Thursday, October 28, 2004

Rain Is Not My Indian Name

a novel by Cynthia Leitich Smith

The main reason that this book lingers with me (months after reading it) is Cassidy Rain Berghoff, the fourteen-year-old title character. After losing her best friend, Galen, in a tragic way, Cassidy shuts out the world. Months pass before she grows to realize that she has to get in touch with the world again, even if it's through a job.

The author doesn't make it easy for Cassidy. For example, while on the job as a photographer of an Indian camp run by her Aunt Georgia, Cassidy finds herself torn between getting involved in a personal issue and staying objective and professional. The author does a sensitive and realistic job of handling Cassidy's conflict.

Even though Cassidy is both strong and brave, I found her believable and easy to relate to. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew Cassidy. The author made me care about her - about what would happen to her.

I recommend
Rain is Not My Indian Name to anyone who loves a good story and good characters. This book has both!

(Note: This review was written in 2002, and originally appeared on Virtually Adria.)

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Bremen-town Musicians

a picture book by Ruth Belov Gross (retold from Grimm), illustrated by Jack Kent

This is a story about a donkey running away from home. He hears that he is considered too old to work, so he decides to leave and go to Bremen-town to be a musician.

Along the way, he meets a dog, a cat, and a rooster. They become friends and decide to all go become musicians together. On their way, they come across a house. The new friends see that there is food - and lots of it. But, enjoying the food is a tableful of robbers.

The animals agree that they want the food. "But, how can we get rid of the robbers?" They all think "hard" about their dilemma - and together come up with an ingenious way to scare away the robbers for good.

But, did they get to Bremen-town and become musicians? Read this fun book to find out!

The Bremen-town Musicians is an entertaining read-aloud. You can also click here to read the Grimm Brothers' fable.