Saturday, December 27, 2008

MY ONE HUNDRED ADVENTURES by Polly Horvath


MY ONE HUNDRED ADVENTURES Is a book that is showing up on several Mock Newbery lists and one that I wanted to be sure to read before the Newbery announcement on January 26. Let me say that I would be VERY, VERY HAPPY if this book wins the Newbery. I love it. It is DEFINITELY one of my favorite reads of 2008. I am not sure how kids will respond to it or whether it should be in a K-5 library. It seems like 5th/6th/7th grade for me. I am not so sure about the age 9-12 marketing--not sure that the issues aren't above 9-10 year olds. I don't think that matters though--it deserves every starred review it has received--and it has received many.

I have always been a Polly Horvath fan. EVERYTHING ON A WAFFLE hooked me to her work right away! This is by far her best, in my opinion. It seems to be a tiny bit different from her other books. MY ONE HUNDRED ADVENTURES still has the quirky characters and events that make Horvath's books unique. But there is something about the writing of this book that makes is more powerful than the others. It just seems to have a different feel--if that makes sense.

I knew early in the book that it was going to be a great book, when I read:
"The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don't, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper."

The writing is definitely Newbery-worthy. So many lines jumped out at me throughout the reading:

"They wear hats with fruit on them. When I get bored I stare at their fruited hates. I wonder if we can convince some of the younger old ladies to take up fruited straw hats. Like passing the torch. Or will they regard this as some kind of next-in-line-for-the-tomb designation?"

"Suddenly I realize that everyone in the whole world, is, at the end of a day, staring at a dusky horizon, owner of a day that no one else will ever know."

"No one really understands a family but the people in it and even they each understand it differently."

"We all belong here equally, Jane...Just by being born onto the earth we are accepted and the earth supports us. We don't have to be especially good. We don't have to accomplish anything We don't even have to be healthy."

I do this often when I read great books. Tab pages of lines that I love, that I want to revisit. Then, when I am finished with the book and am having that feeling where I wish I wasn't quite finished, I go back and reread the pages that I've tabbed, looking for the lines I've loved. It is a great way to reexperience the book and to reread some of those favorite lines. A habit I started when I read WALK TWO MOONS years and yeas ago. Only when the book has lots of lines that seem to hit me as wanting to go back to.

I love this book and would love to see it win the Newbery or any other award. It is one that has great characters and great messages about life and people.

5 comments:

  1. I just did a post on my blog about trying to decide which books to include into my 6th grade classroom library. I would love if either of you (or readers of this blog) have any suggestions. I know that both of you have a lot of experience as educators and with books. Thank you for your comments if you have a chance to comment on my post.

    http://enbuscadeequilibrio.blogspot.com/2008/12/classroom-library-to-include-or-not.html

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  2. I can't wait to read this! I'm next in line at the library to get it.

    I love when I find readers who do similar things to what I do when I read -- I tab all over the place when I read a well-written book! What do they say about great minds thinking alike??? :)

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  3. Like Karen, I can't wait to read this. About ten more CYBILS books, then I'm back to fiction for a few weeks!

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  4. I also loved how she used language in this book. I also loved that her family was not looked upon as strange or odd, but just a part of the greater community. A great book!
    I agree that I'm not quite sure about the "9 year old" part of the marketing campaign.

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  5. Darn it, our library doesn't have this! I'll wait a couple months then maybe just buy. You've got me interested.

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