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Book Review: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Genre: Children
Book Name: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Fudge #1
Author: Judy Blume
Pages: 144
Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Macmillan

This month, I am preferring lighter reads and ever since I have read the book Wonder by R.J.Palacio, I have been on the lookout for similar books. This is how I came across this book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

The book does not have the crispiness and strength that Wonder had. Probably Wonder set the benchmark for me too high and perhaps I should come back to reality. But there is no denying the fact that even this one is not that bad either. This is a simple story of what a kid experiences when he/she has a younger sibling. The oh-so-intense rivalry and frustration about parents showering more love on only the younger one is perfectly captured. The love for having a pet to call one’s own and having that one best friend and you would be reminiscing of your own childhood and your silly quirks. However, do not expect much twists and turns in every page since it’s supposed to be a kid’s book.

And yes, you can easily share this book with your kids to make them understand that parents are not that bad and prejudiced by explaining them a different point of view at each point! Enjoy reading.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he’s never far from trouble. He’s an almost three-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter’s had it up to here!When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter’s pet turtle, it’s the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge for too long. Way too long! How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?

About the author:
Judy Blume is the enduringly popular author of many books for young readers. Over 80 million copies of her books have been sold, and the Fudge books (which feature a character based on her son, Larry) are timeless classics. Among Ms. Blume’s many awards is the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Other recognitions include the Library of Congress Living Legends Award and the 2004 National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation. She serves on the boards of the Author’s Guild; the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; the Key West Literary Seminar; and the National Coalition Against Censorship. She lives in Key West with her husband. Her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.

Website: www.judyblume.com

Rating: 8/10

Read reviews of similar books on this blog – Wonder by R.J.Palacio.

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Book Review: Wonder by R.J.Palacio

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Wonder by R.J.Palacio

Genre: Young Adult, Children Book
Book Name: Wonder
Author: R.J.Palacio
Pages: 316
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Knopf

Have you seen a movie trailer and it seemed so promising that even when it was 10pm in the night (oh by the way, I sleep at 10:30pm daily), you got an intense urge to get the book on which the movie is based on? I am referring to the trailer of a yet-to-be-released movie Wonder starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. Do watch it! But even better, read this book. I was so impressed with the storyline and narration that if given a choice, I would have given this book a rating of more than ten on a scale of ten. The book does not have any flowery writing to make reading complicated, the storyline is just perfect and has a simple message to not make others so conscious of anything that they themselves do not have control on. And oh, I am eagerly waiting to see the movie adaptation as well.

The story is of Auggie and the people around him for whom Auggie is the Sun and others are the planets which revolve around him. Still, the book explores each and every character aptly. The best part is that this is not a book of only one person, but of others too who come into contact with him. A rare masterpiece and a debut book at that, which binds the threads and prints of the book so masterfully! It is a book which teaches its readers too a lesson or two in empathy and behavioral aesthetics.

The book is a must read for children and adults like. The quotes mentioned in the book are amazing as well, for example: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind”, “Why blend in when you were born to stand out” or “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

Post completing this book, I am on the lookout of similar books. Have any suggestions? Please share in the comments below.

Book blurb:
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid–but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” –indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

#1 New York Times bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Time Magazine‘s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time
New York Times Book Review Notable Book
Washington Post Best Kids’ Book

About the author:
R.J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. Since then, she has written several books – Auggie & Me (combined The Julian Chapter, Pluto: A Wonder Story, and Shingaling: A Wonder Story), 365 Days of Wonder, and We’re All Wonders.

Raquel J. Palacio / R. J. Palacio is a pseudonym of: Raquel Jaramillo.

Twitter: @rjpalacio
Website: rjpalacio.com
Email: rjpalaciowebmail@gmail.com

Rating: 10/10

Review: Karadi Tales: The Lizard’s Tail

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Lizard's Tail by Karadi TalesScqealichtitz! And there went the little lizard’s tail! Poor little lizard. He now needs a new tail. Join him as he goes about looking for a new tail so that he can get a brand new look for himself, only to finally discover a lizard home-truth. Brilliant palette knife art by German Illustrator, Christine Kastl elevates the experience of this folklore retold by Shobha Viswanath.

A children’s book, The Lizard’s Tail is an educational book for ages 3 and above with simple words and an amazing art to illustrate the story behind. It was a simple delight to read this book and so easy to relate with different animals – lizard, squirrel, cow, dog, cat and elephant with their characteristic tails. The drawings were easy and relatable in Indian context, especially the Ganesha on the table, the barking street dogs and the Indian temple elephant. In fact, I told this story to my colleague’s daughter today in slightly-modified words and she loved the narrative and graphics.

This book was published for the first time in 2008, is of 28 pages and the price is just Rs.175. Highly recommended for the parents to buy for their kids. Audio books are also available with voice-over by Vidya Balan and costs Rs.245. This book was listed in “100 Children’s Books We Love,” a compilation of the best children’s books from India.

About Publisher:
Karadi Tales is in its 20th year of publishing fabulous award winning books for children. Many of our titles have been published internationally and we wish to expand our reach so that we can enrich the lives of many more young children. Visit www.karaditales.com for more information.

Book Journey: The Mystery of the Vanished Prince

EtherealJinxed|Book Review | The Mystery of the Vanished Prince by Enid Blyton

Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Book Name: The Mystery of the Vanished Prince
(The Five Find-Outers #9)
Author: Enid Blyton
Pages: 250
Publication Year: 1951 (first published)
Publisher: Egmont Books

Having read books by Enid Blyton multiple times when my father introduced me to novels, the world of fantasy world and mystery unfolded maximally through this author. It was a sheer pleasure digging into the same once again when I got hold of this book now. A flashback to remember how innocent and at the same time naughty we were as in our early ages. Of course, my comments then and now for the same book would differ, but hey, this book is written for the kids and I should keep my critical remarks to a minimum.

The book as written for the young kids has plenty of excitement and fun factor and like the other Famous Five, if one has read it, then one knows what to expect. However, some remarks basis color and region can be considered offensive with the new trend-set of commenting on everything the kids read.

For an early starter to encourage reading habits in children, even before Harry Potter, I would personally recommend Enid Blyton books. They are easy to read without hundreds of characters to be remembered at one stretch.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Has the prince been kidnapped? The Five Find-Outers are intrigued by a new visitor to Peterswood; Prince Bongawah of Tetarua is staying at a camp on the edge of the village! But the day after he arrives the prince vanishes into thin air. This time the children try to help Mr Goon solve the mystery. But will he listen to their clues?

About the author:
Enid Blyton was a prolific author of children’s books, who penned an estimated 800 books over about 40 years. Her stories were often either children’s adventure and mystery stories, or fantasies involving magic. Notable series include: The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Five Find-Outers, Noddy, The Wishing Chair, Mallory Towers, and St. Clare’s.

Rating: 8/10

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