Book Review

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Next up is Wonder. That super popular book that had a hold list so long I finally just broke down and bought the damn thing.


Mama: So. You asked me to read this. Why is that?

Annie: Because it was awesome. Also I REALLY want to see the movie, but, you know, you have that rule.

(Yes. I do have that rule. The book comes first! Sorry kid.)

M: Why was it awesome?

A: I like how August was different. He changed a lot. He stood up for himself. It’s sad though sometimes because people are so mean.

M: People really can be mean sometimes.

A: There are no mean people at my school though.

M: Really! I thought there were some people you didn’t get along with?

A: Just because we don’t get along doesn’t mean they’re mean!

M: Noted. What was your favorite part?

A: When the boys stood up for August! That was a surprise. But you have to stand up for your friends. You just have to stand up for people sometimes. You just have to.

M: Why would you recommend this book to people?

A: I already said! Because it’s awesome. Can I eat my pancakes now?

M: Oh my bad. Commence with pancake eating.


Mama’s Review:

I wanted to really fall in love with this book. I DID like the overall message of the story (Choose Kind) which is definitely valid and a good motto for everyone, especially children. We experienced an episode this weekend where Annie ran into someone she knew and he rebuked her. The parents thought it was funny and laughed. It broke my heart for her. How hard would it have been for them to be kind to her? It’s not hard.

The reason I had a hard time with this book is because I felt as though there were a lot of instances of lack of character development. I wanted MORE from several of them. Some storylines petered out that I feel would have added a lot of richness to the story. However, I have to remember this is for kids and not adults. I get it, I swear I do! It’s difficult to switch from Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King to a book written for fifth graders!

Book Review · Fiction · Graphic Novel

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez

The first book that we are going to review is a graphic novel by Lorena Alvarez.


Annie: I like this book a lot, but, I like graphic novels. Mama you’ll like this one too.

Mama: Will I? Why?

Annie: The art of course! You like art and this has GREAT art. But it’s weird too. They have really big eyes. I wonder if I could draw like that? Probably, I’m a really good artist.

M: You are, you really are. So tell me, what was your favorite and least favorite parts of the book?

A: Well, my favorite was the ghosty girl. I liked how you couldn’t tell right away if she was bad or good. And, you know, the art is really so good. I love the colors. Like being under the sea but not under the sea!

M: I’ll pay attention to the colors when I read it. What did you not like?

A: It was creepy. It’s not that I DIDN’T like it because it was creepy but, it definitely is creepy. So…. be careful.

M: You were creeped out??

A: Mama…. no way… I love Coraline and Nightmare Before Christmas and stuff. I LOVE creepy. But not everyone does.

M: Good point.

Mama’s Review:

This book definitely has some creepy parts. Annie is right though, the art is perfect for the story. Ethereal and rich, you do get the “underwater” feeling when you read it. There is a lot to explore on each page, so this definitely isn’t a book to speed though. You’ll be tempted to do so because it’s so short, but take your time and really be present with each panel, you won’t be disappointed. Annie has a real affinity for graphic novels, so we’ll likely be spending a lot of time with them for a little while. She can read several of those in a sitting.

We also liked the cultural aspect of the book. Annie goes to public school and has never even seen a nun so at first, she was even confused by their appearance. She didn’t know what the habit meant and we had a conversation about religion and why certain faiths have different uniforms. She felt as though she could really relate to the main character’s sleeplessness because she often finds her mind too “busy” to be sleeping. And then, of course, so is mine since I’m the one who gets woken up at 1am to see her latest drawing, or to consider how “dang cute” the cat is and make up stories as to how she (the cat, that is, not Annie) ended up missing a leg.

You can find this book by following this link or checking your local library!