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Untitled Middle-Grade Novel (2014)

by Cynthia Kadohata(Favorite Author)
3.78 of 5 Votes: 2
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
review 1: I wavered between giving this 2 or 3 stars. I have really enjoyed other books by Newbery Award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata, but this one was a bit of a struggle. My main problem was with the main character Jaden. I kept wanting to have more empathy for him, but I found him to be such a difficult and unlikable character, it was hard. I felt much more empathy for his adoptive parents. Despite a glimmer of hope at the end, it was a pretty grim book for me.
review 2: The books that really grab me are books with interesting characters and this book provides one. It also provides an interesting universal dilemma - how do you form a family? What is a family? With several themes related to adoption, this book is not didactic, but is, rather, expository. Alt
... morehough I have never been personally involved in adoption, my sister and her husband adopted three kids from Russia, so I know a little bit about the financial and emotional investment it takes. But this book is the first one that helped me FEEL what attachment difficulties FEEL like - especially for older children who are adopted. I am not generally very taken by descriptions of place. People and their interactions are more compelling to me. But one piece of imagery really is sticking with me for this book: the description of the wind. It isn't even a major element in the story, but somehow, the wind made everything more real. I read this the same day I bought it. This includes re-reading part of it, because I wanted to see better how Jaden developed his interest in Dimash, once I figured out how important this relationship was to Jaden. The only slightly annoying bit of the book was the continual emphasis on "bonding" time with the baby, Ramazan. "Bonding" seems almost like new-age psychobabble. I know it is important to the story, but my interest flagged a little when the word kept coming up. less
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Wow! What a powerful story. Read almost all if it in one night, could not put it down.
More like 3.5 stars. Interesting story. Writing and plot felt a bit uneven.
Mock Newbery 2014
read 2 chapters
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