Friday, September 08, 2006

Spotlight on Sarah Weeks

Name: Sarah Weeks
Born: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Resides: New York City

Picture Books: Crocodile Smile, 1994; Follow the Moon, 1995; Without You, 2003; Angel Face, 2002; If I Were A Lion, 2004; Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash, 1998; Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash, 2000; Oh My Gosh, Mrs. MCNosh, 2002; I’m A Pig, 2005; Two Eggs, Please, 2003; My Somebody Special, 2002; Paper Parade, 2004; Overboard, 2005; Counting Ovejahs, 2006; Brass Bone, 2006; Ella, Of Course, 2007; Who’s Under That Hat, 2005; Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine, 2006; Ruff! Ruff!, 2006.

Books for Young Readers: Beware of Mad Dog, 2004; Get Well Soon, Or Else!, 2004; Danger! Boys Dancing, 200?, Fink’s Funk, 200?, Tripping Over The Lunch Lady and Other School Stories, 2004; Baah Choo, 2005; Drip Drop, 2000; Splish Splash, 1999;

Books for Older Readers: Jumping the Scratch, 2006; So B. It, 2004; Guy Wire, 2002; My Guy, 2001; Guy Time, 2000; Regular Guy, 1999;

Official Site: Sarah Weeks
About Sarah Weeks by Pippin Properties, Inc.

Weeks, Sarah. 2004. SO B IT.

Weeks has created empathetic characters in Bernadette and Heidi. Heidi's narration is simply wonderful. Her voice is powerful and memorable. She seems honest and genuine in her narration--she is a character that lets you into her mind. She genuinely loves her mother "So B. It" despite her mental illness. Heidi's life isn't normal by any means--but Heidi doesn't complain--she's happy creating her own kind of unique family that embraces everyone's differences. The novel was memorable, enjoyable, and heartbreaking in some places. Heidi's loss is real, but the character is so strong--the reader knows she'll be able to survive. I absolutely loved this novel. Heidi is a girl who is gaining in wisdom. She knows that every person has their own weakness or flaw--and she accepts people as they are. She doesn't ask for what they can't give. While other girls might be embarrassed of a mother who is "mentally bum" since she only has a vocabulary of 24 words, one word "soof" not even being a "real" word, but Heidi, although she goes through times of frustrations, loves her mother unconditionally. It was just a sweet, moving, loving novel. Very well written. Definitely a must read for years to come. I hope it never goes out of print.

"I'd be lying if I said that given a choice, I wouldn't rather know than not know. But there are some things you can just know for no good reason other than that you do, and then there are other things that no matter how badly you want to know them, you just can't. The truth is, whether you know something or not doesn't change what was" (4).

Weeks, Sarah. 2006. Jumping the Scratch

Jamie Reardon is a our young narrator telling us about a painful chapter in his young life...and how his aunt Sapphy who has her own him 'jump the scratch' and move on in his life. You see, his aunt had an on-the-job injury at the local cherry plant. The head injury caused her to lose her short-term memory. She can remember things from before the accident, but very little if anything from after the accident. He feels that he can help her through this if he can find a way to 'jump the scratch' like he can do when he's playing a record. But the truth is, they both need help but don't know how to get it.

Jamie has a big, mysterious secret...that is only slowly revealed. His classmate, Audrey, is the closest thing he has to a friend. He relunctantly agrees to be hypnotized because he wants to forget his secret. The problem, it brings it clearly to the surface, and he can't help wanting to finally share it with someone. The solution. If you wanted to tell a deep secret but not have any consequences, you'd tell it to a person who would forget she ever heard it in half an hour or less. So he finds himself confiding in his aunt.

Enter the happy ending. Unburdening this weight from his soul helps Sapphy 'jump the scratch' in her own life. Both are able to live happily ever after.

I loved the book. I thought it was very well done.


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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