I don’t pay too much attention to seals or medals attached on the book’s cover and I didn’t notice until now that the three books I read last month are all John Newbery Medal holders for the most distinguished contribution to the American Literature for Children.
I read Lois Lowry’s The Giver last month and I thought the book I bought on Book Sale is a part of the The Giver series (which isn’t really a series at all but book companions) but it is not. Number The Stars by Lois Lowry is about a kid named Annemarie Johansen who lived their life in Copenhagen filled with food shortages and Nazi soldiers marching around their town. She has a best friend who she took as her own sister, her name is Ellen Rosen. She’s a Jew. As expected of the Nazis, they wanted all the Jews “relocated” and as family friends, Ellen moved in with them to be one of Annemarie’s sisters and her parents be hidden somewhere safe.
I adore how Lowry showed in the story the value of friendship between the Johansens and the Rosens. You see, we all know how morbid and inhumane the Holocaust is and I adore how the Johansens (as well as the The Resistance—an anti-Nazi group they belong) risked their lives to help and save the Jews from the Nazis. Also, the way Lowry intensified the story that it made me not move a single muscle when Nazi soldiers searched the neighbors for Jews and knowing that Ellen is a Jew! I wonder if I’m in the story? I’d probably blew my cover that time (thank God I’m not in the story!). By the way, this book reminds me a lot of the book I didn’t finish because I got bored with it, The Diary of Anne Frank, which also tells about a day by day experience of Anne Frank with Nazi soldiers.
I gave it 3 bookmarks out of 5. This is one of the heartfelt story of friendship and camaraderie.
Another winner of Newbery Medal, Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. Aside from feeling sad about the end of the book, I don’t know what else to feel. I mean, why does Paterson need to do that? Was it necessary to have that kind of tragedy to someone just to build a bridge? I don’t know anymore.
It’s a children’s book and I found hard time enjoying this one since it’s about fifth graders having imaginations of the Kingdom of Terabithia in the woods near their houses. Jess Aarons and Leslie are the reigning King and Queen of the land (which I find somewhat ridiculous—wait, what? Am I this old to say this? Oh God). But this imagination and friendship made the protagonist, Jess Aarons, to understand the strength and courage he had, especially when the tragedy happened.
Since I feel old and grumpy, I gave it 2.5 bookmarks out of 5.
Oh, do I have to watch the film adaptation? I heard it’s good. Jess Aarons was played by the actor named Josh Hutcherson who will play Peeta Meelark on the upcoming film adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games.
Lastly, a signed copy I found at Book Sale for only P45 (less $1) is E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s about Claude who got sick of being the Claude Kincaid who is a straight-A student, the good older sister, the one who always experience the injustice of everything and decided to run away. She planned it very well because she loves planning and earning her allowance. She have her little brother Jamie with her because he is good with money (see? Claude is a good planner!) and told him her plan: to run away from home to a nice, big, comfortable place that is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Just like Claude, I am an organized person and I plan things very carefully. I don’t know if it’s weird but sometimes I plan things on per time basis, I always have my planner with me and I really get bothered when the things I planned fail. Aside from that, I’m not good with money, too. I hope I’m like Jamie who is rather an adventurous kid (he wanted to live in the woods rather than in the museum!) and really good with money (and gambling). Anyway, when I was a kid, I read about a book about living (or being stuck) inside a mall and I enjoyed it but I love this book more because museum is one of the dream place that I wanted to visit. All those different artifacts and valuable statues are so heavenly. I mean, you can learn anything in there! It’s one of a kind experience. (Though I only visited two museums in my life—Museong Pambata and the National Museum here in the Philippines). I really enjoyed this book a lot and I gave it 4 bookmarks out of 5.
One thing I love more about this: the concept of two kids running away from home to live in a museum is borrowed to be included in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, which is a personal favorite!
One question: these kids were never caught in their 7-days stay in the museum, is there no surveillance camera in that museum? I know that the book is set-up during the 1967s but surveillance cameras are invented and first installed in 1942! I can’t believe that a big museum full of really valuable artifacts has no security cameras. Well, just a thought.