Download kindle My One Hundred Adventures By Polly Horvath – Intimatenights.co.uk

My One Hundred Adventures A variation of this review is at my blog here.This is a lovely book I became a Horvath fan years ago with The Trolls and quite liked Everything on a Waffle This one has the same episodic quality of these and feels a bit gentler too, somehow It takes place in an unnamed Massachusetts town where the narrator, 12 year old Jane, lives with her poet mother and younger siblings in a beach house It is indeed a series of adventures that have a number of connecting threads family, fathers, friends A variation of this review is at my blog here.This is a lovely book I became a Horvath fan years ago with The Trolls and quite liked Everything on a Waffle This one has the same episodic quality of these and feels a bit gentler too, somehow It takes place in an unnamed Massachusetts town where the narrator, 12 year old Jane, lives with her poet mother and younger siblings in a beach house It is indeed a series of adventures that have a number of connecting threads family, fathers, friendship, andThere is a charm about this book and I recommend it highly Horvath always has a dry, deadpan humorous style that I ve always loved For example, in this book, at one point Jane mentions that her mother has a large stockpile of rice and there are other references to the fact that money and food are a bit scarce in their household In a later chapter they are sitting about mourning the death of another character and that rice is elegantly referenced thusWe don t feel much like having a barbecue now We sit around and eat a little rice And again a few paragraphs later when someone stops by to discuss the funeralOf course we will be there We will all be there, says my mother and then offers Mrs Merriweather a little rice, but she cannot stay She has other arrangements to make.There is something in this book that lingers with you At least it sure is lingering with me THE WINNER OF a National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and countless other awards has written her richest, most spirited book yet, filled with characters that readers will love, and never forget Jane isyears old, and she is ready for adventures, to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the know not what And, over the summer, adventures do seem to find Jane, whether it s a thrilling ride in a hot air balloon, the appearances of a slew of possible fathers, or a weird new friendship with a preacher and psychic wannabe Most important, there s Jane s discovery of what lies at the heart of all great adventures that it s not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourselfAnd don t miss Polly Horvath s Northward to the Moon, the sequel to My One Hundred Adventures From the Hardcover edition Newbery committees have been accused of being humorless, or at least of discriminating against funny books when selecting the most distinguished children s book of the year Like Polly Horvath s Newbery honor book, Everything on a Waffle, My One Hundred Adventures is funny but also immerses readers into a specific time and place The place is within shouting distance of the ocean, which may or may not be familiar to readers But the time, early adolescence, is a time we all remember for wanting Newbery committees have been accused of being humorless, or at least of discriminating against funny books when selecting the most distinguished children s book of the year Like Polly Horvath s Newbery honor book, Everything on a Waffle, My One Hundred Adventures is funny but also immerses readers into a specific time and place The place is within shouting distance of the ocean, which may or may not be familiar to readers But the time, early adolescence, is a time we all remember for wanting somethingsomething I know not what, which is what adventures are about Beyond the constant presence of the sea, time is measured in this book in berries, with the passing of summer proceeding as jam jars are filled with first strawberries, then raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries Summer itself is welcomed as the moon gently pulls back the layers of the year, leaving the best part open and free So summer comes to me, and how we yearn for it here in frigid Chicago Jane, oldest of four children who live in a cabin by the sea with their unconventional mom, falls into unlikely adventures with quirky characters We come to know them through evocative images, for example, I felt so much like a candle on a cake ready to be lit , which is as good a description of being twelve as I ve ever read Fourteen adventures are completed over the course of the novel, but of course Jane still has her whole life for the other 86 By the end, she has given up childhood s magical thinking and grown into life affirming wisdom I really liked this book and think it incorporates the characteristics of the best Newbery books, that is, child friendliness and appeal onthan one level, humor but also a dimension of wisdom I wish it the best of luck tomorrow I had a hard time with this book As with many books by Polly Horvath, it was hit and miss On the one hand the story was very engaging I loved the older female characters in the book, they were eccentric and vivid On the other hand, the 12 year old narrator did not sound or feel 12 years old I might have beensatisfied had Horvath chosen a 3rd person narration The voice was very old, definitely adult The effect, for me, was to make the intentional gaps in the girl s comprehension of w I had a hard time with this book As with many books by Polly Horvath, it was hit and miss On the one hand the story was very engaging I loved the older female characters in the book, they were eccentric and vivid On the other hand, the 12 year old narrator did not sound or feel 12 years old I might have beensatisfied had Horvath chosen a 3rd person narration The voice was very old, definitely adult The effect, for me, was to make the intentional gaps in the girl s comprehension of what was going on, seemlike stupidity and less like childhood inexperience Had the voice been younger these gaps would have reconciled As it is, I had to keep reminding myself she was only 12 Twelve year old Jane is at that tender place we call adolescence, leaving childhood behind, yearning and aching for something she can t yet define As if itching and outgrown, my soul is twisting about my body wanting somethingto do this summer than the usual wading in shallows and reading and building castles on the shore I want something I know not what, which is what adventures are about Jane wishes for adventures and when they come, fourteen of them, they form Jane s first steps aw Twelve year old Jane is at that tender place we call adolescence, leaving childhood behind, yearning and aching for something she can t yet define As if itching and outgrown, my soul is twisting about my body wanting somethingto do this summer than the usual wading in shallows and reading and building castles on the shore I want something I know not what, which is what adventures are about Jane wishes for adventures and when they come, fourteen of them, they form Jane s first steps away from her family and the place she loves I am an avowed Horvath fan but even taking that into account, I think this is a really outstanding book and it pops right up there on my list of potential Newberys She captures just perfectly that tremulous age of wanting something yet not knowing what nor understanding why The writing is lyrical, not only of the emotions but also the setting which is vividly realized The trademark quirky characters are at once unique and universal and their encounters with Jane enable her start the biggest adventure of all knowing herself This is a delicious book that deserves to be read again and again Jane and her siblings live with their mother, a famous poet, in a small house by the ocean A preacher woman, Nellie, ropes Jane into helping her distribute Bibles, and a local woman blackmails Jane into babysitting five children Jane is pulled into the town drama, and discovers one of her mother s past boyfriends might be Jane s father I LOVED the writing style in this book It s beautifully poetic and insightful with poignant little observations But I did not like the story or the character Jane and her siblings live with their mother, a famous poet, in a small house by the ocean A preacher woman, Nellie, ropes Jane into helping her distribute Bibles, and a local woman blackmails Jane into babysitting five children Jane is pulled into the town drama, and discovers one of her mother s past boyfriends might be Jane s father I LOVED the writing style in this book It s beautifully poetic and insightful with poignant little observations But I did not like the story or the characters The story is weird Nellie, the preacher, thinks she has the power of energy healing and drags Jane into her quest for supernatural power That whole storyline was idiotic and made no sense with the rest of the plot Jane s mother has several boyfriends from her past who show up, and Jane wonders which of them fathered her and her siblings But that storyline is never resolved, and both Jane and the reader are left wondering Jane herself never DOES anything She just stands around waiting for things to happen to her Only one time in the entire book does Jane actually take a decisive action The rest of the time she waits for other people to do things, say things, and make the decisions She is such a boring character But the writing It s just so entrancing and whimsical and poignant It almost makes up for the boring characters and random plot Almost Life is messy and unpredictable Folks don t always act the way they should even grown ups Even parents Unpleasant feelings tend to well up and pervade one s mind like a miasma But there is unexpected joy in life as well, often in the simplest things and during the oddest moments Polly Horvath understands this 12 year old Jane is the oldest of four children She lives with her single mom and her two brothers and one sister in a worn but beloved house on the beach, where her mom is apparen Life is messy and unpredictable Folks don t always act the way they should even grown ups Even parents Unpleasant feelings tend to well up and pervade one s mind like a miasma But there is unexpected joy in life as well, often in the simplest things and during the oddest moments Polly Horvath understands this 12 year old Jane is the oldest of four children She lives with her single mom and her two brothers and one sister in a worn but beloved house on the beach, where her mom is apparently able to make a small living from writing poetry she received a Pulitzer.This summer, Jane inadvertently becomes the sidekick for Nellie Phipps, the preacher at church, with whom she goes around giving away bibles and searching for spiritual truth in some rather dubious places A short trip in an air balloon during which Jane drops bibles from midair leads to a stint doing slave labor babysitting for a huge family of tiny messy children Meanwhile, men keep appearing out of the blue, all of whom seem to have been her mother s boyfriends at one time or another whether they still are is hard to tell Finally, there are old women with amazing hats and various illnesses, who must be prayed for and coddled Thank goodness for Jane s friend Ginny, who has a level head on her shoulders and a steady bead on her future as a fashion designer.Jane tries to do the right thing and think the best of the people she meets until she realizes that there is a reason that she keeps having negative, bitter thoughts and it s not because she s a bad person These folks Nellie Phipps and quite a few others are behaving badly They are taking advantage, being selfish, lying, and in general not being sterling examples of goodness.These characters are delicious to find in a children s book Nellie Phipps, single minded and outrageously self centered despite her role as minister, rings absolutely true How does a kid deal with someone like this Probably a lot like Jane, who keeps hoping that Nellie being a grown up and a minister has Jane s and everyone else s best interests at hear.A character with a bit part, Dr Callahan as the town s long suffering doctor is priceless He just wants a bit of peace, but he has to deal with all the old ladies and their ailments At the funeral of one such old lady, Mrs Parks, Dr Callahan tries in vain to tell everyone that she had bursitis, not the thrombosis Mrs Parks had complained of Finally, he snaps, I m telling you, she was in the PINK of health And that s what I told her The pink The silly fool wanted to go into the hospital It is my opinion that you send one old lady to the hospital and they all want to go This understandably leads to some heated and hilarious discussion, quite disrupting the funeral.Jane s mom is a bit of an enigma She avoids most people and hates making public appearances, tending rather to float through life, tending to her children and making jam That all these men suddenly return to her life this one summer is somewhat of an unconvincing coincidence who are they and why did they all come back Are any of them the fathers of Jane or the other kids Which ones Does it matter I would think it does matter, and yet Jane eventually makes a conscious decision to not bring it up with either her mother or the one man who sticks around Another man suddenly runs off to marry a student, a third man apparently drowns or does he Another mystery, and a fourth lives a quiet life reading in his trailer.There is so much to this deceptively simple book I could go on and on about the various intriguing plot lines and characters To summarize my favorite thing about the book the messiness and strangeness of life can lead to important insights that flit through your thoughts and then vanish, altering your perception of the world forever My library copy is bristling with post its that I ll have to pull off before I return it, so here is just one tiny example But Mrs Merriweather probably wouldn t understand this She was busy at her sister s bringing berries She has had another sort of day and will never know ours Suddenly I realize that everyone in the whole world is, at the end of a day, staring at a dusky horizon, owner of a day that no one else will ever know I see all those millions of different days crowded into the one This is my favorite book of 2008, I think.Gr 4 7 I listened to this book on my iPod It was on the School Library Journal list of best books for youth for 2008 I m not sure if this is young adult or juvenile fiction.Jane Fielding, the star of the book, is 12 years old She lives in a beautiful beach town in Massachusetts with her poet mother and her 3 siblings Jane has deep thoughts I don t know any 12 year olds like Jane Sometimes her thoughts are downright lyrical But she is incredibly naive about life Until the summer she is 12, had s I listened to this book on my iPod It was on the School Library Journal list of best books for youth for 2008 I m not sure if this is young adult or juvenile fiction.Jane Fielding, the star of the book, is 12 years old She lives in a beautiful beach town in Massachusetts with her poet mother and her 3 siblings Jane has deep thoughts I don t know any 12 year olds like Jane Sometimes her thoughts are downright lyrical But she is incredibly naive about life Until the summer she is 12, had she never wondered about the idea of having a father And it s just annoying that all 4 of the children in that family have different fathers, and no one seems to wonder about how that mom conceived those kids Just because the mom takes good care of her children and makes alot of homemade jam doesn t mean that she is a responsible adult She is portrayed as kind and caring and a model mother It never mentions how old Jane s younger siblings are but it kind of seems like they re about 8, 6, and 4 Somewhere before the events of the book began, and when Jane s mom would have been pregnant with the now 4 year old did Jane ever wonder or question about where a father might be It s all treated so casually that this mom just happens to produce babies as a result of her liasons with men that she doesn t talk about and who are not part of her life or her children s life She just has 4 children from 4 different men and it s no big deal Sheesh.And all the stuff about the transparent poodle was just tedious rather than amusing To me, almost everything in the book that was supposed to be quirky or funny was just tedious My nine year old saw this book, picked it up to read it, and abandoned it after a chapter or so And I get why.Horvath writes beautifully Adult readers and Newbery committee types adore her for that And she writes wonderful, quirky characters and interesting plot twists which make books like Everything On A Wafflefun and readable for kids who don t give a durn about how many ahem librarians or teachers adore a book They just want something they ll LIKE.She doesn t succeed with the second p My nine year old saw this book, picked it up to read it, and abandoned it after a chapter or so And I get why.Horvath writes beautifully Adult readers and Newbery committee types adore her for that And she writes wonderful, quirky characters and interesting plot twists which make books like Everything On A Wafflefun and readable for kids who don t give a durn about how many ahem librarians or teachers adore a book They just want something they ll LIKE.She doesn t succeed with the second part here As someone said, this isof a book about childhood written for adults than a book about childhood for children Some of the plot twists go beyond eccentric to beyond belief.There are too many things going on below the surface that an adult may grasp but a child, looking at the world with a child s eyes will just not get, and so they may feel that something s been left out.I m not saying that you can t write a book for kids that has something for grownups to it heck, that s my whole theory of a great kids book in a nutshell But this one just doesn t qualify as a great book either for kids or adults Sigh Frankly, this book bored me The lyrical prose drew me in at first, and I wanted to love it, but after a few chapters, the story failed to grab me I regret to admit that I skimmed the last half of the book.


About the Author: Polly Horvath

Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, The Canning Season and The Trolls Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People s Literature, the Boston Globe Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children s Literature, the Mr Christie Award, the international White Raven, and the Young Adult Canadian Book of the Year Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan She attended the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City She has taught ballet, waitressed, done temporary typing, and tended babies, but while doing these things she has always also written Now that her children are in school, she spends the whole day writing, unless she sneaks out to buy groceries, lured away from her desk by the thought of fresh Cheez Whiz She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and two daughters.http us.macmillan.com author pollyh


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