Thursday, July 23, 2009

Great Summer Reads part 2 --- Be Creative @ Your Library

As promised I am back with some more titles  with Creativity as a theme.  For me the best part of reading these books was learning about the arts.  Little tidbits of information would flow from the pages, and I would find myself thinking, wow I didn't know that!  But along with some interesting tidbits, there were interesting tales that wove the arts into a story in ways that were quite different and unexpected.  The Entertainer and The Dybbuk by Sid Fleichman is a different tale on love,  justice, and revenge.   The Great Freddie is a decorated GI, who has stayed in Europe to try his act as a ventriloquist.  What adds spark to his show?  Avrom Amos the dybbuk (wandering soul/ghost) who convinces Freddie to let him speak for the  wooden dummy.  The act is a smash all over Paris.  One problem,  Avrom has an agenda of  his own. With Freddie's  help he tracks down a SS colonel who not only killed him but also tortured children, including his sister.   The story ends on a high note, but it will leave the readers with a haunting horror of how innocent Jewish children were the target of Nazi cruelty. 
Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear by  Lensey Namioka is an older book and still has a ring of truth for today's youngsters who are looking for their "place" in their family and the world.    Little Yingtao is part of a very talented, musical family.  His problem is that he does not have the same ear for music as the rest of his family.  To put it politely he just can't play the violin well.  The Yang family has just moved from China to Seattle.   Looking for new students, Yingtao's Father decides to invite his new neighbors and friends to a family recital.  Poor Yingtao wants to help, but  he is afraid his screeching violin will ruin the recital.  Fortunately for Young Yang,  his new friend Matthew will help save the day.   Mixed into this story are Chinese culture and traditions which helps the reader understand  blending America takes a dose humor and friendship.    The first time I read the review for this book, I knew I had to read the book for myself.  
I absolutely adore this book. Stanza by Jill Esabuam, is a quick read about a tough dog by day
and by night he is a poet dog. Why doesn't he come out in the open? His two brothers, Dirge
and Fresco might not understand. However, Stanza love for chicken pot pie inspires him to enter
a jingle contest for his favorite food. What will Dirge and Fresco think of him if he wins? Well,
its a dog tale worth reading to find out how this story ends.
The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven by Jonah Winter is a riot with its clever artwork and quick-paced storytelling with a little bits of facts thrown in just for fun.   The reader goes on a wonderful trip of following Beethoven from apartment to apartment and moving 5 legless pianos 39 times.  The moral of this story:  One might be a musical genius but moving 5 legless pianos is no fun for the moving company!   Good thing Beethoven made up for it by composing the world's best music!
Sometimes talent comes in way that no one can see to appreciate.  Sara Pennypacker reminds readers of this in Talented Clementine.  Clementine is back and this time she is looking for an act to perform in her school's talent show.  Singing, dancing, or playing and instrument are not talents she can perform.   Clementine goes to her overly talented friend Margaret and finds that her best friend can't even help her.  At the talent show, she shows off her unexpected talent to everyone and surprises everyone.   Including herself! 

Well that's all for now.  Catch me next time when I review The Soloist by Steve Perez.  

Post a Comment