In her evocative memoir, not a poster child, Francine Falk-Allen achieves her goal of describing life well-lived while handicapped. In so doing, she fulfills another goal: to honor all handicapped individuals. What results is a remarkable story told in an easily accessible and conversational manner with intelligence, wit, and grace.
There is an exuberance here; a delight in the word, in the construction of the self, the abnegation of the self, and in the sheer pain and joy of living, losing, and loving, that comes through each of the poems.
Wang’s genius partly comes from her ability to write about her illness with seemingly perfect clarity, as the sufferer and the scientist. The book is a testament to her brain—a brain working so well that it can so effectively describe the torment it causes her. Especially since, as Wang reminds us, schizophrenia is a disease of “loosening of associations,” in which the mind is working so hard within the person—against the person—to rid itself of itself.
The story is long, which works well for readers like me who hate to see a good book end; and the story is well-knit, which works well for scholars who want to tease out influences, tangents and themes. Frankel paints spot-on portraits of the male sex symbol, poor kids in privileged schools, Big Science, and environmentalists. Like Proust, he uses smell as a motif and a motivator.
Minnesota born, Nancy Smiler Levinson, after majoring in journalism, worked at newspaper and magazine composition as well as an editing house in New York City; after marriage, she moved to California and had two sons. She has written many books for children and appears in several journals such as: Poetica, Third Wednesday, and Drunk Monkeys. Nancy’s included in Volume 140, Something About the Author: Facts and Pictures About Authors and Illustrators of Books for Young People.
With depth in relationships that celebrate the chaos and imperfect love of mothers and daughters, lovers with lovers, and between friends, Brown delivers a beautiful and painful reminder that love often includes disappointment and failure, but also redemption and forgiveness. In the end, the human connection no matter how fallible, regardless of trappings of belief, is necessary for our survival.
The whole mix-up of the book, with elements of tennis, teenage and torture, it makes it relatable for people aged 13 to young adults, especially girls. The repeated message of following your dreams rings clear throughout, even when mixed up in love, relationships and secrets.
Callie’s character is very insightful and from her perspective in the book, she describes the world with similes and personifications, creating and painting beautiful or terrible images. It shows the world in all its beauty and horror through the words on a page, but seems so much more than that.
Three girls, three writers, three quite different stories come together into one amazing stand-alone book that captures the heart, mind and emotions in a raw adventure about discovery. Discovery of self, definitely, but also things like true friends, loyalty, sexuality, and love.
The author of Our Symphony with Animals talks about her book, her biggest writing inspiration, some of her most interesting interactions, key themes in the book, the story behind the title, the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing the book, key lessons, and lots more.