Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

Louisiana’s way Home by Kate Di Camillo

May 29, 2019 Comments off

louisianaLouisiana’s way Home by Kate Di Camillo. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

Oh to be able to write as well as this!

Twelve year old Louisiana believes that her parents were part of a circus acrobatic team named Elefante who were killed in an accident and that the family is cursed because of an incident in Elf Ear Missouri. She believes that her Granny taught her everything she knows and has looked after her for the whole of her life.

All these beliefs are going to come under question in this superb novel of growing up and the amazing resilience of Louisiana. She is truly a character to be admired.

At 3.00am one morning Granny gets Louisiana out of bed to pack her suitcase and announces that the day of reckoning had arrived. The pair drive north out of Florida across that imaginary Georgia State line. They run out of gas and Granny becomes bedridden with tooth ache.

Louisiana has to drive the car off the motorway to a small town and seek dental treatment for her Granny. This will lead to all secrets being told and for Louisiana to show her incredible character when faced with a crisis that would floor most people.

Beautifully told with great wisdom, common sense and perception. You are with Louisiana all the way and once you start the novel the most difficult part will be putting it down.

Total class writing for intermediate and secondary school students. For me the best junior fiction title of the year.

Little Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen & Hannecke Siemensma

March 23, 2019 Comments off

little wise wolfLittle Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen & Hannecke Siemensma. Pub. Book Island, 2019.

Nobody is an island unto themselves, not even little wolf, but he acts as if he is.

Little Wolf is very bright. He reads plenty of books and all the other animals go to him with difficult questions but he hasn’t got time for all their questions.

Then he receives a letter from a very sick king wanting help. He hasn’t got time but the crow tells him that when the king calls you go.

He sets off on a long journey to the king and his friends help him on the way without his knowledge. When he finds the king he is humble about his abilities but manages to help the king.

He understands now that his friends helped him and wants to return to them a changed wolf. Now he has time for everyone and still gets done what he needs to.

Wonderful lesson for everyone.

Beautifully illustrated especially when Little Wolf is on his journey to the king. His animal friends are hidden somewhere in the full page illustrations . See if you can find them.

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

September 12, 2014 Comments off

365 wonder365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Pub. Random House, 2014.

This is the last word on that wonderful story of August the 12 year old boy with the severe facial disfigurement and told in Wonder.

Thomas Browne was August’s 5th grade teacher who witnessed all the upheavel that the bullying of August caused. Browne describes 5th grade as the year kids learn the power of being mean. A power some kids never lose, but most do.

One of Mr Browne’s teaching tools was to put a precept up on the board that was discussed and written about by his pupils. He also kept communications open for pupils to send him precepts that they liked. This book is a book of precepts. All of them are thought provoking and it is good to have them in one easy to read book.

Here are some that I like.  “I yam what I yam” Popeye the sailor.   “Everything you can imagine is real”  Pablo Picasso.  “To thine ownself  be true”  William Shakespeare.   “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change”   Taylor Swift and  “it costs nothing to be nice”  Harry Styles.

But the book is more than that. It is structured in months with a quote for each day and between is a story about them. It also gives the answer to a question that was never resolved in Wonder. Who told principal Tushman that Julian was writing mean notes to August? Well if you read this book you will find out.

Inspirational. For all class levels.

Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. Illus. P.J. Lynch

May 6, 2013 Comments off

mysterious travellerMysterious Traveller by Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham. Illus. P.J. Lynch. Pub. Walker Books, 2013.

I rarely come across stories like this one, I don’t know why but I guess nobody writes them anymore.

It is a simple story set  in the African desert about a wise old desert guide named Issa who finds a camel protecting a basket containing a baby girl after being buried in a sand storm.

Issa brings the young girl up as his grand daughter until she is a young girl, then blindness changes their lives. The girl becomes the old man’s eyes and she describes the land around her so that he can guide his clients. It works.

Then some travellers come but mock the old guide. They leave and too are caught in a sand storm. The old man and the girl go out looking for the travellers and in the process learn an amazing fact.

Simply told with biblical wisdom -“wealth does not always bring happiness, but poverty always brings sorrow”. I guess we all know that but stories personalise this in a powerful way.

The illustrations by P.J. Lynch are magical. They capture the character of the old man and the desert landscape beautifully.

This short novel for everybody is the best of it’s kind I have read for some time.