Alina Bronsky, like her character 17 year old Sascha Naimann, is a Russian immigrant who moved to Germany. Broken Glass Park is Bronsky’s first novel, (English version translated by Tim Mohr), and was nominated for one of Europe’s most prestigious literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.
The main character, Sascha, starts out by telling us she has two goals in life. The first is to write a book about her mother, and the second is to kill Vadim, her incarcerated step-father who brutally murdered her mother in front of her and her younger siblings. Despite this intriguing piece of information, the book started off slow for me but really picked up the pace as the story unraveled. Even when the plot wasn’t moving as fast as I’d have liked, the writing was strong throughout with many unique metaphors and well developed characters. Sascha in particular is an especially memorable character; intelligent, witty, deep thinking, rebellious and angry as teenage years demand, yet responsible as a result of her circumstances. Broken Glass Park is a unique coming-of-age story which touches on the immigrant experience, domestic violence, poverty, and how the choices we make in life determine our destiny.
The top girl’s baby name for 2009 is “Isabella”, because of the character “Bella” from the Twilight book series.
The top boy’s name for 2009 was “Jacob”, (another Twilight character), and “Cullen” (the surname of Twilight vampire, Edward Cullen), also saw a major surge.
Book title/author: Liselle and the Birch Prince by Bryan P. Hunt/Illustrated by Tanya Lam
About the book:
It’s been called nature-deficit disorder: the disturbing reality that today’s over-protected, technology-addicted children are almost completely disconnected from nature. The phenomenon has been linked not only to childhood obesity and psychological imbalances, but also to the steady destruction of the environment—and some say it points to the eventual breakdown of society itself. For author Bryan P. Hunt, recognizing this dilemma was one of the main motivators behind the writing of his second children’s book, Liselle and the Birch Prince, a magical modern fairytale that weaves together subtle lessons on bravery, selflessness, and the eternal power of love against the enchanting backdrop of nature’s untarnished beauty.
I sat down this evening and read this book to my youngest son, who is 8 years old. We don’t often read fairy tales anymore. We’ve read many of the classics, (most recently Alice and Wonderland), but this book is unique – not what we usually find at the library. The language was accessible to his age group while not being condescendingly simple in the least. The writing itself was good quality and he enjoyed the illustrations, (which looked to be watercolors.) His only complaint was when I finished the book he asked, “What happens next?” – This was partly a desire for the narrative to continue because it was good, and partly a comment on how abruptly the author ended the story. The ending is somewhat unsatisfactory and not exactly the “happily ever after” one expects, but my son wants to know when the rest of it will be written, so he did enjoy it. Perhaps the author will consider making it a series.
Filed under books, kids, opinion
CONTEST CLOSED! WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!
Using Random.org, a winner has been selected!
Congratulations to … KAREN!
Thanks to all who participated and to stay up to say in-the-know on future giveaways, feel free to follow me on Twitter. (Link in the sidebar to the right.) … That is the first place I announce newly posted giveaways!
Happy Mother’s Day!
I’m pleased to be able to host another wonderful giveaway from Hachette Book Group. One lucky winner will receive a copy of each book below:
Just Let Me Lie Down By Kristin van Ogtrop
God Never Blinks By Regina Brett
The Cradle By Patrick Somerville
Heart of My Heart By Kristin Armstrong
Roses By Leila Meacham
1. Leave a comment telling me about a favorite memory you have of your mother, (or your favorite memory being a mother yourself!)
2. Make sure that you leave a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field. Comments are moderated. Please be patient. Your comment will appear when I approve it!
3. One comment/entry per person. One winner will be chosen at random. Contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on May 8th, 2010. Winner will be announced here and contacted via E-mail on Mother’s Day, May 9th, 2010.
4. If you are the winner you must be able to respond with your address for the prize to be shipped. No PO Boxes will be accepted. Address must be in the US or Canada.
Good luck and Happy Mother’s Day!