Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From the Mixed-up Files of Basil E. Frankenweiler

Book Review By Zayni

Claudia was a big sister who had to do every chore in the house, she was not treated nicely and her parents didn’t seem to care at all. Claudia wanted to leave her boring, unfair life so she thought of running away. Claudia has to convince her brother, Jamie, to come along, because she knew that her brother had saved up his allowance. So Jamie and Claudia pack clothes in their instrument cases and run away to the marvelous Metropolitan Museum of Art. On their run, Claudia and Jamie find it’s hard to get food with so little money. They hide in the bathroom and bathe in the fountain!

One day a beautiful sculpture was brought to the museum. No one knows exactly what it is and if they find out they would get to keep it. Claudia and Jamie love the sculpture and go to the library to research but all their efforts are useless. They didn’t find anything until Claudia sees the signature of Michelangelo. Very excited she makes a call for an appointment with the mysterious Mrs. Frankenweiler. Was the sculpture made by Michelangelo? will they return home? find out by reading this book by E.L. Konigsburg
What I disliked= she ran awayIssues raised: Chores, eldest sibling issuesMuslim Concerns: running away, gambling, cheating, lying, keeping secretsWhat I rate= amazing book- MashaAllah
Muslim Mama’s POV: Sure the kids run away but we have all had this fantasy as kids, I could certainly relate to this story as a firstborn girl. This book lets kids live out this fantasy in a safe way. The children are not morally all there though, they lie & cheat without remorse and are not terribly concerned about their parents either.
As for Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who would not want to have someone like in their lives, like a mysterious, wise, rich Aunt with filing cabinets full of secrets?
"...Some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow."
What age should read the book= 8-11 years

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Book Review by Zayni

Ramona likes being big enough for responsibility, but must everything count on her? Ramona is having a hard time at her babysitter, Mrs. Kemp’s house because of Willa Jean, a spoiled, little rich kid, who blames everything on poor Ramona. But there’s more…. her parents are have a hard time with money, sometimes they quarrel and other times just LAUGH!!

Ramona finally gets to ride the bus alone but Yard Ape is bullying Ramona a lot, I tell you. Ramona is really scared about which teacher she gets and whether she will like her? She lands herself in funny situations! Will Ramona’s life ever be normal and happy? Find out by reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.

What I like: Ramona keeps trying and does not give up whether it is learning to ride a bike or reading- You can read it when you are older to remember what it was like to be 8 and if you are young than you can read it see what being 8 is like. Her family spends time together.

Issues addressed: dad going back to college, mom having to work, bullying, money, teachers, love of reading, bragging

Muslim parents concerns: 8 year-old girl liking a boy, siblings being mean to each other, gossiping

Muslim Mama’s POV: It is a great reminder to adults (parents or teachers) about how our words have an effect on young minds. Also reinforces the idea that any challenges a kid is facing in school or with friends they can always turn to their home/family for support. Ramona’s journey in learning how to read fluently until she can finally read for pleasure is something we can use to encourage the love of reading in our own kids.

Illustrations: Some

What we rate - Amazing Book! MashaAllah

What age should read it – 7-11 years old