original name was Missy, is a very independent, outspoken person. She's never needed help from anyone before so when she gets Turtle, she has to learn how to get help from other people and become more interdependent rather than independent. Turtle is a small child about the age of three. When Taylor first got her she thought she was two but later in the book she finds out otherwise. Turtle is indian and was abused sexually by her aunt's boyfriend. You find out more about that in the book. She is a very quiet person and clings. She got the name Turtle because she would grab on to something and not let go. Just like a mud turtle. She learns how to open up throughout the story. Lou Ann was a very insecure person. She had an extremely low self-esteem and didn't try to do anything with herself. Taylor helps her to open up and not be so critical. She also has another trait. She is terrified that any little thing could kill Dwayne Ray or Turtle. Eventually she becomes less paranoid and relaxes a little. Barbara Kingsolver has a unique style that adds interest to the book. She uses a lot of similies to help us better understand what she's talking about. For example, "Edna was so sweet we just hoped she would cancel out Virgie's sour, like the honey and vinegar in my famous Chinese recipe." Kingsolver also uses symbolism. One of her most common is birds. She uses other symbols but these appear the most. Again, for example, when Taylor takes Turtle to the doctor to get checked out for her abuse earlier in life, she looks out the window while the doctor is telling her all the horrible things that had happened and she sees a mother bird making a nest within a cactus. The bird doesn't seem to realize it's danger as it zooms past the spines, it is only concerned with making a safe haven for it's family. So as you can see, The Bean Trees is a very inspirational novel and it's fascinating how Kingsolver ties everything in at the end. I recommend it for all and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Bean Trees: Metaphors and Similies
    The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is a book rich in metaphors and similes. It is a story about a young girl who escapes her small town, where most young people drop out of school, and the girls get pregnant. For Missy, these are not options. She buys herself a car and heads out for maturing experiences. Her first decision is that since she is starting a new life, she needs a new name, so she calls herself "Taylor." As she is driving, she tells herself she will stop and live in the city in which her car breaks down. This doesn't happen because along the way, she picks up a passenger, a little Native American baby. Now she has herself and the baby to worry about. She stops in Arizona and loves it. So, she decides to stay. It is in this town, she discovers friendship, love, responsibility, maturity, and the true meaning of family.

    The physical descriptions in the book, while at times, may seem over done, are truely what make the book a vivid, potent journey. Before Taylors journey begins, she is working in a hospital and one of the girls she went to school with, but got pregnant and married, is brought into the hospital covered in blood, and Missy says she was, "...like a butcher holding down a calf on its way to becoming a cut of meat" (10). She also witnesses a tire blowing up and says, "... Newt Hardbine's daddy flying up into the air, in slow motion, like a fish flinging sideways out of the water. And Newt laid out like a hooked bass" (15). Then when she gets to Arizona, she see rocks that were "...stacked on top of one another like piles of copulating potato bugs" (47). These are just a few of the similies that enrich the story. She also uses metaphors in abundance to create a picture.

    She compares driving in traffic during a hail storm as ...moving about the speed of a government check" (49). Kingsolver uses metaphors to compare some of the characters' lives. Taylor says "...but I had to give her credit, considering that life had delivered Sandi a truckload of manure with no return address" (89). In comparing a park she loves to visit, Taylor says, "Constellations of gum-wrapper foil twinkled around the trash barrels" (148). The best description comes in the combination of metaphor and simile in the description of the night-blooming cereus: "The petals stood out in starry rays, and in the center of each flower there was a complicated contruction of silvery threads shaped like a pair of cupped hands catching moonlight. A fairy boat, ready to be launched into the darkness" (249). The pictures are that vivid.

    If you need a book that is rich in description using similies and metaphors, read The Bean Trees.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not too good.
    This book was not to interesting for me because of the plot.It started out interesting when they found Turtle but after that it got boring. Nothing else interesting happend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
    I was assigned to read this book for my 11th grade English class. I loved it so much that when it took the class two months to completely read it, I took it home and finished it in a couple of days.

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a very descriptive book about love, motherhood, and just starting over. Definately a must-read! ... Read more


    4. Prodigal Summer: A Novel
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060959037
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 3259
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Barbara Kingsolver's fifth novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel's intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (374)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Recommended, With Caveats
    First off, let me preface this by saying that I am not a particular rabid fan of Barbara Kingsolver. I have read a couple of her books, and had mixed feelings about them. I enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible and recommended it to several friends. I found Pigs in Heaven to be unbearably preachy and didactic, attempting to take on extremely complicated issues via some almost obstinately flat characters. This book was recommended to me by several people, including my own mother, whose literary taste i usually share--i recommend it, but with caveats.

    It takes place in Zebulon County (particularly in the forestland up on Zebulon Mountain and the townships and farms beneath in Zebulon Valley). I'm still not quite sure if Kingsolver pins down exactly where in "Southern Appalachia" it's supposed to be set, but based on the geographical references--one character is from the "big city" of Lexington, KY, and another refers to the close proximity of Knoxville and Johnson City, TN--I assume its the mountains along the eastern KY/TN border.

    It follows three basic storylines.

    The first is that of Deanna Wolfe, a forest ranger living in solitude on Zebulon Mountain, observing the wildlife, keeping the hiking and hunting trails clear, occasionally confronting hunters off-season. She comes across a wanderer named Eddie Bondo, whom she determines is hunting a coyote family she's been studying; of course, she's been all dried up alone and unlaid on a mountaintop so long she can't decide whether to hate him or screw him, or both. I liked her development as a character over the course but found her "relationship" with Mr. Bondo (who seemed to be pretty flat, to me) to be dubious at best.

    The second is that of Lusa Landowski, an entomologist (bug scientist) from Lexington of mixed-culture parentage (Polish Jewish father and Palestinian mother) who moved to Zebulon Valley when she marries local farmer Cole Widener. At the start of the book she finds herself widowed, trying to eke out a living on the Widener family farm, and faced with an array of awkwardness and outright hostility from her husband's family.

    The third involves a sort of minor feud between elderly farmers whose property lines abut, an eccentric organic orchard tender named Nannie Rawley and a pesticide-loving former 4H teacher and chestnut crossbreeder, Garnett Walker.

    By the end of the book, Kingsolver has drawn you some beautiful pictures of the land, what makes it wonderful and what makes it sad. She's portrayed the quirks of these people, transcribed the lilt and meter of mountain speech, aptly set down succinct plain-folks colloquialisms, and she's shown you how the three seemingly entirely different stories are in fact interwoven threads of lives that cross and recross one another in the weave of the Zebulon Valley tapestry. For this, i loved this book.

    I wasn't so keen, however, on how strictly drawn the "rights" and "wrongs" were. There is a very strong ecological agenda in this book (and, let me say that i myself am "in Kingsolver's camp" about it; i do agree with her position on revitalizing mountain ecology), and Kingsolver pretty much cracks the reader in the jaw with her position. The insufferable, closed-minded, and/or pompous characters make the ecologically "transgressive" choices, and they have to be patiently taught right-thinking by the independent, free-thinking, hippie-treehugging characters. Now, again, I'm somewhat of a hippie treehugger myself, and the characters aren't entirely black and white, two dimensional cartoons--I just felt that perhaps the conflicts on an ecological level could have had a bit more depth. I found myself wanting to know more about *why* the characters who were portrayed as doing "the wrong thing" had chosen to do so, since they didn't seem stupid and in need of hand-holding to me, and i wanted more of a justification on their behalves than just "they're obstinate, uneducated, and/or misled." It's unfortunate, because had she successfully woven this ecological thread into the book, i'd have called it perfect.

    I did think the book benefitted from Kingsolver's background as a biologist; details about the behavioral patterns of the wildlife and plant life, coyote family structure, insect control via predation, extinction of breeds like the American chestnut and the ways in which people live in harmony or conflict with the land definitely broadened the scope of the novel and made it more interesting. Read this book for these things--the word-drawn postcards from the mountains, the nuances of interrelationships among mountain families and "outsiders", sounds and smells and troubles and lives. It is worth it, IMO, despite the ham-handed, preachy treatment of ecology.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not Poisonwood, but still well worth a read
    I am not giving this book 5 stars for several reasons, even though I thoroughly enjoyed it and was disappointed to have it end (not to mention a big fan). First, it became very predictable about midway through. Second, it sits on the border of preachiness. This is my biggest complaint of Kingsolver's works (with the exception of Poisonwood). The Bean Trees remains my least favorite of her novels for this reason. However, it doesn't diminish what Kingsolver has done here.

    The character Deanna bears a striking (and disappointing) similarity to the heroin of "The Loop"; woman alone in the woods after a relationship breakup obsessed with wild canines and pursued by a younger man. However, Kingsolver takes the same ecological themes of that book a level deeper and does it with her unmatched lyrical prose. While "The Loop" focused mainly on mammals, Prodigal Summer explores plants (I learned a great deal about the American Chestnut), insects (likewise about moths), as well as mammals. It brought to my mind the similarities between humans and coyotes. We are both omnivores and opportunists, move into any available crack or crevice, and are difficult to get rid of.

    And then there is steam! Can you say hot? Can we really expect everything she writes post-Poisonwood to be as intense? Relax and enjoy this book for what it is - a delightful frolic rich in loosely woven characters and Kingsolverisms. If you haven't read any of her books, start now!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best I've read in a while
    This book has 3 great stories that are intertwined so creatively. I really enjoyed this book, and have not read one this good in a long time. Barbara Kingsolver definately weaves her ecological opinions into her stories, but I believe they fit right along with the stories. This book was so good, it actually made me want to move to West Virginia and live on a farm! And I am a total city girl!

    I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wise and Beautiful
    What an enriching book this is, informed by a compassion for all that lives. Her writing is poetic and nuanced, like the subtle connections that give meaning to all life on planet Earth. Her book pulses with this cohesive life-force. Unlike other reviewers here, I was not bothered by any obtrusive ecologocial preaching. The interconnectedness of all creation is the foundation for the story, speaking in as compelling a voice as Carson or Thoreau. Each of the three storylines achieves a momentum not unlike the growth of any living being. As we are all challenged to do in life, each character achieves increasing comfort with his/her frailties and learns to reach out and love -- and be available to be loved -- more easily. I am grateful that Kingsolver writes. I look forward to reading another of her creations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Follows the poetry of the previous.
    I've read most of Kingsolver's books, and I do really, really enjoy them. I absolutely disagree with one of the reviews here that there are no other contemporary writers like her. Have you read Amy Tan? Joan Leslie Woodruff? Louis Erdrich? Well, if you haven't, you should. These are four contemporary women who write very similarly, but their stories are a world, and cultures, apart. Bravo for Prodigal Summer, it adds to the list of great women in modern fiction. ... Read more


    5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    by E.L. Konigsburg
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689711816
    Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
    Publisher: Aladdin
    Sales Rank: 1090
    Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away...so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped -- right into a mystery that made headlines! ... Read more

    Reviews (223)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An educational yet exciting book for readers of all ages.
    Claudia and Jaime are two very intelligent characters that enlighten the reader as to the workings of a child's mind. Claudia, as the main character, always thinks of interesting ways for her and Jaime to live inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a fantasy of everyone to be locked in a museum or store after all of the other people are gone. This book is a way for the reader to experience that feeling without the fear of being arrested! I believe that anyone who reads this story will become inspired by the Kincaids and find themselves wanting to learn more. The children have so much fun without hurting others or making fun of others as happens in some children's novels. Claudia is a definite role model for young girls and keeps the book interesting despite the academic undertones of Claudia and Jaime's reasons for visiting Mrs. Frankweiler. PARENTS-read this to your children to get them excited about reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is definately not 'mixed up'
    I first heard about this book on a computer reading game, but I could only read bits and parts of it and when our computer crashed I completely forgot about it.
    Then one day I was at the library and I saw this book for sale, but I wasn't sure if it was any good or not. I didn't want to waste my money, so I borrowed it instead. Now I wish I had bought it. This book is fantastic!

    It's about a girl named Claudia who is fed up with her boring life, so she decided to run away with her bother Jamie to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York City. There she falls in love with an angel statue that is rumored to have been made by Michelangelo, but no one knows for sure. Claudia takes it upon herself to find out who made it before she goes home. Her quest takes her to the home of the strange Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, where the statues true maker is revealed.

    At first I had been hesitant to read this book because I thought it would have magic or some other stuff and nonsense in it, but I was pleasantly surprised. This story is about Claudia and Jamie's search for the statues maker, and it is also pretty realistic. It's interesting to see how they improvise to make life livable in the great Museum.

    I think this book is tops, and it is definitely a must-read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A timeless entertaining adventure
    I read this book almost 30 years ago and loved it, I've bought copies for my friend's children and it's always a hit. Great book for kids who can identify with Claudia, who are intelligent, love art, feel a little misunderstood and crave adventure. Big kids like this book as well!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent
    I first read this book in fifth grade. The entire Literature class was assigned to it, so we read it bit by bit during the day, and I couldn't stand waiting to know what would happen next. After three days of the teacher reading the book to us, I ran to the library and bought it for myself.

    The characters and their adventures are simply delightful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful treat for wild imaginations
    Claudia feels underappreciated in her suburban household - a thing all children have most likely felt during at least one time or another. Here, Konigsburgs writes of these feelings with brutal honesty and frankness. Because Claudia is not an only child, it almost seems as if to her, and to readers, that there isn't enough love and attention to go around. Unjustly so, the poor girl frequently gets caught up in chore after chore while her siblings are off the hook.

    So she will run away and teach them all a lesson in "Claudia appreciation." The Metropolitan Musuem of Art will become her grandiose and excitingly fantastic home away from home, so to speak. And younger brother Jamie will accompany her, mainly because he has saved every single penny since birth and will have money, just what Claudia needs. Yet to say she's using her younger bro merely for financial purposes would be unjust. I believe Claudia truly wants and needs the companionship.

    The highlight of their one-week vacation is a mysterious and ethereal statue of an angel, titled as such. It is oh-so mysterious because everyone is unsure of the statue's creator. Some believe it to be the renown Michelangelo - but it has yet to be confirmed and 12 year-old Claudia is incessantly in awe of thee angel's beauty. She knows she cannot go home until she uncovers the secret of the statue and that will mean having to get in contact with a total stranger, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who is the statue's previous owner. And if she refuses to help Claudia solve the mystery on her mind, she and Jamie may never get home.

    FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, first published in 1967, has been capturing the attention of children everywhere. Konigsburg has skillfully woven a loveable masterpiece that seems magical, almost too wonderful to be realistic. Yet it is. Claudia feels what so many of society's children today feel. And like many children, she keeps her feelings to herself and deals with pent up frustrations the only way she knows how, hence her escape to The Metropolitan.

    I first read this novel when I was 9. I found myself relating to feeling less love from seemingly uncaring parents, due to having a sister who had no responsibilities and extra TLC because of her young age. I found myself envious of Claudia's grand escape to the musuem and I contemplated a night away from home spent at The Philadelphia Musuem of Art. That, of course, never happened. In retrospect, I realize how wild of an imagination I had. My mind was constantly roaming. Children today are just as creative - or they can be - which is why they'll much enjoy this book. Despite now being seven years older, I still frequently pick it up off my bookshelf, worn and dog-eared, to read it again and again. ... Read more


    6. Animal Dreams
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060921145
    Catlog: Book (1991-08-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 8272
    Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Animals dream about the things they do in the day time just like people do. If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life." So says Loyd Peregrina, a handsome Apache trainman and latter-day philosopher. But when Codi Noline returns to her hometown, Loyd's advice is painfully out of her reach. Dreamless and at the end of her rope, Codi comes back to Grace, Arizona to confront her past and face her ailing, distant father. What the finds is a town threatened by a silent environmental catastrophe, some startling clues to her own identity, and a man whose view of the world could change the course of her life. Blending flashbacks, dreams, and Native American legends, Animal Dreams is a suspenseful love story and a moving exploration of life's largest commitments. With this work, the acclaimed author of The Bean Trees and Homeland and Other Stories sustains her familiar voice while giving readers her most remarkable book yet.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (127)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A State of Grace
    I was so mesmerized by the characters and setting woven together so beautifully by Barbara Kingsolver that I finished this 342 page book in less than one day. The setting is Arizona in the town of Grace, which is an apt name for the Native American inhabitants who seem so at ease with their heritage and surroundings.

    Codi Noline is a drifting 30-year old who decides to return to her home town of Grace to teach at the local high school for one year after abandoning her goal of becoming a doctor just short of completing her residency. Her soul-mate younger sister has gone to Nicaragua to help teach soil and crop management techniques. Codi misses her terribly, and they have a spirited and interesting correspondence.

    Codi is also somewhat estranged from her father, Doc Homer, who is the town's only physician and now suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She revives her friendship with an old high-school flame, Loyd Peregrina, who is an Apache railroad man, and one of the most sincere and philosophical characters in the book.

    She only plans to stay in Grace for one year and then move on, which is her way of avoiding planning for the future or making permanent attachments to people. The flashbacks, dreams, stories and legends of Animal Dreams explore Codi's relationships with herself, her father, her sister and the people of Grace in an endearing and memorable way.

    The finely crafted prose paints a vivid picture of this beautiful country and the serene, peaceful people of Grace. Codi's journey of self-discovery is woven into a suspenseful love story which will leave you feeling in a state of Grace.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still one of my favorite books....
    I stumbled upon this book in 1991 when the cover art caught my eye. I had finished it by the afternoon, and by the evening, I was back at it with a pencil. The magical way that Kingsolver weaves language had me marking passages in the text and furiously copying quotes into the margins of my dayplanner. I was a college sophomore at the time, and Codi's sometimes brilliant, often hapless search to find her place in the world was familiar and affirming. I quickly bought Animal Dreams for six or seven women friends and family and each of them, whether they read it that day, or years later, raced to their phones or desks when they finished to thank me for selecting a novel that spoke so personally to them. Twenty-something women seem to especially identify with Codi's journey. While her story, and those of Loyd, Hallie, Doc Homer and the others will stay with you, the novel's impact really comes from it's powerful prose. You'll reread the same passages over and over, savoring the remarkable way Kingsolver constructs the simplest sentance. This book still feels like my personal anthem to that time in my life; thanks to Barbara Kingsolver for giving me such enjoyment and insight. If you like this book, be sure to get a copy of High Tide in Tucson, her essay collection. Don't let the "essay" part deter you. I have copied and circulated the title piece to women friends and family ages 16 to 89 and always it always elicits the same marvelled response. It's breathtaking.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kingsolver at her best!
    There are many kinds of love. Codi Noline, who can barely remember her girlhood in tiny Grace, Arizona, allows herself to feel one kind only. She and younger sister Hallie have been inseparable since their mother's death, three decades ago when Hallie was a newborn baby and Codi a three-year-old. But now agricultural specialist Hallie decides to drive herself to Nicaragua, to help the people there with their crops - just as Grace's only physician, "Doc Homer" Noline, reaches a stage of Alzheimer's at which it's obvious someone must go home and keep an eye on him.

    So Codi, who finished medical school but discovered during residency that she wasn't cut out to follow in her father's footsteps, leaves her job clerking in a 7-11 and her liaison with a man about whom she has no strong feelings to hold her. She takes a one-year job teaching science at the local high school, and re-connects with her girlhood best friend (who rents Codi a small house next to her own family). Codi never felt at home in Grace before, and she feels totally alien to it now. But staying aloof, maintaining the emotional distance on which she depends for her sense of safety, doesn't work in this place where people she fails to remember insist on recognizing and acknowledging her. Memories she can barely touch pique her curiosity, and so does the slow death of Grace's great treasure, its magnificent orchards. Slowly, the woman who needs no one and doesn't want that to change finds herself connecting with those around her anyway.

    Family. Community. The environment. The author's usual themes are all here, along with - to my surprise - one of the most touching yet realistic romantic love stories I've ever read. "Animal Dreams" is Kingsolver at her best!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
    Haunting, engaging, and magical, Animal Dreams explores many of the issues of life: love, familial relations, life ambition, memory, and life, human and animal. I had a difficult time finding part of Codi's character believable, but was very impressed with Hallie's character. This was my first introduction to Kingsolver and it made me eager to read more!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader
    Simply put, "Animal Dreams" is one of the most poignant, piercingly beautiful stories I've ever read. Magnificent writing. This is not just a "novel." It is literature.

    Synopses or overviews tend to give away too much of the story. Briefly, a young woman's journey into her past brings her to the present, with an eye to a hopeful future. The setting of a small southwestern town is depicted so vividly and alluringly, it will make you wish you could find it and move there. Barbara Kingsolver uses virtually every ingredient that transforms a story into a great book. A beautiful balance of joy, anger, love, despair, and hope. ... Read more


    7. The View from Saturday (Jean Karl Books (Paperback))
    by E. L. Konigsburg
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689817215
    Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
    Publisher: Aladdin
    Sales Rank: 10184
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description


    Meet the Souls

    Noah, who quite by accident was best man at the wedding of Ethan's grandmother and Nadia's grandfather

    Nadia, a hybrid with a halo of red hair, a dog that's a genius, and a fondness for baby turtles

    Ethan, the silent second son of one of Epiphany's oldest families, who discovers he likes halos

    Julian, the strangest person on the school bus, who starts everything by inviting the others to a tea party

    How did Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching ten years after being paralyzed in an automobile accident, choose these four to be her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? And how did this unlikely foursome become even unlikelier champions, in far more than just the state middle school competition? The View From Saturday is a rich and rewarding journey that answers these questions and raises many more. ... Read more

    Reviews (217)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
    :

    E.L. Konigsburg has come up with a great book again! The View From Saturday is a great book for middle-schoolers. Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division published it in 1996. A View From Saturday is a great book because it teaches and is great to read. Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian are four sixth-graders each with a different story that changed their lives. Noah ends up being best man at Ethan's grandmother's and Nadia's grandfather's wedding. Nadia has the greatest time of her life saving turtles from strong winds and high waves. Ethan is on the bus and realizes that he must help Julian, a new kid, fit in at school. Julian is tortured by school bullies and realizes that something is in him and the other three. This is a great book. The point of view changes from one student to the other as they tell their stories. By simply reading the chapter titles you can see whose point of view it is. If there's no chapter title, then the point of view does not change. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read books that make sense in the end.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
    Noah, Nadia, Ethan and Julian started out as sixth grade classmates, but evolved into The Souls. Each Year,Mrs. Olinsky, the sixth grade teacher chooses as four person academic bowl team. This team competes in the grade and if they win they go on to compete in other competitions. Together this team accomplished wonderful things, such as winning the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade competitions. Nobody knew why they were chosen, and Mrs. Olinsky, the teacher, doesnt exactly know why she chose them either. So, fate brought them together to create a wonderful friendship that will last a lifetime and this shows through an extraordinary story of sucess of a team, calss, school and friends. In my opinion Noah is the most interesting character in this story. He likes to write in calligraphy, and enjoys spending time with relatives. At times he also complains about his family. Noah tells the long story of how he was the best man at the wedding of his grandparents' friends. I enjoyed reading about each of the diverse characters. The View from Saturday can appeal to a wide spread of people because of the interesting plot and way it is written. Many people have loved reading this book as you can see because it has won many awards, and I think E.L. Knonigsburg is a fantastidc author.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Teaspoons and afternoons
    As you may know, the Newbery Award is the highest honor a children's book can garner in the United States. Newbery winners are a touch and go lot, and a lot of kids avoid them like the plague. I've always been particularly interested in those award winning books that appeal to kids just as much as they appeal to the adults that shower them with praise, moolah, and awards. For instance, many adults felt that the book "A Single Shard" was well written, while a host of kids looked on it as dulldy dull dull. Both children and adults have agreed that "Holes" and "The Tale of Despereaux" are great books that are fun to read. Then you come to "The View From Saturday". Honestly, I thought this was a fabulous book. It was the rare children's novella that took the great risk of offering wisdom to its readers. It dares to make you think about life, the world, and how one interacts with other people. I can tell you a million reasons to love it, but I honestly haven't a clue if kids would enjoy it. Therein lies the mystery.

    "The View From Saturday" follows the lives of four sixth grade quiz bowl champs and their paraplegic coach/teacher. Alternating their final quiz bowl championship match with short stories about the different journeys each kid has had to make, the book is adept at distinguishing between each individual in the group. We begin by listening to a story told by Noah. Noah reminded me of nothing so much as the spaz boy in the spelling bee documentary "Spellbound". A bit of a nerd, but pleased with his own inventive thoughts and ideas, Noah becomes the best man at a geriatric wedding. Then we hear Nadia's story about staying with her divorced father and newly remarried grandfather (hence the Noah connection) in Florida. This flows nicely into Ethan's story. His grandmother married Nadia's grandfather, and he overcomes his reluctance to interact easily with others with the help of his new friend Julian. Julian is the least troubled of the bunch, a boy of Indian heritage who is coming to America after living on a cruise ship. Together, the four band together into a group called The Souls. They are selected by Mrs. Olinski (though for a long time she doesn't know why) as her newest Quiz Bowl team and work effortlessly together in a group as friends and teammates.

    A synopsis of this tale really doesn't do it justice. Konigsburg is an adept writer and she knows exactly how to balance a story with both emotion and humor. I was particularly taken with Nadia's tale about living in Florida. Somehow, the author was able to conjure up feelings of being ignored and abandoned perfectly. As Nadia feels an (in my opinion) entirely justified sense of self-pity, we as readers understand what she's going through perfectly. Little triumphs are measured with small defeats. One of the things this book dares to say, and says so well, is how awfully mean people can be. That's a pretty loaded idea. Books today enjoy showing a mean person and then revealing the back story to their crimes. Here, we understand that sometimes a person's just mean to be mean, and it makes them unsuitable as friends as a result.

    Then there's Konigsburg's usual jabs at adults in positions of authority. In this particular case she's aimed her sights at people who naturally expect themselves to be smarter than children, yet constantly make mistakes regarding multiculturalism, grammar, pronunciation, etc. And she doesn't drill this idea home by ever putting the adults in situations where they spar with the kids. Instead, they tend to spar with Mrs. Olinski, assuming that because she is a) Just a teacher and b) Confined to a wheelchair she must therefore be less worthy of intelligent human discourse. The result is usually both funny and profound.

    Funny and profound is a good way to describe this entire offering, actually. It has its oddities, that's for sure. You have kids in this book saying sentences like, "Oh, that is too bad. Dad is picking me up before supper, and he will be disappointed if I do not eat with him". Not a contraction in sight. Do sixth graders actually act like the ones in this book? Probably not. Will you be amused by them anyway? Probably so. Will actual living breathing sixth graders be amused, intrigued, and challenged by this book? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe yes, maybe no. Whether or not they will, the book is fabulous, fun, and wise beyond its years. It's like a little dose of Zen religion without hokey mysticism or flowery prose. This book respects you, it respects your opinions, and it respects your sense of self-worth. If you have any desire to read something that accomplishes all this and more, pick it up for a glance.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Quotables
    E.L. Konigsburg uses descriptive nouns and vivid modifiers to paint a vivid picture of the characters in your head in The View from Saturday. First you get to know the charcter. She does this by painting the vivid picture and you feel like you know the character personally. You also feel like you are a "Soul." She does this by making you feel like you are there during their conversations, and there while they win the Champion Bowl. Also seeing the vivid picture makes you feel like you are watching them. You feel you are watching them because you really can picture the conflicts between the Noah and Nadia . So in conclusion, this book really shows that character desciption delivers an emotional message. You should definitly read this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars unique and intriguing
    First off, the book is about four SIXTH graders. I note this because some of the reviews on Amazon erroneously say the characters are in seventh grade. Anyway, these four sixth graders go onto defeat the seventh, then eighth graders in their schools, and eventually take the regional trivia bowl championship.

    The four children "can spell and define puberty but have not yet gone through it." Given this, I can accept the tea parties and some of the other pastimes they engage in in "The View." Also, they are NOT presented as perfect without any character flaws or problems. The "Souls' as they call themselves are exceptionally intelligent and compassionate, but they - at least for Ethan and Nadia - do not make the "right" decisions instantly. Nadia, for example, wavers between helping some stranded baby turtles, or holding on to her grudge against her grandfather and father.

    This book also has some wonderful imagery. For example, ELK compares painting Nadia without her freckles to brushing the cinnamon off cinnamon toast.

    In summary, I would highly recommend this book. ... Read more


    8. Pigs in Heaven
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 006109868X
    Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 12732
    Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, leading to a man's dramatic rescue. But Turtle's moment of celebrity draws her into a crisis of historical proportions that will envelop not only her and her mother, Taylor, but everyone else who touched their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past. With this wise, compelling novel, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, and Animal Dreams vividly renders a world of heartbreak and redeeming love as she defines and defies the boundaries of family, and illuminates the many separate truths aboutthe ties that bind us and tear us apart.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (155)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Story of Turtle
    PIGS IN HEAVEN by Barbara Kingsolver

    PIGS IN HEAVEN is the sequel to Barbara Kingsolver's book THE BEAN TREES. The novel continues the story of the Cherokee child named "Turtle" and her adoptive mother Taylor Greer. In this sequel, we find Turtle and Taylor living together in Tucson along with Taylor's boyfriend, a life that is not quite what would be called the most perfect of environments. They live in poverty, barely making ends meet. Although Taylor does her best, her income is limited, but she gives Turtle a lot of love, and along with her boyfriend, Turtle has a new family. Turtle seems happy, and after years of being mute due to a history of abuse, she's learned to talk, and all seems to be going well.

    Unfortunately, Cherokee attorney Annawake Fourkiller accidentally discovers the existence of 6-year-old Turtle, and learns that Taylor had illegally adopted Turtle outside the Cherokee nation. Annawake is ready to rectify this problem. As far as she's concerned, Turtle needs to be raised by the Cherokee. Taylor, however, does not see this, and does what she can to protect her child.

    Turtle and Taylor are now on the run, fleeing from their home in Tucson and leaving the boyfriend behind. They live from motel room to motel room, eating what they can afford. It gets to a point where Taylor does not know what to do next, in fear that she and Turtle will be discovered and eventually Turtle will be taken away from her. Yet, she wonders if what she is doing to Turtle is the right thing to do. When Alice Greer, Taylor's mother, gets involved, the story takes a surprising turn, and soon Turtle's biological family gets involved as well. I was glued to the book, wanting to know whether Taylor gets to keep Turtle, or is told to hand over the child to the Cherokee Nation.

    Many important issues are brought up in PIGS IN HEAVEN. Should a child of American Indian heritage be allowed to live away from his or her tribe? Should the child be allowed to be raised among the white people, never knowing his true heritage? Turtle was completely happy with Taylor, and she did not know any other mother or life. The issue of whether it was a moral crime to separate the two is a big theme, with a fitting conclusion at the end of the story.

    I really enjoyed this book, having already read THE BEAN TREES, which I loved as much as this one. Both stories center on the welfare of Turtle, an endearing little Indian girl that will capture your heart. However, after reading PIGS IN HEAVEN, I doubted that what Taylor did was right. It actually gave me a different perspective on the first book.

    The two books should be read in sequence, but reading one or the other will not detract in the enjoyment of either. I highly recommend both books. For those that have read Kingsolver's POISONWOOD BIBLE or PRODIGAL SUMMER, neither book is comparable to these two. The four seem to be written by different authors, simply because the style and tone of these books are very different. I give PIGS IN HEAVEN 4 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pigs in Heaven
    Throughout her book, Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver was successful in amazing me with her ability to teach me while keeping my attention. The book is a historical fiction that focuses on the Cherokee Indians. Kingsolver impressed me with the amount of research that must have been poured into writing Pigs in Heaven. I learned about the culture of the Cherokee Indians through the eyes of tribe members and outsiders to the tribe. As the plot deepened, I learned about Cherokee adoption laws. Once, while I was reading, I felt as though I were a character in the book listening as a Cherokee friend told me stories about the troubles of her people. I learned about The Trail of Tears and The Railroad; horrific numbers of Cherokee Indians died during both. For those of us who do not usually stay awake long enough to study history, Pigs in Heaven gets us involved in the lives of characters that educate us while entertaining us with humor. I recommend this book for anyone over the age of seventeen. Read it and find out the significance of the title "Pigs in Heaven."

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite Kingsolver book
    Not my favorite Kingsolver book, but it's a nice story about a white woman's adoption of an Indian child. The purpose seemed to be to explain the Indian Child Welfare Act, but I found much of it hard to understand.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eloquent sequel to The Bean Trees
    Turtle, adopted Cherokee daughter of Taylor Greer, is the metaphorical baby in the King Solomon dilemma, a child wanted by two divisive forces. Kingsolver manages to show compassion and understanding for both sides of the issue: Indian lawyer Annawake Fourkiller, who insists that the child be returned to the Cherokee Nation on one side, pitted against Taylor, who has rescued the child from an abusive situation and wants to integrate her society at large, wrapped securely within her mother-love.

    Beautiful prose and superior descriptive abilities heighten one's appreciation of this superbly crafted story.

    2-0 out of 5 stars It Could have Been Better-I'm Not Sure about Kingsolver!
    After reading this sequel to The Bean Trees, I found it a bit better, but still, it bored me. I just don't think I care for Kingsolver's style of writing.

    Taylor's daughter Turtle was adopted illegally and the adversary, a female attorney Annawake, wants to contest the adoption, and put Turtle back with her indian blood kin where she feels she belongs.

    The whole story focuses on this issue, and I just found it monotonous to say the least. There are other more worthwhile books to read for sure!! ... Read more


    9. Small Wonder : Essays
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060504080
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 3751
    Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us, out of one of history's darker moments, an extended love song to the world we still have.

    Whether she is contemplating the Grand Canyon, her vegetable garden, motherhood, genetic engineering, or the future of a nation founded on the best of all human impulses, these essays are grounded in the author's belief that our largest problems have grown from the earth's remotest corners as well as our own backyards, and that answers may lie in both those places.

    Sometimes grave, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately persuasive, Small Wonder is a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (67)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat lackluster for such a brilliant author
    I was eager to read _Small Wonder_ after immensely enjoying Kingsolver's previous book of essays, _High Tide in Tucson_, as well as just about everything else she's written. I was disappointed to find it much less engaging. Kingsolver generally uses a very deft approach to moral ambiguities, presenting the reader with the issues and then for the most part leaving us to draw our own conclusions. In this book, however, I felt I was being beaten over the head with her ideology. Never mind that I agree with her on most points; I still didn't appreciate having her opinions stuffed down my throat. It may be that our country's current dismal outlook on the political and environmental scenes are causing her to become more angry and shrill. If so, this seems like a better way to turn readers off than on. If she weren't one of my favorite writers, I would probably have given this 2 stars rather than 3.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Sanity
    Since the Twin Towers crumbled, very few have had the courage to stand up in the face of the Jingoistic, shallow patriotism and say, there is something terribly wrong here! Ms. Kingsolver, writing beautifully as always, manages to make hard fisted moral statements sound like poetry, but nonetheless she says some things that need to be said, and, most of all, need to be heard.Whether it is debunking the nonsense that it is wrong for other countries to attack the US, but fair and just for the US to attack them back, or telling the truth out loud about the US involvement in setting up the Taliban's power in the first place, she tells it truly from her heart, and she tells it right and well. She addresses many topics in this wonderful book of essays, from the death penalty to poetry, to dreadful television, and she manages each time to stand outside of the mainstream point of view and look objectively, and from that stance, to point out the absurdity, and to point out a saner direction. Ms. Kingsolver says peace not war, love not hate, sharing not profit, and these ideas are not new, just stated newly and beautifully at a time when they need so desparately to be heard.
    This was a wonderful book and I wish everyone would read it and let it in.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Not-So-Tasty Organic Stew
    Barbara Kingsolver is an excellent writer and I have no trouble with anyone espousing her political views. It is her right as it is anyone else's. I admire her courage of conviction and many of the practices in her life. That said, however, I did find it a little hard to swallow the not-so-subtle lectures from an environmentalist who writes books that kill trees, lives in Tucson (aren't the organic gardens she writes of so glowingly all irrigated? How is that such a resource savings?), maintains two homes, jets around the world, and lives the way she chooses, not the way she has to. But then, I have always been a big fan of ironies.

    Another irony that struck me was the unpleasant whiff of commercialism in packaging a collection of essays that seemed to capitalize on the events of 9-11 from someone who writes so eloquently about the soul-destroying aspects of rampant commercialism. While her writing is always a pleasure, her views seemed a tad simplistic at times. The 9-11 attacks were caused by global warming and multinational corporations -- nothing about US policies in the Middle East, religious fanaticism, and bad foreign policy in general. Homelessness can be solved by seeing that everyone has a home. (Having worked with several homeless people, I can testify that the solutions are just a tad more complicated than that.)

    I was genuinely confused by her views on trade. If I buy food even from other parts of the United States is that a Bad Thing or a Good Thing? She points out that much of our food travels a long way to get to us -- conveniently ignoring the fact that people have sought goods from other lands for millenia -- but justifies her coffee because it is shade grown; I guess that cancels out the distance it is transported and the middlemen who also profit. And she rightly criticizes the big corporations who profit by using others and destroying land, but has nothing to say about the poor people in other lands who are using their little bit of commerce to feed their families.

    She describes an encounter with several teachers who were nervous and afraid to come to work the day after the Columbine shootings. She is able to calm these silly gooses by pointing out that they are no more likely to die than any other day. But she herself is upset at 9-11, even though she doesn't live anywhere near the attacks, lost no one, and has no television. It just seems as though her feelings are genuine but others are shallow.

    A final, personal quibble: I'd love to read something from a Southerner who doesn't have to point out that They Have Standards. I suppose that her comment about not being able to have company without doing some tidying because she is a Southerner was meant to be a little self-deprecatory humor, but the implication from her and others who keep doing this is that Other Folks are comfortable just sitting around in their underwear and throwing more trash onto the carpet. Believe it or not, other folks tidy up and invite people to dinner, can you imagine?

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Not-So-Tasty Organic Stew
    I have no problem with Barbara Kingsolver stating her political views, although I was surprised to discover that this is basically what these essays are. I admire the courage of her convictions and am happy to learn ways in which I might think of slower, kinder, more gentle times.

    That said, however, some of this was kind of hard to swallow from a woman who maintains two homes, jets all over the world, and gardens because she chooses to, not because she has to. I have a major philosophical disconnect with an environmentalist who writes books that kill trees and who lives in Tucson, where surely they must have to irrigate to do all this local gardening, but I am a big fan of ironies. I also have a hard time accepting a series of essays that seems to capitalize on the events on 9-11 in a personal way. In one of her essays, Kingsolver describes how she calmed a number of teachers who, silly geese, were nervous at coming to work the day after the Columbine shootings. She points out how they are no more likely to die than any other day and they are comforted. Isn't it special that she was there to do that? Yet she writes several times about how *deeply* the events of 9-11 affected her, even though she doesn't live anywhere near the affected areas, lost no one, and has no television. Why are her feelings so profound while others are so shallow? A lot of her essays seem to focus on ways in which she shuts herself off from negative feelings and images (I happen to agree with her about television, and about a number of other issues), but then she chooses to inject herself into 9-11 and become one of us, so to speak. There's a nasty whiff of commercialism about this book, again ironic in a collection that speaks so eloquently about the soul-destroying aspects of rampant consumerism.

    I also found myself genuinely confused about her food and trade issues. If I buy food from other parts of the world, is that a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? If I support the multinational corporations, it's a Bad Thing, but may I still have my oatmeal from Ireland and my olive oil from Italy? Is that trade in a humane way, or just another American buying things she doesn't need? I really don't know. She points out that a lot of food travels great distances to reach us, but people have always sought goods and food from other lands. In a non-hostile manner, it strikes me as one of the ways we learn to respect each other's differences, but Kingsolver really doesn't delve into this. She does speak out against the overbearing tendencies of the big corporations, and I agree with her, but she never gets into the cottage industries in Third World countries that may be selling goods to support their families.

    Speaking of big corporations -- and I am in a spoiler mood today -- the main reason the United States was attacked, according to her, was global warming. If she mentions global warming once, she does it a dozen times. Well, global warming *is* a serious problem, but maybe our policies in the Middle East, religious fanaticism, and bad foreign policy in general just might have had a little to do with it, but what do I know?

    And a final, personal quibble: is it not possible for a Southern woman to refrain from interjecting comments about doing things certain ways because she's a Southerner? She mentions that she's from the South and therefore is just not capable of greeting visitors without doing a little tidying. I suppose that's meant to be a little self-deprecating humor, but really, it's hostile and rude. The clear implication is that *other* folks just lie there in their underwear flinging trash onto the rug. Surprise, Barbara: people who are not special enough to be Southerners actually pick up their living rooms and invite people to dinner. This is not some special Southern thing, even if that's what you were taught.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It was Good and it was Bad...
    I read an interesting essay in this book about a wild Bear that had nursed a child in a remote cave in a mountainous area in Iran.

    I find it unfortunate that Ms. Kingsolver (and also the Editors), do not understand that the language of Iran is not "Arabic"... It was humorous that Ms. Kingsolver says that inspite of her efforts, she was not able to determine the fate of the bear because she "can't read arabic".

    Furthermore there is no such thing as "Lorena" province in Iran -- likely it is "Lorestan" that is being referred to here (again, indicative of poor editing) - There have been many derivative articles that have now propagated the errors in this essay.

    While I agree with the spirit of her essay , I find it unfortunate that seemingly educated people use their ignorance to spread falsehoods and streotypes such as suggesting that the Lori's might have ultimately killed the bear. In any case, I read an article on this incident, written by The Herald, which indicated that the bear was left alone and not "killed" by the Lori's, for taking a human child as its own. The Lori's are a nature-loving people that have co-existed with their natural surroundings for centuries.

    In any case the official language of Iran is Persian (Parsi), which is of Indo-Iranian roots, unlike arabic which is Semetic. I thought this was fairly well known. I would appreciate it if this essay and its author and editors are corrected. ... Read more


    10. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
    by E.L. Konigsburg
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.86
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689866364
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
    Publisher: Atheneum
    Sales Rank: 2715
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Twelve year old Margaret Rose Kane is incorrigible. Not only does she refuse to bend to the will of her manipulative cabin mates at Camp Talequa, she stands up to and inadvertently insults the camp director and Queen-in-residence, Mrs. Kaplan. The intimidating and cruel confrontations that threaten to break Margaret's spririt only serve to strengthen her resolve, and everyone is happy when Margaret is finally banished/rescued from Camp Talequa. Luckily for her, with her parents in Peru, this means she can spend the rest of the summer with her delightfully eccentric Hungarian great-uncles, Alexander and Morris Rose. Margaret adores her great-uncles, and loves the house at 19 Schuyler Place--especially the three peculiar clock towers (tall painted structures covered in pendants made from broken china, crystal, bottles, jars, and clock parts) that the Rose brothers have been building for as long as she can remember. For Margaret and the Rose brothers, the towers represent beauty for beauty's sake--they sparkle in the sun and sing in the wind--they exist only to spread joy. Not everyone loves the towers however, and forty-five years after the birth of the project, the city council declares the towers "unsafe," and demands that they be dismantled and destroyed. Filled with the same fiery resolve that helped her survive Camp Talequa, Margaret (with the help of a handyman named Jake, a loyal dog named Tartufo, and few other unexpected allies) launches a plan to save the towers in the name of art, history, and beauty.

    A companion novel to the award-winning author's acclaimed Silent to the Bone, Outcasts is strikingly unique, incredibly interesting, and, with references to"Bartleby the Scrivener", and the rose windows of Notre Dame, exceptionally literary. In other words, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place is vintage Konigsburg. This quirky masterpiece will be enjoyed by young fans of Konigsburg’s other erudite works, and Polly Horvath’s The Canning Season.. (Ages 10 and older) ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
    The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konisburg
    The story is told from the point of view of twelve year old Margaret Rose. She is an unlikely heroine for preserving a "piece of history" in the form of Two Towers that her Uncles have been working on for the past 45 years. The two uncles that Margaret stays with every summer are delightfully eccentric characters that every reader will enjoy. In attempting to preserving not only her family history but that of the of the cityscape as well, Margaret takes on city hall as well as challenging what defines art. It is the story of not only of Margaret's ingenuity, but that of the cyclical nature of urban landscape as small towns undergo development changes with, suburbs and malls and their effects on neighborhoods and individuality of the people who live in them. The ultimate gentrification of the old neighborhood where her uncles have lived for a number of years that threatens the very identity of the neighborhood and the things which it seeks to preserve are at the heart of this book. This book is at once thought provoking and humorous and is sure to delight readers ages 12 & up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
    The story is told from the point of view of twelve year old Margaret Rose. she is an unlikely heroine for preserving a "piece of history" in the form of the Two Towers that her uncles have been working on for the past 45 years. The two uncles that Margaret stays with every summer are delightfully ecentric chatacters that every reader will enjoy. In attempting to preserve not only her family history but that of the cityscape as well, Margaret takes on city hall as well as challenging what defines art. It is the story of not only Margaret's ingenuity, but that of the cyclical nature of urban landscape as small towns undergo developmental changes such as suburbs and malls, and there effects on neighborhoods and the individuality of the people who live in them. The ultimate gentrification of the old neighborhood where her uncles have lived for a number of years that threatens the very identity of the neighborhood and the things which it seeks to preserve are at the heart of this book. This book is at once both thought provoking and humorous and is sure to delight readers ages 12 & up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
    The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler PLace is one book that everyone should read! It is a very good page-turner for any girl 10-99.

    The Outcasts of Schuyler Place is abouta girl named Margaret Kane who, after an unsatisfying time at Camp Telequa, goes to spend her summer with her two uncles at 19 Schuyler Place. Her uncles have been building 3 very unique towers for over 45 years and Margaret loves them. When Margaret finds out they are to be demolished she acts to save the towers. Can she go against the Homeowners Association and save the towers or not? Read to find out!

    The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place is a very good book with a satisfying ending that I enjoyed reading very much!

    4-0 out of 5 stars The dynamics and consequences of civil disobedience.
    THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE is the follow-up to SILENT TO THE BONE by two-time Newbery Medal-winning author E.L. Konigsburg. Margaret Rose Kane tells the story of the summer when she was twelve, the same year that Sally Ride became the first American woman in space and Cabbage Patch dolls were popular toys.

    Margaret is sent to summer camp while her parents travel in Peru. Shunned by the other campers, she decides to stop participating in camp activities. When asked why she won't participate, she quotes Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, "I prefer not to." It is her uncles who must come to her rescue while her parents are away.

    Margaret expects to have an idyllic summer with her uncles. She looks forward to helping them with the three scrap metal towers they have spent the past 45 years building in their backyard. It is only by chance that she discovers what her parents and her uncles have been hiding from her: the towers are scheduled for demolition.

    Gathering a disparate group of adults who have an interest in the towers, Margaret organizes a campaign to save the towers and learns about the history of the neighborhood her uncles have inhabited throughout the years. While the outcome is not exactly what readers might expect, Konigsburg explores the dynamics and consequences of civil disobedience, and what happens when a girl decides to start participating in life again.

    A summer crush and a well-planned revenge are the book's major highlights. THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE may not have the same whimsy as THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER or the spirited competition of THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY, but it does share a theme common in all of Konigsburg's books: the self-reliance and resilience of young people facing the difficult task of becoming adults.

    --- Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood

    4-0 out of 5 stars Multiple Shades of Passionate Rose
    E.L. Koningsburg has written another beautiful book. Margaret Rose Kane is truly, as her despicable yet pitiable camp directer states, "incorrigable". In one never-to-be forgotten summer, Margaret Rose grows up. She learns, among other things, something about the changing nature of art and life and people themselves. While this is told in Ms. Koningsburg's trademark lovely prose, full of flashbacks and dialogue, I was a little disappointed in both the unsatisfactory ending and the overall story- which, though a great read, was not as pungent as Koningsburg's Newbery books ("The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" and "The View from Saturday"). My verdict: good, but not Great. ... Read more


    11. You Don't Know Me
    by David Klass
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064473783
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
    Publisher: HarperTempest
    Sales Rank: 16106
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    You think you know John? Well, let's see . . . What bathroom fixture did his father have in mind at his birth? Does algebra have a use, besides torture? Who is Glory Halle-lujah? Who is Violent Hayes? What do they want? Who or what are the Lashasa Palulu? Why do fools fall in love? How can anyone who is fighting a secret battle for his life know anyone? And how can they know him?

    ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars just...briliant!
    I seemed to have seen this book everywhere. Every time i went into a bookshop or the libury i saw it and although the cover was eyecatching i read the back and thought it looked quite boring. Then one day i thought "what the hell, i'll give it a try" i am sooo glad i did. This book is amazing.

    It's about a 14 year old called John who has all a teenager's normal stuggles wile fighting his own battle with his abusive step father.

    It's told in a unquie style and in 2nd person and it works beautifully. it seems a little muggled, especially at first but trust me and stick with it, after the first few pages your be hooked.

    John has a very critical out look on life and is convinced things aren't what they seem (after all Glory Hallujah could be a goat, just in a disguse as a girl) which probably comes from his own home life being nothing like it seems.

    It has serious issues and is at times, very sad and slightly graphic (although i've read a lot worst) but is extremly funny too. (Gloria eating his note! hee hee)

    Seriously, i think this book is brilliant i really do, and i dont normally give ANYTHING 5 stars!

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Don't Know Me
    I have recently read this book, "You Don't Know Me", and found that it was a very good book. It is a book about child abuse, but it is written in a way that is funny. It is about a boy named John and it tells about a few years of hi steenage life. A lot happens in this 260 page book, like when he asks the girl of his dreams out on a date. My favorite part is when Gloria's dad is mad at him and he has to escape from their house. What he finds in this book is that looks may be decieving, and life isn't going to be as easy . It is a very well written book, and I recommend it to anyone 7th grade and above.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unique Style
    David Klass does it right with this novel for Young Adults. His main character is unique and sometimes hard to follow, but it is hard to keep from liking John. John's voice makes this a great novel.

    John looks at the world around him and believes everything is make believe except for his life of hell that exists at home. John has friends, but he is essentially alone in the world and no one seems to notice or care.

    The novel starts out with John saying "You don't know me." By the end of the novel, we all know John really well, and whether a person would want to hang out with John or not, it is impossible not to like John.

    Nice job, David Klass.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Dont Know Me by David Klass
    You Dont Know Me by David Klass is a great book. It is very well written and it explains everything a teenager goes through, love,hate,passion,angry and more. In the beginning of the story he talks about his mother and her boyfriend, how he hates him. He describes how nobody knows him. The book has a very tricky stlye. He spaces out in math class, he falls in love, he has friends like normal teenagers but there is just something extra special about him. I would reccomend this book to anyone. A Great Summer Read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow...
    I have read many books. I love books, and I have to say that this is one of the best that I have ever read! David Krall amazes me with his wonderful writing talent. I love how John creates a bullfrog character for his tuba. This book is inspiring, and I would recomend that everyone reads this. ... Read more


    12. Danger Zone (Point Signature)
    by David Klass
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0590485911
    Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 50911
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (41)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Captivating and Interesting Novel
    This novel by David Klass tells the story of sixteen year old Jimmy Doyle and his journey from a small town in Minnesota to an American Dream Team basketball competition in Italy. At first, Jimmy doesn't want to leave his girlfriend Janey and his widowed mother and two younger sisters when basketball scouts recruit him. At his mother's urging, he flies to Los Angles for the team's training. He discovers that all the other members of the team are black and are some of the most well-known high school basketball players in America. The white boy from Minnesota doesn't quit fit in, but begins to learn about the lives of his black teammates. He develops an especially difficult relationship with Augustus, a tough dude from inner city Los Angeles.

    When the Dream Team arrives in Italy, it faces neo-Nazi racism against the predominantly black players. Death threats provide a suspenseful plot as the American team accumulates victories on the court. The climax of the book teaches Jimmy that racism can hurt anyone.

    I recommend this fast-paced book to any sports minded teenager who wants to see how people from different backgrounds can become friends and brothers under the skin. The conversation between the teenagers is realistic. Their lives are complicated. Jimmy takes risks in this book and learns that
    having guts in dangerous zones can bring not just glory but also a deeper understanding of life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Mix of Basketball and Adventure
    Danger Zone is a very good book. I really enjoyed it because it was about basketball and adventure. The Basketball part was easy for me to understand because I have played basketball in the past and I could relate to it, and the adventure part of the book kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. This book was also enjoyable for me because it was full of controversy and that made it very interesting for me to read. The controversy was of race, but David Klass did a great job of integrating basketball into the arguments also.

    The main argument in the story is between Jimmy and Augustus. Both Jimmy and Augustus are on the USA's 17 and under American all star team. Augustus is mad at Jimmy because Jimmy took Augustus' cousin's place on the team and he thinks this is because Jimmy is white and his cousin is black. This fuels many arguments and ends up in an eventual temporary kidnap. The problem is still not solved in the last scene, but everyone seems to be happy and both Jimmy and Augustus are competitive but nice at the same time, which leads to a bumpy, but good ending.

    All in all Danger Zone was a very intriguing that kept me wanting to read more and think about the book even when I wasn't reading it. This book is great for sports fans, thriller fans, or anyone else who likes to read. I would recommend it to anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Small town Hero, Big Lessons learned
    This book is about a small town hero named Jimmy Doyle, when the time is right, can do amazing things with a basketball. This is why he is selected to play for an American High School Dream Team. He will get the chance to travel around Europe. There is just one problem. In the town that he grew up in, there wasn't a lot of racial balance. He had only see a few African Americans in his lifetime, so coming to Los Angeles was a big step for him. He had to deal with his teammates who were predominately black. He has to deal with prejudices people thinking he is only there because he is white. He has some rough times with an LA native standout Augustus LeMay. Through out the book I think it is very interesting and wise that Jimmy tries to learn from Augustus. I think if more people try what Jimmy did, we wouldn't have half the problems we have in society today. Jimmy also get his first confrontation with racism when they travel to Germany and encounter some Skin Heads. This is probably a very tough experience for Jimmy because he has never been in this situation. I think people can learn a lot about this book, it teaches very good lessons. You learn some about the lifestyles people have growing up in large cities. Overall I believe this is probably one of the best books that I have read. I have now read it multiple times and recommend it to all of my friends.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Racism
    A Reviewby Ian

    Jimmy Doyle is a high school basketball player from Minnesota that is chosen to play on an All-American team that will travel to Italy to play in a tournament. Jimmy is soon to find out that not all of Jimmy's teammates want him on the team, mainly because he is white. Jimmy must endure racism and death threats from people around the world. Jimmy and his teammates must overcome racism to achieve their goals.

    I like how this book keeps you on the edge of your seat. You always want to know what happens next in the story, and how Jimmy handles certain situations. I also admire the main character in the story, Jimmy. Not only is he a good basketball player, but he does a good job handling all of the racism and death threats he receives. Another thing I like about this book is how the team must overcome hostility from an entire country to achieve their goals and win. The team does a good job of sticking together to overcome many things, and not letting racism get the best of them.

    I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who enjoys basketball, and suspense. I always wanted to know what was going to happen to Jimmy next. I think it is a really good book and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Livin' on the Edge
    A Review by Stefan

    Jimmy Doyle, a seventeen year old from Minnesota, is a supremely skilled basketball player. When two scouts from Los Angeles, California come to talk to Jimmy Doyle about playing in an All National seventeen and under team, he accepts but only after being talked into it by his mother and his girlfriend. The team he plays for actually then goes to play in Europe where all the seventeen and under teams play for the world championship. Along the way, Jimmy makes some good friends, a few enemies while dealing with fear, doubt and concentration.

    One thing that I love about Danger Zone is that David Klass portrays Jimmy in his home town of Granham, Minnesota as being the hometown basketball "hero". "Doyle, Doyle, Doyle went the sound of the bleachers as we walked onto the court for the second half". The second thing I like about Danger Zone is the realness it gives me from the coaches despite it being a fictional story. "'Okay, all you get your butts over here,' he shouted. 'Anybody who wises off will be running wind sprints till their legs fall off.'" The third thing I absolutely love about Danger Zone is the way Los Angeles is portrayed with such realism and nothing is held back. (With gangs and violence and such) "'You got the PG-13's, the 18th Street East, West, North and South. They don't like blacks too much. We get out of this car and inside five minutes we got guns to our heads.'"

    To every basketball player or fan who has every wondered what its like to be one of the greats in the world at a sport like basketball, this is our book. If you're a kid or an adult who love books about basketball and the realism that lies within basketball, then this book is for you. This is an extremely interesting and intense book and it will keep you on the edge of your seat one hundred and ten percent of the time! ... Read more


    13. High Tide in Tucson : Essays from Now or Never
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060927569
    Catlog: Book (1996-10-09)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 26920
    Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "There is no one quite like Barbara Kingsolver in contemporary literature," raves the Washington Post Book World, and it is right. She has been nominated three times for the ABBY award, and her critically acclaimed writings consistently enjoy spectacular commercial success as they entertain and touch her legions of loyal fans.

    In High Tide in Tucson, she returns to her familiar themes of family, community, the common good and the natural world. The title essay considers Buster, a hermit crab that accidentally stows away on Kingsolver's return trip from the Bahamas to her desert home, and turns out to have manic-depressive tendencies. Buster is running around for all he's worth -- one can only presume it's high tide in Tucson. Kingsolver brings a moral vision and refreshing sense of humor to subjects ranging from modern motherhood to the history of private property to the suspended citizenship of human beings in the Animal Kingdom.

    Beautifully packaged, with original illustrations by well-known illustrator Paul Mirocha, these wise lessons on the urgent business of being alive make it a perfect gift for Kingsolver's many fans. ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book of hope, of finding adventures. High Tide!!!
    This book of essays reads like a novel. From the very first story about a hermit crab who finds himself in the desert of Tuscon, which is an allogory for those of us who find ourselves displaced at times, to the hopeful last essay in which the author writes about her new life, this is an inspiring book to read. It becomes one of those books that you give to friends because you know it will touch them in some way. Barbara Kingsolver is an exceptional writer with insight into our hearts and minds

    4-0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a Reluctant Rock Goddess
    This is my first look at Barbara Kingsolver. I am not much of a fiction reader, but when I saw that she had written two volumes of essays and she is a member of the Rock-Bottom Remainders, I had to take a chance. After reading the first of the two volumes, I am a fan.

    High Tide in Tucson is a better than some collections because Kingsolver has rewritten many of the pieces. Some of the essays were originally magazine articles, so she was able to rewrite them without the length and editorial restrictions imposed by the original publication. And she arranged them so that they flow, if not exactly like a story, at least so that the sequence makes sense, rather than just a random selection. She warns us ahead of time that these need to be read in order -- no dipping into them here and there.

    Kingsolver writes here about the desert, her year in the Canary Islands, a visit to Benin, being a parent, love and divorce and new love, and writing. She also covers war, wildlife, and how she came to be the keyboardist for a bad rock group. Even though these essays are more than nine years old, they don't seem dated at all. Even the piece on protesting the first Persian Gulf War is pertinent.

    I especially enjoyed Kingsolver's writing on writing. She loves being a writer and everything about it. Except for book tours. Her piece on a long and dreadful book tour is one of my favorites, and the funniest. Her decision to pack light and take only a minimal wardrobe gets her into trouble several times.

    Although I still don't plan on reading her fiction, I am looking forward to the second volume of Barbara Kingsolver essays, Small Wonder.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Second reading, even better than the first
    The essays in this book speak to the troubles of today's world because they are timeless. I feel like standing on the roof top and offering Barbara Kingsolver's wisdom and love of life and all it encompasses to all who pass by. The essays are a wake up call without being strident while at the same time a salve to my soul and a voice of reason. Let alone the fact that Kingsolver is a fabulous writer.

    Somehow for me, it is the time to immerse myself in Kingsolver's words and ideas. I also re-read "Small Wonder" and I'm now savoring "Animal Dreams". I can only suggest that other readers might enjoy her books for the first time or second or third.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is what good writing is all about
    If my fellow writers, who struggle with the modern essay format, want to read an example of good writing, this would be a great place to start. Barbara Kingsolver, already famous for Beantrees, Pigs in Heaven, etc., lets loose with this collection of 25 essays on issues as diverse as hermit crabs, political activism, and vegetarianism. Her exquisite and thoughtful language persists throughout as, trained as a naturalist, she links minutae in the natural world with the more close-to-home issues of parenting, family, honesty, and her political views. Some of her best writing can be found in this collection.
    Top rating.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Ho hum!
    I'm glad I didn't waste any money on this dreary litany of what an eternal adolescent doesn't like about the world. However, I do concede that some people who grew up after 1970 would think these ideas original. There are better (and more honest) memoirs of warriors who fight to make the world better without descending into self-pity. As for "style"--where is a good editor when you really need one? ... Read more


    14. Homeland and Other Stories
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $10.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060917016
    Catlog: Book (1990-05-23)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 40666
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    With the same wit and sensitivity that have come to characterize her highly praised and beloved novels Animal Dreams and The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver gives us a rich and emotionally resonant collection of twelve stories. Spreading her memorable characters over landscapes ranging from northern-California to the hills of eastern Kentucky and the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Kingsolver tells stories of hope, momentary joy, and powerful endurance. In every setting, Kingsolver's distinctive voice -- at times comic, but often heartrending -- rings true as she explores the twin themes of family ties and the life choices one must ultimately make alone. Homeland and Other Stories creates a world of love and possibility that readers will want to take as their own.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rose-Johnny is the shining star
    Rose-Johnny is the shining star in this awesome collection of short stories. It deals with many different small-town prejudices, and the outrage at the 11 year-old level that little Georgeann feels. My favorite story, from a humor standpoint, is Blueprints. Although it is not a funny story per se, the comments and thoughts that Lydia makes about Whitman's friends are hilarious. These friends are so concerned about Mother Nature and the environment, but haven't bothered to visit them once they moved out of the evil city into the foothills. These same friends insist that fertilized eggs are better for you than unfertilized eggs (show me the scientific evidence), and name their children after vegetables. I am sure these guys look at you wrong if you don't buy organic coffee beans from Guatemala. I think Barbara Kingsolver has little tolerance for those nature-type-wanna-be's (here, here).

    All these and the rest of the stories are beautifully crafted, with many reflections on nature. Wonderful book, not to be missed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful short stories
    Homeland and other stories is a wonderful collection of extremely well-written short stories! Exploring the themes of family and nature, Barbara Kingsolver opens our eyes to different points of view, and shows us new ways of looking at old points of view. Kingsolver is, in short, a genius! The masterpiece of this collection is Rose-Johnny, a story about a very masculine woman and the little girl who befriends her, and the price paid for truly being "different" in American Society. Other great stories are: Homeland, Stone Dreams, and Quality Time. Read this book, make your soul grow.

    5-0 out of 5 stars At Home with Kingsolver
    "Homeland and Other Stories" showcases Barbara Kingsolver's remarkable ear for heartland speech as well as her talent for painting the every day struggles of people through exquisite but understated detail. Kingsolver never falls into melodrama nor does she show disrespect for her characters. This is a beautiful and powerful collection.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fun and fast read
    This book was very enjoyable and a fast read. This book has alittle of everything in it for everyone. I thought that the stories got better and better as they went on and each with a little bit more powerful message. I truly enjoyed Quality Time and Rose-Johnny. Overall this is a must read and would make a wonderful gift for anyone on your holiday list.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Be it ever so humble, there's no place like Homeland...
    Picture yourself driving down a quiet road populated with homes that are dusted with the twilight of evening shade. You stop the car and step out to observe. From the roadside in this residential area, all you can see is the glowing window squares of warm, yellow light coming from inside the houses. You know that it's probably time for the evening meal and there are mundane conversations, celebrations and arguments abounding. As an outsider, there is little to see and virtually nothing to hear. Kingsolver changes all of that, when unseen and unheard, she wanders invisibly throughout the homes and lives of each and everyone in the neighborhood.

    Kingsolver creates a terrific collection of short stories that define no incredible event or A to B adventure. There's no earth-shattering disaster and certainly no crisis to be explained. She takes a very short and innocent peek into the mundane lives of different households and explains what she sees and hears. Dear reader may rejoice that not all he reads requires a roller coaster ride of feeling to make the novel interesting. Sometimes the story only need be simple and sweet. ... Read more


    15. Blood and Chocolate
    by ANNETTE CURTIS KLAUSE
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440226686
    Catlog: Book (1999-09-07)
    Publisher: Laurel Leaf
    Sales Rank: 20856
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Characterizing the adolescent experience as monstrous is not exactly a new idea. M.T. Anderson's woefully confused teen vampire in Thirsty and Jean Thesman's reluctant young witch in The Other Ones serve as excellent examples of this metaphor set to fiction. But no one really captures how our hormones make us howl as well as Annette Curtis Klause. Blood and Chocolate chronicles the longings and passions of one Vivian Gandillon, teenage werewolf. Her pack family, recently burned out of their West Virginia home by suspicious neighbors, has resettled in a sleepy Maryland suburb. At her new school, Viv quickly falls for sensitive heartthrob Aiden, a human--or "meat-boy," as her pack calls him. Soon she is trying to tame her undomesticated desires to match his more civilized sensibilities. "He was gentle. She hadn't expected that. Kisses to her were a tight clutch, teeth, and tongue... His eyes were shy beneath his dark lashes, and his lips curved with delight and desire--desire he wouldn't force on her... he was different." But Vivian's animal ardor cannot be stilled, and she must decide if she should keep Aiden in the dark about her true nature or invite him to take a walk on her wild side.

    Klause poetically describes the violence and sensuality of the pack lifestyle, creating a hot-blooded heroine who puts the most outrageous riot grrrls to shame. Blood and Chocolate is a masterpiece of adolescent angst wrapped in wolf's clothing, and its lovely, sensuous taste is sure to be sweet on the teenage tongue. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert ... Read more

    Reviews (231)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Really adult for a YA novel
    Vivian loves being a werewolf but she doesn't like having to hide what she is from humans. She also isn't too happy with the boys her age in the pack so she begins dating a human. Aiden is respectful of her and he is interested in the occult. Vivian begins to hope that she can trust him with her secret. Meanwhile, the pack is in disarray while they battle it out over the position of leader. While this continues no wolf or human is safe, including Aiden.

    This book was very different from a lot of YA books I've read. The author does a really good job of writing the animalistic side of Vivian's personality. It was also petty adult for a YA book as the sex and violence aren't too watered down. People who are looking for fluffy romance with supernatural bits thrown in are going to be disappointed. However, if you like good werewolf books this one shouldn't be missed.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for supernatural YA fans
    I really loved this book, it's sexy, funny, complicated, and well developed. Very artfully and beautifully written. I'd say it's Klause's best book yet, although I was more into The Silver Kiss, because I'm more of a vamp fan.

    It's about a werewolf named Vivian who travels with her pack and savors the sweet night when she becomes wolf. She falls in love with a human, Aiden. A chain of murders spreading throughout the small West Virginian town, supposedly caused by animals, makes her fear for her pack's safety, and Aiden's after she realizes that she might be the cause. Although she is a werewolf, I was surprised by how much I could relate with her struggle of never really fitting in. She's seems so human, that's what great about this novel.

    A great teen novel in general, I just give it four stars because werewolves aren't my bag. But it's such a great read, I highly reccomend it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars incredibly awesome!!!!!
    blood and chocolate was incredibly awesome! its now one of my favorite books. to be honest, when i started reading it, i was immediately hooked. blood and chocolate is about girl/werewolf who has never had any real friends besides the people in her pack. then along comes aiden, a hippie, a poet, and a believer in many strange things. after a few nights of drinking, vivian experiences major black-outs that lead to terrible murders. since vivian can't remember anything, she suspect that she might be the murderer. but is she? blood and chocolate has been one of the best books i've read because of the way it all flows together and the unexpected ending. u must read it!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Vivian is a little too much...
    Several things really irked me about this book, making it very painful for me to read...
    Problem one: The cockiness of the main character
    In the beginning of the book, it says that Vivian doesn't fit in very well at school. But what got me was the REASON she didn't have friends: Everyone was intimidated by her amazingly good looks. Give me a break.
    Problem two: Vivian is a horndog
    The girl's so horny she would jump the bones of any cute guy she could get her hands (or claws) on. She sees her love interest Aiden for the first time out the window of the art room and decides to go talk to him about the wolf poem he wrote for the school paper. Turns out that's not the ONLY thing she wants to discuss. She flirts with him mercilessly and acts super seductive. It wouldn't be that bad, but she had never met or talked to the boy before!
    Not to mention, in later chapters, she thinks about sleeping with Aiden every time she sees him. Shame, shame Vivian!
    Problem three: She decides to go off with someone she hates
    The werewolves in Vivian's pack all look up to their leader, just like real wolves. Unfortunately, Vivian's scared of him and hates his guts. I don't blame her though. The book describes him as good looking, but the guy acted like he was about to jump her and start raping her at any minute!
    Isn't it ironic that she gets naked and walks off to live happily ever after with him in the end?

    Bottom line: The book was well written, but the main character was perfect in every way and she knew it. Extremely annoying for those of us who have flaws :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
    Honestly I loved it! It's technically a YA novel but so well
    written that I found myself completely engrossed after only the
    first few pages. The main character was confident and sensual without being completely overdone. She even had a few flaws that made it possible to sympathize with her. Overall a book that not only appeals to YA readers but people of all ages who enjoy a well written, fast paced werewolf novel. ... Read more


    16. The Silver Kiss (AFI Film Readers)
    by ANNETTE CURTIS KLAUSE
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $5.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440213460
    Catlog: Book (1992-08-01)
    Publisher: Laure Leaf
    Sales Rank: 22323
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house.Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe's brooding thoughts of her dying mother.

    Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before.Does Simon dare ask Zoe to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness?

    ... Read more

    Reviews (132)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Silver Kiss" is Pure Vampire Gold
    Wow, whenever someone will dare try and tell me that a book about vampires can't be powerful, I'm going to just hand them this book and say "read this and just try saying that again." This book is truly a beautiful, moving piece of writing. Zoe's life seems to be falling around her. With her mother battling life-threatening cancer, her father seeming not to truly listen to her anymore, and her best friend moving to Oregon, things just don't seem to be looking up. Then Simon walks in. Strange, mysterious, silver-haired, beautiful Simon. Simon. The Vampire. Who will change her life forever.

    The characters in "The Silver Kiss" are well developed, easy to identify with, and completely unforgettable. Every tear, laugh, surprise and kiss, you feel along with them. The language of the book is so beautiful and lyrical, sometimes you catch yourself thinking... wait... THIS is a vampire novel?????

    I don't care if you don't like vampires, or if you don't like reading romances, or teen dramas, or if you don't like reading books at all.

    You won't be able to put this book down, and like a good kiss, you won't want it to end.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
    Zoë is going through some hard times. Her mother is in the hospital because she is dying of cancer; her best friend, the only person she really talks to is moving away; her father is so depressed he barely even looks at her; and she has befriended her stocker, a vampire. Simon has been hunting sown his older brother Christopher. Simon's out to get revenge on Christopher for killing their mother. But Simon need's help, he can't do it on his own so Zoe volunteers to help him out. Annette Curtis Klause is an amazing writer. It is impossible to put this book down once you start reading it. Her story is so mesmerizing and you can really get into Zoë's shoes. I enjoyed this book, The Silver Kiss, very much and recommend that you read Blood and Chocolate.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Young, sweet and beautiful
    I found this book to be very...creative. I have read a great deal of vampire stories/novels and this one drew me in very quickly. At the end, it left me wanting more, wanting to romance not to end. It is very well written and great for the romantic at heart.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    Annette Curtis Klause is one of my fave authors, but this book is definitely not one of her good books.

    Zoe is the daughter of a woman dying of cancer. Zoe feels as if she's isolated, etc. She meets a boy in the park, Simon and becomes good friends with him. Simon turns out to be a vampire. Simon's brother, Christopher, is supposedly evil and Simon's life purpose is to kill him. Zoe decides to help.

    The end is disappointing and it seems so... stupid!! I love books or basicly anything about vampires and it's all very interesting to me, but this book is not a good one.

    Boring. Over-dramatic. Stupid.

    ~(...)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books!
    This book is great! The author, Annette Curtis Klause, really brings forbidden love to life!
    The story is about this girl called Zoe and a vampire called Simon. Zoe's mom is dying and she feels she is ignored by both her father and her mother. Her best friend is moving away from her. So, basically her life sucks. But she finds comfort in the arms of Simon.
    Simon had a horrible past and hopes that Zoe would help him get rid of it. Would she help him?

    find out the answer in this beautifully written, gripping, exciting book! :) ... Read more


    17. A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
    by E.L. Konigsburg
    list price: $4.99
    our price: $4.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 068984624X
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: Aladdin
    Sales Rank: 214749
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife to two kings, mother to two others, has been waiting in Heaven a long time -- eight centuries, more or less -- to be reunited with her second husband, Henry II of England. Finally, the day has come when Henry will be judged for admission. While Eleanor, never a patient woman in life or afterlife, waits, three people, each of whom was close to Eleanor during a time of her life, join her. Their reminiscences do far more than help distract Eleanor -- they also paint a rich portrait of an extraordinary woman who was front and center in a remarkable period in history and whose accomplishments have had an important influence on society through the ages. ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent intro to one of history's most powerful women
    I first read this book at least 15 years ago and have never forgotten it. This book and The Daughter of Time launched my ongoing love affair with British history. After reading this book, I was so inspired that I dressed as Eleanor of Aquitaine for Halloween; I was shocked and astonished to discover that she was far from a household name and I spent my entire evening of trick-or-treating explaining my costume. If more books for children were as historically accurate and entertaining as is Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, I think more people would have recognized and appreciated my costume. E.L. Konigsburg writes some of the best children's books I've ever read and they stand the test of time- I enjoy reading them now as much as I did then. By writing about an often ignored yet fascinating woman, Konisburg opened my eyes to a range of historical characters usually excluded in traditional history books. I highly recommend this book for any child, but especially for young girls who are looking for more female characters to shape their understanding of world history.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
    "...Louis was too thickheaded to use this valuable tool, this queen, this restless beauty, this Eleanor." So begins the wonderful saga of the spirited Eleanor of Aquitaine, her husbands, sons and daughters. From her marriage with Louis of France to that of King Henry II of England, Eleanor shows through wit and compassion, abruptness and anger, readers learn the unforgettable story of this heroine, and exactly why she has earned her place in history. Told from the view points of Abbot Suger of St. Denis, the Matilda Empress, and King Henry's most faithful knight, William the Marshall, A Proud Taste for Charlotte and Miniver is not a book to be forgotten

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book about a prominent figure
    A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver is a wonderful book about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. This book shows all stages of her life: her childhood in France, her first marriage to Louis VII, her second marriage to Henry II, every important stage of Eleanor's life.

    Eleanor and her fellow story-tellers Abbot Suger, Matilda-Empress, and William the Marshal are well-portrayed, as are the people who made an impact on Eleanor's life. Everything that happened to her is drawn in deftly to the story; you barely realise that you are actually waiting for Henry's judgement.

    This is a great introduction to an important figure in French and English history. If you're looking for a light read or a brief glance into the time period Eleanor lived in, this is the perfect book. It is great for the youngest children to the most interested historian. This is a definitely something to check out as soon as you can!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
    In 'A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver', a teen named Eleanor of Aquitaine is married to Prince Louis of France. They live happily until the crusade, where she disobeys her husband, now King, and is very unpleasant after that. So Eleanor leaves that marriage behind, and marries King Henry. She feels that she has never met a person so devious and sharp-witted like herself, and becomes very pleasurable around him. She gives birth to three sons and one daughter, but they all disagree with each other. And to make it worse, King Henry is becoming more and more angry at both his sons and Eleanor. SO she lives in Aquitaine. But what will he do to Eleanor? Read this book!

    Im not sure that I liked this book, because it was pretty hard to follow. It was an interesting read, and I would reccomend it to people that like medieval tales, but NOT anything like science fiction, like me. Only if you like fantasy and are willing to cope with a broken-up story, from several characters' points of view. Read something else instead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
    I love Eleanor very much. She was beautiful both inside and outside. She loved poetry, music, and art. She was strong and always fought bravely. She was a pioneer feminist.
    I love the beautiful illustrations by E.L.Konigsburg, too. Great! ... Read more


    18. Silent to the Bone
    by E.L. Konigsburg
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689836023
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
    Publisher: Aladdin
    Sales Rank: 92058
    Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Speechless

    Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened. Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell's wall of silence. But how can he prove Branwell didn't commit the unspeakable act of which he's accused -- when Branwell can't speak for himself? ... Read more

    Reviews (100)

    5-0 out of 5 stars My summary on Silent to the bone
    Silent to the Bone is a great story. The book is about a boy whose name is Branwell and one day when he comes home from school he sees his half-baby sister breathing weird and he starts to yell "Vivi, come here. It's Nikki." The babysitter, Vivian, came into the room and abuses. She tells him to call 911 and he did. When the operator comes on the phone he is silent.

    Nikki lies in a coma while they send Branwell him to the Juvenile Behavioral Center where everyday his best friend Connor comes and see him. Branwell stayed in the Behavioral Center for 20 days. 10 days went by and on the 11th he was making progress, like, he was touching the letters of the alphabet and spelling out words so that Connor could talk to these people.

    On the 19th and 20th day he was talking and didn't want anyone to know that, only Connor and Margaret (Connor's big sister). He finally came out of the Behavioral Center and stayed at Margaret's house.

    On New Year's Eve, Branwell's dad came to pick up Branwell. He came along with Tina (Branwell's new mom) and Nikki. For the first time that Nikki was ever born Tina gave Branwell Nikki to hold.

    3-0 out of 5 stars My Review; by a Frankford Student.
    When I heard about the book "Silent to the Bone", I thought it sounded quite interesting, and decided to read it. This bok is for young adults. It is about a 13 year old boy named Branwell who is accused of seriously injuring his infant sister, Nikki. His best friend Connor is determined to help out his friend and figure out who really injured Nikki. There is only one problem, Branwell goes silent, and refuses to speak about what actually happened. Although, him and Connor still figure out a way of communicating. I believe the theme of this book is, silence is an art. Branwell was smart not to say anything and let Connor ask all the questions. He thought that if he didn't say anything at all, you can't say anything wrong. Overall, This book wasn't as exciting as I expected it to be, and it wasn't challenging to read at all. Although, there were some humorous characters such as Connor, and there were sad times as well. For example, when Branwell's father gets remarried he neglects Branwell. This book really kept me guessing the real criminal who injured Nikki was. I would reccomend this book to people who like books with suspense.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Rats. Obvious and cheap work from a good writer.
    Who did it first, DiCamillo with Tale of Despereaux, or Konigsburg with this?

    What I mean is, fine writers putting out silly, under edited cliches.

    The bad guy was obvious by page three.

    Konigsburg can write well without silly cliched sex subplots. (That niche is filled by Judy Blume.)

    And, as another reviewer pointed out, gaping, unexplained holes in the main storyline. (Maybe if she hadn't had to put in the ham-handed subplot, she would have had time to make sense of the main one.)

    2-0 out of 5 stars MOTHERS - Stay Home With Your Children!!!!!!!!!
    This book is very strange in that Here we have baby who is neglected and called a brat by the babysitter and then dropped on her head and nearly DIES.

    We see no consequences come to Vivian except that she loses her job and any possibilities of working in childcare. And how could one Nanny agency provide that restriction. That's a police matter!

    I thought it was so gross that Branwell did not tell his parents that Vivian was not taking good care of HIS sister.

    We hear nothing of what should have been ULTRA guilt and ULTRA rage from the parents. How would a real mother feel if she handed over her responsibility to care for her child into the hands of someone who DID NOT care for her, didn't even change her diapers enough and who almost KILLED her. Personally I woudl almost feel like killing myself. WHY HAVE CHILDREN if you are going to pawn them off without a second look back?? Having children is not something you put on your "To Do" list and when they are born you go on to the next item.

    Niki opening her eyes and smiling at her mother who said "Mother's here" is funny. Niki would hardly know who she was! They must have had extreme minimal time with her, coming home at 6:00 pm every eve. She would have thought Vivian was her mother and Branwell her dad.

    Personally THEY neglected and abused their baby daughter for not caring enough to have quality care for her (which ideally is one of the parents)

    I think that makes this story so weak and shallow and dangerous.
    We see none of the remorse or reparations. In fact at the end they are getting another babysitter!!!! Makes me sick!

    I liked the relationship between Margaret and Connor but that's about it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Another Very Good book by a Very Good Author
    Something has happened to Branwell Zamborska. This boy who loves not only words, and their power, but the sound of his own voice has gone mute. Accused of dropping his sister, Branwell, or Bran, has been taken into custody. Branwell's best friend Connor takes it upon himself to find out what happened on that fateful day, convinced that this will allow his friend to start talking again. Alternating between flashback and present day events Connor is a likable, but admittedly not perfect, narrator. Konigsburg does an excellent job of tackling some of the deep and powerful issues revolving around adolescence in a serious manner, but avoids making the book feel like a downer. Through his investigation Connor discovers as many things about himself as he does about Bran leading to a satisfying conclusion.

    McGillin does an a mostly good job of giving each of the characters a distinct voice, and especially, and surprisingly so, with the female characters. His narration makes for easy listening and adds definite value to the already very good book. ... Read more


    19. Gentlehands
    by M. E. Kerr
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064470679
    Catlog: Book (1990-10-30)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 261275
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Buddy Boyle lives year-round with his family in unfashionable Seaville, New York, in a cramped little house on the bay. Skye Pennington spends the summers nearby on lavish estate complete with ocean view and a butler named Peacock.

    But Skye and Buddy fall in love anyway. And every once in a while they visit Buddy's estranged grandfather, who makes them forget they're from opposite sides of town. Then a reporter appears, searching for a man known as Gentlehands, a man with a horrifying past. Who is Gentlehands? And what is his connection to Buddy's handsome, aristocratic grandfather? The mystery threatens to shatter Buddy and Skye's relationship, and change their lives forever.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BESTEST!
    This book, Gentlehands is by far the best book i've read. The author, M.E. Kerr keeps you guessing whats next in the capter, and yet u can't seem to put the book down. I will always anxoius to see whats next. This remarkembly good book is about a boy named Buddy Boyle who love this girl Skye Pennington. He takes her to see his grandfather who he hadn't seen since he was little. And he grows up to really like him. And...well you'll have to read it! I'd recommend it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
    This book began as the typical young adult novel, a good looking boy falls for the rich, classy and beautiful girl, but somehow, the author managed to pull it off in the end.

    Buddy Boyle is young and immature to the ways of the world. But when Buddy meets Skye Pennington, he realizes that there is a whole other world, and it has class. Unfortunately for Buddy, he lives in a middle class lifestyle and has nothing to impress Skye with (since all boys seem to have a need to impress their girlfriends) So Buddy takes Skye to meet his wealthy and estranged grandfather.

    I enjoyed this book because it is quite different from most of the books that I've read before. I am more into historical fiction type books and although this book may seem like that type, the theme is mainly concerning discrimination. I've never read a book about the holocast, and this book gave an interesting point of view. At one point in this book, I really felt like crying because of how cruel some people can be. This book touched me on a real emotional level surprisingly since it started out quite differently. The symbolism is wonderful. The grandfather talks about how all birds are prisoners of their own territory and yet he always feeds the birds. I thought Gentlehands was marvelous, but the only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because it ended rather abruptly. It's one of my pet peeves when books end too quickly, and this book did. But give this book a chance, it gets boring at some parts, but it really is a great book and has a great lesson: that the past is all in the past.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jordan's review ( hi Bisson)
    When i first picked out this book i expected it to be a fast read, that i heard good things about, and something i could easily write a book report on for my wounderful history class. i really an not a reader, it is actually really hard for me to get into a book. This book hooked me in really fast, it had a tone through out the whole book which was easy to follow. i loved the love in the story along with the conflict. It deffinitly kept me in suspence. i think this book is good for a young adult/teenager, who like romance/mystery stories.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Caitie's Review of Gentlehands!!!!YAY!!!
    I started reading this book not expecting to like it very much. It started like many young adult novels, describing one unforgettable summer, blah blah blah.
    Then I started to get into it, and get caught up in the story...I thought I was through having that experience with a young adult novel. I figured I had graduated onto bigger and better things. This book caught my intrest, and was much better then the typical, 135 page adolescent novel. I really enjoyed it, especially since I have always enjoyed WW2 stories.
    I had a wonderfull time reading this book, and it was short which was ok considering that it was a project and I needed to get through it before SAT's, but bad because it could have evolved into more. The story could have gone on longer, I like long books that I never get bored reading. I didn't find Gentlehands boring at all.
    I found the ending to be sort of anti-climactic. It didn't resolve any of the conflicts. What bothered me most was the way M.E. Kerr seemed to abandon the relationship with Skye. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but it seemed like there was too much of a connection between them to have it end the way it did.
    I definatly recommend this book, although the ending could have been better. It is a nice "quick read". It wasn't as historically educational as I had hoped, but it was an enjoyable novel. If you are looking for a book that is more focused on the holocaust or just WW2 in general, I recommend Number the Stars, or Sophie's Choice, or In My Hands, or The Devil's Arithmatic, or I Have Lived a Thousand Years. Happy Reading!!

    3-0 out of 5 stars An interesting but sort of predictable story...
    It was a summer that Buddy Boyle would remember all his life. Only, one thing that irked me was it was never stated when exactly the book took place! Anyways, Buddy starts dating a rich girl, Skye Pennington, who summers in his hometown on Long Island. In order to impress Skye, he introduces her to his grandfather, who is pretty much not a part of his family's life. He grows to love his grandfather and spend more and more time with him, something his policeman father and mother (whose father is the one Buddy is getting close with) do NOT like. However, a writer that is at Skye's house is also looking for a SS Nazi, who he believes lives on Long Island. Everything comes together, and since you feel you really know Buddy, that makes it all the more heartbreaking. Not a bad read. ... Read more


    20. Throwing Shadows
    by E.L. Konigsburg
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689821204
    Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
    Publisher: Aladdin
    Sales Rank: 136944
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Everyone throws a shadow...
    Konigsburg has written 5 short stories that each are designed to teach a lesson about life in a subtle manner. The stories are somewhat entertaining and beautifully written. While there is something that can be learned from life, none of these stories have large impacting moments; rather they are all lessons we learn from daily experiences with people. That was what I liked about it.

    What I didn't like is that it was very slow moving and the stories were a bit lengthy with too much background information about characters we will not know for very long anyhow. Because of this I would not use the book as a read-aloud in a classroom environment, but some children may enjoy reading.

    Why 4 stars?:
    This is a beautifully written book that shows some lessons that we all learn in life through varied experiences. It doesn't suit well to read-alouds and the stories can get a bit long and bogged down with unimportant details. However, this may be just the right book for some child and if it keeps him reading then it is invaluable.

    4-0 out of 5 stars More great reading by Kongisburg
    This is a collection of short stories by my favorite children's author. Although I have "out grown" her books, I will never feel that way. She is an amazing author, and although I am not Jewish, I feel like I have learned about the Jewish culture through the characters in her books. A must-have for Konigsburg fans. ... Read more


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