Whippoorwill **** (4/5)
Joseph Monninger - Realistic Fiction
"It's a terrible thing to see someone be unkind to a pet or any animal...there's a victim on each end of the beating." (271)
Every year the local library has a book sale when the books are sold at ridiculously cheap prices and every year I seem to miss the sale...EXCEPT THIS YEAR!!!! A grocery bag was $5 and you could take as many books as you could stuff in without busting it's seams. Lets just say I came home with more than a few bags full and Whippoorwill happened to be on of my book sale steels!
First, I want to explain two things; one, for anyone who looks at the cover of this book and automatically tosses it aside presuming it's largely a book about a dog, you wouldn't be correct...or incorrect. Yes, the book highlights the journey of Willy from backyard garbage to beloved pet, but it also describes the journey of his owner, Danny, and Clair, the neighbor who ultimately saves Willy from life on a chain.
Secondly, I wanted to explain what a "whippoorwill" is. A whippoorwill is a garbage collector. You know what I'm talking about, it's a house whose front lawn and backyard are filled with rusted, old cars or broken down farm equipment - garbage.
Whippoorwill is about finding love and acceptance when you feel loneliest and most vulnerable. It's about stepping up to take action when you see something or someone in need of help, and most importantly it's about heartbreak. Doing what you know is right even when it breaks your heart. Whippoorwill is about being open-minded and accepting the fact that not all who appear bad are bad. Sometimes there is so much more going on behind close doors that our own personal hell is only a sliver of what others are dealing with.
Whippoorwill is a good read for high school aged kids. It's an exploration of how what lies on the surface can be nothing more than a shield used as a deflector by those who need companionship and support. Danny is not the neighborhood bully that Clair presumed him to be. Rather, he's a boy without direction and without support. Just like Willy, a little attention and support given in the right way, can go a long way for someone struggling to find the right opportunities. It's also a good reminder that although we may try as hard as we can, our best efforts are not a guarantee of a favorable outcome.
I loved mostly everything about this book; it's an easy read with a powerful message, and it's communicative to both dog lovers and non-dog lovers, however, I was a bit confused by Clair, the catalysis behind Wally's transformation. She seemed to be a bit naive for a 16 year old an somewhat underdeveloped in general. Other than that, Whippoorwill is a great read and I highly recommend it!
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The Reflections of Queen Snow White *** (3/5)
David Meredith - Fantasy
I have to admit, I started this book after completing The Orphan Train at my husbands softball game and was woahly unimpressed. I thought the first few pages were far too wordy, too descriptive, and I was not at all looking forward to devoting any more time to it's completion. In fact, I put the book down and read a few other books before I picked it up again.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White was sent to be by the author in exchange for an honest review. I, as you all know, am a bird who flies with a different flock and appear to have different feelings about this book when compared to many others who've read it. That's not to say I didn't like the book, I did: I just didn't love it.
I did find the book more enjoyable the second time I picked it up, but I still felt like the opening chapter was way to descriptive. The story opens with a very long and vivid telling of two soaring hawks...Mr. Meredith uses the analogy of the two birds to launch into the story of Snow White, now a queen, and her bumpy past and bleak future.The reader learns of Prince Charming's death and the upcoming nuptials of their daughter, Raven. Queen Snow White is in a funk that threatens to cause a dismal future should she not find the strength or will to break free of depressions grasp. Mr. Meredith was clever in his design to bring Queen Snow White back to happiness by using the mirror of the evil queen, Snow Whites step-mother, Arglist. You know the one, "mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all?"
The version of Snow White depicted in this retelling lacks depth and substance. She has zero self-confidence and solely lays responsibility for her lives happiness on Charming so, it makes sense that she would all but completely wither away after his demise. I just found parts of the story very flat and un-moving. Too much "woah is me," for me to really get into this book.
If you generally like retelling type stories, try it. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't completely live up to your expectations.
An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, and adventure through words printed on paper.
Books Read in 2020
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz