#747 Eggs by Jerry Spinelli

Eggs by Jerry SpinelliEggs by Jerry Spinelli

David’s life has changed quite a lot recently. He has had to move in with his grandmother, which he doesn’t like. The reason he lives with his grandmother is because his mother died. She fell. Everyone falls, but David’s mother died. He doesn’t understand. His grandmother tries to help him out, but David doesn’t even want to talk to her.

David goes to an egg hunt for Easter and finds, what he thinks, is a dead girl, but she’s not dead. Her name is Primrose. She’s sneaking into the egg hunt because she’s too old to go now. Primrose lives in a van outside a small house. Her mother lives in there and works there as a psychic. She wanted to share a bed with Primrose, there was only one bed, Primrose didn’t want to. She thinks her mother is weird, instead, she lives in a van.

David goes to find Primrose one day and it starts a friendship between the two. They go out at night to collect junk to sell. Primrose needs money so she can redecorate her van. David ends up staying out late many nights. Primrose sneaks into his room. His grandmother knows nothing about it.

Primrose learns more about David’s life. David always wants to follow the rules. David will never watch the sunrise. He misses his mother terribly. He tries to get Primrose’s mother to find her, but she says that his mother is all around. David cannot find her.

The two get lost one day walking to the city along the train tracks. Everyone is terribly worried about them. David and Primrose both come to realizations about their lives. The people in their lives are more important than they have given them credit for, even in their own minds.

What I liked

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jerry Spinelli book, but I did read several as a child. They’re not bad as far as books go. I liked that Primrose and David formed this strange friendship and both got something they needed from it. They both managed to come out of their respective shells a bit because the personality of the other one pushed and pulled on that shell.

What I didn’t like

The story is sad. David is so young. It’s difficult for him to realize that his mother is dead. He’s old enough to know what dead is, but the manner his mother died in, is ordinary. It’s not how people usually die. David could probably have grasped the idea of a deadly car accident easier than a deadly fall. Everyone falls and we usually don’t die from it. If someone told you a loved one died from something ordinary, wouldn’t it be difficult for you to grasp as well? I think being a child and trying to deal with something so hard to grasp makes it that much more difficult.

I lost a part at a young age, just like David, although my father’s death was more comprehensible than a fall. It’s difficult to grow up minus one parent, even if your parents aren’t together, it’s always better to have two of them alive.

Primrose also has issues with her mother. While Primrose’s mother does love her and tries her best, it almost feels as if there is something wrong with her. Maybe she has a mental health issue or some other disability. I think it’s also very difficult to be the child of a person who is like a child themselves in various manners. Both of these children are lacking something in parentage, but I think the meshed family they ultimately find with new friends, is going to give them a more complete life experience.

Overall

It makes a person think differently about eggs.

Weigh In

If you have a personal tragedy in your life, is there an item that symbolizes your grief?

Would you find it difficult to take the death of a loved one through ordinary circumstances?

#746 Moving Day by Meg Cabot

Moving Day by Meg CabotMoving Day by Meg Cabot

Allie Finkle has found out the worst news of her life. She’s moving. Her entire family is actually moving, across town, to an old Victorian house. The worst part of it is that she’ll be going to a new school. None of her friends will be there. It’s also the middle of the school year. When she tells her best friend, Mary Beth, this, Mary Beth tells her not to tell anyone else because it’s her birthday. Allie slips up, of course, and tells someone, and Mary Beth cries and whines all about how Allie ruined her birthday and refuses to be her friend.

Allie Finkle has certain rules for life, which she writes down. They’re things like, “Never eat anything red.” Mary Beth knows about the rules, but not many other people do. Allie goes to see her new house, but she is not impressed at all. There is another girl next door and Allie does find her possible friend material, but she’s still against moving. She tries to sabotage the real estate open house at her current home with her rock collection, but it doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, Allie still has to deal with Mary Beth and the other children at her current school. The worst one is Brittany; she’s a bat thrower. She’s known to throw tantrums and throw anything within reach. When a girl plays with Brittany, they’re supposed to do whatever Brittany says. One day, when Allie is over at Brittany’s house with Mary Beth, and another girl, Brittany dictates all the games and even puts the family cat in a suitcase and drags it around. Allie does not like animals being hurt so she lets the cat out of the suitcase, and outside, this puts her on the friend blacklist even more, but she doesn’t care.

One night, at a family dinner out, she steals a turtle from a Chinese restaurant. Allie doesn’t know that this will change things for a while. In the end Allie finds out that some friends aren’t really good friends.

What I liked

I have to admit, this book wasn’t that bad for a book geared to a much younger audience. Meg Cabot is quite the writer, you’ll know her if you’ve read any of her other books. She writes for an older audience and a younger audience, so usually, anything she writes is catchy enough to keep an adult’s attention.

Allie is spunky and quirky. The fact that Allie does this weird thing, make up rules, isn’t shied away from. Most of us generally have something weird we do.

What I didn’t like

This Brittany kid sounds like an utter brat. How is it even possible for a child to be so bratty? I recently watched the Babadook, and the kid on that movie was a brat too. I might have just let the darn Babadook take him away. It amazes me that there are some kids so bratty, that it’s practically impossible to even think about being around them. Brittany sounds like a spoiled rotten brat, who is going to grow up to be a spoiled rotten teenager, who is going to end up pregnant in high school, but don’t worry, because her mother will take care of the baby while she’s at school, and Brittany will continue to be a brat. Honestly, Brittany will probably be a brat when she’s forty.

Any kid that has a room big enough to jump around in, like Brittany does, has way more than most kids do, if only they got the concept of being grateful for what they have, maybe they wouldn’t be such brats.

Overall

Heck, I’m glad Allie moved away from Brittany.

Weigh In

Would you be friends with Brittany because she has nice things?

Did you ever move mid-school-year as a child?

#745 And There was Light by Jacques Lusseyran

And There was Light by Jacques LusseyranAnd There was Light by Jacques Lusseyran

Jacques was born in France and had a normal childhood until about age nine. This is when disaster struck. Jacques was playing one day and there was a terrible accident. He fell and his glasses injured his eyes. There was nothing to be done about it. Jacques lost his eyes.

He could not see, but still wanted to learn. He still wanted to be normal and his family was quite supportive. Jacques learned Braille. He learned to type. Jacques was able to join a regular class of students at school. Jacques even made friends.

Jacques grew, his friends grew, and thoughts of war grew. There were whispers and Ru order about a war. Then the war really started happening. Jacques a d his friends had a wonderful teacher than taught them more than simple politics.

The war moved on. Jacques and his friends wanted to do something. Jacques could not fight in the war, but he could fight at home. He was soon involved in creating an underground newspaper that told the truth about what was happening in the war.

Eventually, Jacques was arrested for his actions and sent to a camp. He could not see to work, but even then, Jacques did not quit his efforts. Many of his friends were ultimately arrested and ended up in the camp as well. Jacques survived the war and became a professor of French in the United States.

What I liked

I think Jacques was a really neat guy. I really would have liked to have spent more time with this book. I admire anyone who sticks their neck out to help others. Jacques almost certainly helped people.

What I didn’t like

Like I said, I really would have liked to have spent more time with this book, learning about Jacques. He died sometime ago, so we have nothing else from him.

Overall

Jacques is definitely admirable.

Weigh in

Would you be brave enough to publish information the government didn’t want to be published?

Do you think releasing secret information, that can be helpful, is a crime?

#744 We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh SundquistWe Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist

One day, when Josh is twenty-five, he realizes that he has never had a girlfriend. He thought he had a girlfriend, but it turns out that she was just a friend. Josh decides to go back over each girlfriend and figure out what’s wrong.

The added difficulty of this is that Josh only has one leg. He had cancer as a child and his leg had to be amputated, but he gets along just fine.

He devotes a chapter to speaking about each girl and what kind of semi-relationship he had with each. There was the one girl who ultimately told him, years later that she hadn’t wanted to ruin their friendship by dating. There was the girl who was waiting on him to make a move. There was the girl who lost Miss America and was embarrassed. There was the girl who just plain didn’t like him as anything other than a friend. Josh realizes that not a single girl attributed his missing leg to not being boyfriend material.

Josh is now a motivational speaker, and, yes, he has finally had a girlfriend.

What I liked

I liked Josh’s story. I kind of felt bad for him in some parts of it, but I still liked his story. I was awkward, well, I’m still awkward, and stories about awkward people help me with my life. I’m not the only awkward one. I wasn’t the only weirdo who didn’t date a lot in high school. Josh seems like a determined person.

I understand about feeling something about your physical appearance is keeping you from dating. Sometimes, truthfully, it is that something about your physical appearance. There are people so shallow that they don’t even want to say Hello to you because of that thing about your physical appearance, but that’s not everyone. Sometimes it’s you. Sometimes it’s your own hangup about your physical appearance that keeps people from making the moves on you.

Trust me, I thought I was going to have to live in the woods alone with a hundred cats as a teenager. I thought no one was ever going to want to be in a serious relationship with me because I was overweight, less overweight than I am now, but even now, I can still manage to get guys interested, when I’m not in a relationship. People like all kinds of people and you’re physical appearance thing that you think everyone is hung up on probably isn’t that big of a deal to the people who like you. Now, if your physical appearance hang up is something that society tells people they shouldn’t like, other people might be afraid to like you because of what society thinks about people with your particular physical appearance hang up. That’s just a testament to them being weak of character and maybe you didn’t want to date them anyway.

What I didn’t like

It felt like all Josh thought about was girls. Didn’t he have other things to do? Weren’t there other important things in his life? I know there were because he mentions them from time to time.

Some of the stuff Josh feels so let down about isn’t even really important. Failed relationships in high school? That’s not important at all. About the only things that matters in high school is doing the things that make the next part of your life possible, whether that’s getting good enough grades to get into college, or learning skills that can set you on the course of your life. Dating? High school popularity? Home coming? Prom? None of it is particularly important and I always wonder why so many people place such a huge emphasis on their high school years.

Overall

I’m glad Josh has a girlfriend now.

Weigh In

Were you awkward as a teenager?

Do you think people have shied away from being in relationships with you because of something about your physical appearance?


#743 When is Jesus Going to Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin

When is Jesus Going to Bring the Pork Chops by George CarlinWhen is Jesus Going to Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin

As you might surmise, this is a book full of George Carlin’s views on the world, including religion. George goes straight into the ten commandments, maybe we only need a couple that boil down to be a good person.

George then goes on about language in our society. He feels that language has been softened because everyone is too sensitive. He wonders why we have to rename everything. Can’t a secretary be a secretary and not an administrative assistant? George has a lot of things to say about everything.

What’s with the way women have to do so many things? What about men being idiots? What about this or that?

What I liked

George is funny. Many of his observations are true. He pokes fun at society for being society.

I liked the idea of women being crazy because men are stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like sexism, nor do I think men are stupid, all of the time, but generally, in my life, I have found this assumption by George to be fairly true. There are quite a few problems in my life that have been caused by a man acting stupid. I say acting because I know the man, or men, is/are not really stupid. They’re just acting like it, but for whatever reason, I’m not sure. I guess it’s one of those man/woman mysteries.

What I didn’t like

George is a little too rough for me. He pokes fun at religion a bit too much for my tastes. I still think he’s quite funny, but difficult for me to take in large doses. Many of his observations are absolutely spot on, which is sad because he mentions them in a sarcastic manner that implies stupidity on society’s part, which is certainly a thing.

Overall

I may read something by George again or I may not.

Weigh in

What do you think about George?

If you like making fun of religion, but are religious, is there a point where you feel uncomfortable?