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"A smaller percentage of 17 year olds saw adults reading in their homes in 1999 than in 1984."
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Material: hard cover
Summary: Arthur Street is a quiet place, but its residents struggle with ghosts and nightmares: the baggage of events that haunt them every day. When Joseph Davidson begins to sketch neighbor and former teacher Tom Leyton as part of a school art assignment, what starts as two isolated people who struggle with their fears becomes a journey toward opening and friendship. This young adult novel invites readers to discover the world as Joseph sees it.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and up; read yourself: 14 and up
Young Reader Reaction: BTSYA: The thing I liked most about the book was the plot and the many complications that unfolded from it. The author's message is clear: there is more than meets the eye in people. The author uses descriptive language that paints a clear picture of the characters. It did, however, move a little bit slowly. Other than the pace, it was fine, and I think kids 13 to 15 will enjoy it the most. The characters were well chosen in their personalities because they all worked well together as the book went on. I just enjoyed the plot overall. The way the problems unfolded and became solved was very interesting and it provided for a great page turner. I picked this book because it has a weird and different feel to the cover and asks me a question that makes me think and want to read it. I liked this book because it had great suspense in certain parts, and I love reading mysteries. This book was around my age reading level also. My thoughts on the book changed after the first chapper. THe beginning was boring, slow, and didn't explain things well. It got me confused about what I thought the book was about and what was happening.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a well-written story. It offers stories about how your life experiences affect your perspective. At times I found it hard to keep going, at others, hard to put down. In the end, I felt like I had finished an English class assignment, as this is the kind of book (like the classic lines of poetry it quotes) that you use for discussion and dissecting.
Pros: Young adults who want deep or meaningful stories will enjoy Joseph's journey, and how it illuminates twists of fate. Student reviewer: This book has good meanings and is a strong book. It also has good dialogue.
Cons: There is nothing specific, it isn't a personal grabber. Student reviewer: This may be boring at times and confuse you.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is an interesting read, but isn't one you'll be drawn to repeatedly. Our teen reviewer would suggest borrowing this book at a library. S/He would consider it as a gift if the person it was being bought for someone who likes books with deep emotions and messages.
Educational Themes: The story offers a study on the human psyche: how experiences affect choices, fear, communication, and interpretations of events. Tom and Joseph connect through a silkworm "farm" that Tom has. There are lots of fascinating facts about silkworms (and caring for them) that add a bonus to the story.
Notes: The Reading Tub, Inc. is reviewing an advance reader copy of this book. Flesch Kincaid reading level 6.3. The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, mystery