This blog is basically about how good books are nice and bad books are the pits. And then I get grumpy.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fun with books! or, I hope I've progressed a bit since then....

Rummaging through old things and hoping to find items such as a specific notebook from my past I, of course, found nothing I was looking for. But I did find these ancient book reports from about a decade into my life. I can certainly say that I hope I've improved as a synopsizer and reviewer of books.

One thing I love about the book reports I was made to do in grade school was the artistic element of drawing a cover related to the novel or biography or what-have-you involved. I wasn't a bad artist. But I was nothing compared to other students who sketched amazing sports drawings during math class and then got caught and advised by the teacher that they were very talented, indeed, but right now was the time for long division. I think I plateaued in my artistic ability as a child, so badly do I draw now. So it was pleasant for me to find these book reports which demanded I use my language arts skills as well as math (to ascertain how many pages needed to be read by the due date - there's that long division, again!) and, of course, required me to find the Picasso in myself.

It's so great the number of talents we students were asked to utilize at that age - so very different from the monotony of adulthood wherein accountants are always calculating, writers are writing, and just about everybody is in a state of cyclical action. Repetition rules grown-up life and makes me, at least, long for the variety of grammar school where at 8am you were a theologian, 9am a mathematician, 10am a geographer, 11am an athlete, 12 noon a social butterfly doing lunch and recess with your friends, 1pm a scientist, etc....

So, here I have found three book reports, evidence of fulfilling childhood schooldays - portrait of the blogger as a young reviewer. Was I any good? Well, I filled about three pages summarizing The Moonstone Castle Mystery by Carolyn Keene with information that seems to my grown-up ears to describe a pretty interesting story. Then comes my last sentence: "I wouldn't recommend this book because I thought it was very boring." Perhaps I needed a lesson in cohesion...and a little personality. But I seem to have simplicity down pat and not a smattering of that attitude that I so often find annoying in reviewers.

Here are the sparkling reviews according to Jemima, age 10:

Ramona the Pest
"I liked all parts of this book."
by Beverly Cleary

Understood Betsy "I liked mostly every part of the book."
by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

The Moonstone Castle Mystery "I wouldn't recommend this book."
by Carolyn Keene

I was so obviously destined for
The New Yorker.

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