Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
As an adult who works extensively with developmentally and physically disabled children and adults... I applaud this book. Simply but beautifully told account of Auggie, who with his facial anomalies leaves the cocoon of homeschooling to attend 5th grade. Well rounded point of views help the reader to understand how this disability affects friends, siblings, parents and teachers. Uplifting, clean read with a few sad spots and some really funny parts too. Nicely done!
Messenger is actually the end to Gathering Blue and ties the three books together. You need to have read the other two for it to make sense. The Giver to me is the classic and although I am glad to have read the other two, they do not reach as deep or as high for me. Gathering Blue felt unfinished, the end is here in Messenger... but Messenger is short and leaves lots and lots of loose ends unsatisfied for me as well. That said Lois is an incrediable writer and I love her themes, mind and creativty.
Can't even begin to explain why I purchased a child's book, that I didn't choose to have my children read in the 80's when it came out. Perhaps just for the fun of listening to Kate Winslet... her narration is spot-on perfect. I (an adult) had a lot of fun listening to this quirky little tale centered around the precocious 6 year old Matilda... but I would still be very cautious about offering to younger children, sensitive children, or ones that might impulsively imitate her behavior or the language of the adults in the book. Cast includes Matilda's abusive, dishonest and neglectful parents, a horribly abusive school principle (throwing children, locking them in a nail studded locker for hours, lots of verbal abuse) and a lovely school teacher and librarian. Safety issues bothered me, like Matilda walking to library daily without parents knowing, going to the "lovely teacher's" home without anyone knowing. Plot also includes "revenge pranks" that could have seriously hurt someone (like putting peroxide into father's hair tonic). Everyone's kids are different, just worth a preview and assessment.
What is there to say, I am a 40-something professional man with kids who like to listen to light books while on the bus to work.
While on vacation and driving the length of California back up from San Diego I downloaded this book for my family to listen to as we drove the long slog of I5. What a great choice!!! My 5 year old daughter was engrossed by this story and did not speak a peep for 6 hours straight as we drove the last 400 miles from Northern Cali to Washington. My wife was also engrossed and for the first time on that vacation I was able to experience a bit of quiet, the whole family quietly listened to the antics of Ramona and enjoyed her little story.
About the story itself...I never read these books as a child so was unfamiliar with them when I started. Basically this series follows the growth of a precocious little girl, named Ramona, and all her little innocent escapades as she grows up. The first book starts with Ramona age 4 and each subsequent book she is a year older. (well.. at least so far, we have only gotten through 4 books) Nothing huge happens here, no monsters need defeating, no saving the world, just little Ramona trying to learn how to grow up and be a good person. Her trials are things like not being sure her kindergarten teacher likes her, or dealing with the fallout of a bad tantrum. They are small things, but they are told beautifully and I actually think my 5 (soon to be 6) year old daughter enjoyed them all the more because she could so well relate to the feelings (and trials) Ramona was having and experiencing. As adults, my wife and I found the stories endearing and funny as the exploits of Ramona are very familiar to anybody who has had (or has) young children. Ms. Channing’s performance is wonderful, and she really brings to life all the characters. I highly recommend this series for anybody with young children. One thing though, Ms. Cleary sometimes gives away (or almost) the secrets of things like Santa Claus/tooth fairy/etc... Early in this series Ramona loses a tooth and Ms. Cleary alludes to (but does not actually explicitly reveal) Daddy being the actual tooth fairy, that part takes about 2 min....you can easily see it coming and you may want to skip ahead if you want to make sure that you can preserve that little fiction.