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It Is A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a novel that combines Young Adult lit with Jane Austen I’m absolutely positively going to like it!

Prada and Prejudice is the story of fifteen year old Callie Montgomery who is on a high school trip to London.  While touring the city Callie really wants to impress the other girls in her class so she purchases some really expensive (and really tall) Prada heels. While attempting to walk in them the klutzy Callie trips and hits her head.  When she wakes up Callie realizes that she’s somehow in Regency England!

The confused Callie gets mistaken for Rebecca, the long-lost American  friend of Emily and is invited to stay in Emily’s home with her family.  Emily’s cousin is Alex, the Duke of Harksbury, who you soon realize is the Mr. Darcy character of this Pride and Prejudice rewrite.  He thinks she is rude and too opinionated, while she thinks he is a complete jerk despite his hotness.  Callie knows her time is running out before the real Rebecca arrives and everyone discovers her secret. Can Callie help Emily from making a huge mistake?  And how can she make it back to the present while also finding love and happiness?

This story is so cute and I loved it from the first page. Callie is a clumsy but really likable character; she speaks her mind and is very caring, but struggles with insecurities as most teenage girls do.  If you’re familiar with Pride and Prejudice the plot is pretty predictable, but still fun to read. You know that characters are not always what they seem and that first impressions can sometimes be inaccurate. The blossoming romance between Callie and Alex is sweet and both characters (like the original Elizabeth and Darcy) come to see their own faults through their budding romance.

Through her Regency time travel adventure it starts to dawn on Callie that despite traveling a couple hundred years into the English past, she cannot, and will not ever be able to escape who she is, which is a good thing!  This is truly the main theme that Mandy Hubbard is trying to get across to the reader; the teen romance is simply icing on the cake!

I would recommend Prada and Prejudice to Janeites everywhere, middle grade female readers who enjoy cute and classic romances (without the vampires, or werewolves).

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Book Trailer of the Week: My Dear Dumb Diary

My kids (boys and girls) really like this series a lot.  I check one out pretty much everyday.  This series, written and illustrated by Jim Benton, is kind of girl’s version of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  If you enjoyed the Wimpy Kid books, check this one out.

 

Note:  I see there are technical issues with the sound.  Can’t seem to fix it….

 

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Up Next?

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Okay, I need input!! I can’t decide which audiobook to listen to next. They’re both totally different: “What Happened to Goodbye” by Sarah Dessen (girly friendshippy stuff) or “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner (dystopian Hunger Gamesish).

I will read (listen to) whichever one gets the most votes, so comment on this post to vote.
I’ll count votes on Friday.

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Tuesday Top Ten: Sports Fiction

My boys at school love sports, as most boys do.  Problem is they will read the same nonfiction sports book over and over again. Not that there is anything wrong with nonfiction. Nonfiction should an incredibly important part of any readers’ reading experience, I just want my boys to branch out into different books.   So, I’ve been trying to push them towards some sports fiction.

In my research I’ve found some titles the students like.  Here they are (in no particular order):

Airball: My Life in Briefs by L.D. Harkrader

Heat by Mike Lupica

Football Hero by Tim Green

Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper

Game by Walter Dean Myers

Pop by Gordon Korman

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Schooled by Paul Langdon

Crash by Jerry Spinelli

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Inside Melody’s Mind: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Melody is eleven years old.  She likes to read.  She has a good sense of humor.  She loves her family, but gets annoyed at her little sister.  Pretty much your average preteen.  But Melody is not average.

First of all she is pretty much a genius.  She has a photographic memory and she not only loves music but she sees and feels colors when she listens to it. Second, Melody has Cerebral Palsy.  She can’t move herself around the room.  She can’t hold her head up straight.  She can’t speak. No one else knows just how intelligent Melody is.  Even her parents, who believed she could learn when no one else did have no idea just how bright their daughter is.

It used to be okay for Melody; she didn’t really mind not being able to share her thoughts. But now, Melody school is trying to start some inclusive education for Melody. During her time in the regular education classrooms Melody befriends a girl named Rose.  Being around the loud and talkative “normal” teens makes Melody realize that she is in fact not okay with her inability to speak.  Its starting to drive her crazy.

With the help of her encouraging neighbor Melody gets her parents to purchase a special computer that speaks whatever Melody types.  Now Melody can finally experience the freedom her classmates take for granted.  But having the ability to communicate isn’t as freeing as Melody thought it would be and not everyone is comfortable with hearing what a girl like Melody has to say.

It took me a long time for me to know what to say about Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  This book was at times pretty tough to read as  I felt like the story was just one sad blow after another.  Especially with the family emergency at the end, which did seem a little out of place. I also got the feeling that ending hinted at the idea that someone living with a disability can never really fit in because of mean/ignorant people; maybe not intended by Sharon Draper (at least I hope not), but I felt it in there.   I kept wondering, what someone with cerebral palsy would actually think of this story; is it realistic? Or too sentimental?  I’d be interested in hearing someone’s opinion on this.

I do believe this book does a great job at showing kids that people are not always what they seem; that those who seem incredibly different or make us feel uncomfortable, are actually living breathing people with real emotions and thoughts and ideas like ours.  Overall, this story made me think of my elementary school friend, Adam.  In 4th grade I received my “license” to push the students in wheelchairs around the play ground.  I don’t know how we got connected, but soon Adam was the only person I’d hang out with during recess.  If I remember correctly Adam had Cerebral Palsy, like Melody, only he could talk.  I’ll never forget the time some kids were making fun of me and he starting screaming at them in my defense.  Adam definitely had his own thoughts and feelings, but unlike Melody he could voice them without a machine.

I can’t imagine the frustrations that come with living with a disability, although Out of My Mind does a good job on shedding some light on them.  I only wish Draper shed more light on the fact that those who live with disabilities also experience joy and victories like everyone else.