AND CONDORS DANCED

A bittersweet, old-fashioned story of a young girl growing up in Ventura County, Calif., in 1907. Raised by her Great-aunt Mehitabel and her Chinese manservant Woo Ling, Carly finds that her weekly visits to their house in town are full of love and family fun. But at the ranch her father manages for her aunt, tensions abound. Her mother, once a pampered debutante but now an invalid, rarely acknowledges her youngest daughter. Her father, a failed teacher from Maine, is a strict disciplinarian. On top of that, the richest man in town wants to buy the family ranch; because they won't sell, he has denied them valuable water rights. Luckily, 11-year-old Carly has a strong enough sense of self to face the strains of everyday life as well as the deaths of her mother and her dog. Into this story Snyder weaves a fine sense of time and place, from Fourth of July picnics to dusty mule-rides into the foothills; and her prose flows, with images tapping all the senses. Carly's fascination with the great, ugly condors effectively captures turn-of-the-century California and creates a rhythm that connects the incidents in Carly's life and maintains the story's tension.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 1987

ISBN: 0375895175

Page Count: 209

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1987

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

WONDER

After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

Wonderful, indeed

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE

A GROWING-UP POEM

A love song to baby with delightful illustrations to boot.

Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin’s text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart. The lines that read “This is the first time / There’s ever been you, / So I wonder what wonderful things / You will do” capture the essence of the picture book and are accompanied by a diverse group of babies and toddlers clad in downright adorable outfits. Other spreads include older kids, too, and pictures expand on the open text to visually interpret the myriad possibilities and hopes for the depicted children. For example, a spread reading “Will you learn how to fly / To find the best view?” shows a bespectacled, school-aged girl on a swing soaring through an empty white background. This is just one spread in which Martin’s fearless embrace of the white of the page serves her well. Throughout the book, she maintains a keen balance of layout choices, and surprising details—zebras on the wallpaper behind a father cradling his child, a rock-’n’-roll band of mice paralleling the children’s own band called “The Missing Teeth”—add visual interest and gentle humor. An ideal title for the baby-shower gift bag and for any nursery bookshelf or lap-sit storytime.

Wonderful, indeed . (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37671-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more