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05 May 2006 @ 07:45 pm
slim and worth picking  
Turbulence, be damned! A gem of a book translated from the French saw me through the unfriendly skies and back home today. PULL OF THE OCEAN by Jean-Calude Mourlevat pulls readers into the world of an impoversihed family of seven sons. Three sets of twins plus the minute Yann make up the Doutreleau family. One night, the mute Yann awakens his older brothe Fabien and indicates that the children should all flee before their father harms them. Told in alternating voices, including the voices of Yann's brothers, here is the story of the escape and journey of the Doutreleau clan. A truck driver provides them a lift out of town in the pouring rain. His attempts to hand the children over to the police fail when Yann and his brothers make their getaway, one of a series of escapes that leads the seven off toward the coast and the ocean where perhaps all will be well.

This charming allegorical tale explores so many themes in such as short space of time and words. Though Yann is mute, it is his "voice" that is the clarion call for his brothers. Despite the best intentions of outsiders, the children find themselves placed in harms' way again and again. The shuddering climax and the somewhat mysterious and incomplete resolution will no doubt leave readers with lots of questions, surely the sign of a great book.

A side note: Corrie read WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE from cover to cover in the space of about 2 hours after dinner tonight. Natalie is already poring over the ARC of the new Shannon Hale book and will more than likely complete it before bedtime. How cool to come back from IRA and see real readers in action!
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Miss Kitty Fantasticadragonchariot on May 7th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
What is the best way to create a reader? Other than read to them and have them see you read?
professornanaprofessornana on May 7th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
if only this were simple
I have been writing about this subject for years and I have some theories. You mentioned two essential things in your query. I think there are some others. I talk a bit about them in NAKED READING.

T for Trust
A for Access
R for Response
G for Guidance
E for Enthusiasm
T for Teen/Tween appeal

Then there are things like teachers who read, classroom libraries, activities that do not kill the love of the book, and much more.
Miss Kitty Fantasticadragonchariot on May 7th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
Should we be worried about book snobbery or not? Book snobbery meaning, "No no, don't read those Gossip Girl books, why don't you read The Red Pony instead since it might have helpful SAT words on it"?

Ahh....activities that do not kill the love of the book....I might have liked The Grapes of Wrath more if I didn't have to worry about filling out the stupid review sheet that went along with it "What is the significance of the lottery machine in the restaurant?" "That life is a gamble!" Laaaaaammmmmmeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!
professornanaprofessornana on May 8th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)
There is plenty of snobbery in the adult literature community, too. However, there are few words in classic lit that are not in good YA lit as well.