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Wonderland: A Novel por Barbara O'Connor
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Wonderland: A Novel (edição 2019)

por Barbara O'Connor (Autor)

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1492186,824 (3.29)Nenhum(a)
When her mother uproots them again to another home and takes a job as housekeeper, ten-year-old Mavis is determined to find a best friend in Landry, Alabama, where the summer also holds the promise of friendship and change for a sad man, a stray dog, and a timid girl.
Membro:Farrell.Sam323
Título:Wonderland: A Novel
Autores:Barbara O'Connor (Autor)
Informação:Square Fish (2019), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
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Wonderland: A Novel por Barbara O'Connor

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The storytelling in this book sets it apart for me. It has a similar theme to many books in this age group: making friends, standing up for ideals and others, and taking chances. However, the characters' development is rich and the author allows the reader to get to know each one as the story unfolds with simple language and short chapters, but not simplistic writing. She shows us, not tells us, what we know about each one and how to feel about them. I really liked the difficult relationships Mavis and Rose had with their mothers, and yet the love and care they still gave. The themes of economic differences in families, Greyhound racing & humane animal treatment are ones, I think, that children can care about. The dog, Henry, is given chapters told from his POV just like the human characters, building empathy. A serious tone, but lightened mostly through sassy Mavis and a satisfying ending for all the characters, including Henry. ( )
  deemaromer | Feb 23, 2023 |
I never thought I'd be giving a Barbara O'Connor book a 2-star rating. This is killing me because I really enjoyed [b: How to Steal a Dog|826576|How to Steal a Dog|Barbara O'Connor|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1317066136s/826576.jpg|812304] and [b: Wish|1466455|Three Wishes|Liane Moriarty|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1183888822s/1466455.jpg|2172728]. After several chapters I was sure it was going to be a winner. Once I began to get a feel for the characters I realized the book was not heading in a direction I wanted to go. Most of the characters were annoying as heck and needed to go backstage and stay there.

Mavis' character opens the story and she carries it as best as she can to the end. She feels knocked down because her mother has uprooted them yet again. But she's a tough little cookie who gets back up, dusts herself off, and arrives in Landry, Alabama determined to make a best friend. Her mother has taken a job as a housekeeper for a wealthy family in a gated community. Upon meeting their daughter, Rose, Mavis makes a claim on the friendship. Her character is a typical O'Connor character, oozing personality. She speaks her mind and has a take charge personality, while exuding a southern charm. I love how she says things like dang and y’all. The only negative I can say about Mavis is the jealousy she has of Rose and Mr. Duffy’s relationship. This strikes me as an inconsistency in her personality.

Honestly, I didn't like any other character in the book. Even the dog was problematic. Rose is a downer and it’s her own fault. She’s boring and has no confidence. When things don’t go her way, instead of being proactive, she pouts. She whines. She doesn’t want to get dirty. She avoids the friendship game by hanging out with the neighborhood gatekeeper, Mr. Duffy, who isn’t the same since his dog died. I love dogs, but a grown man who falls apart when his dog dies needs to get a life. It bugged me through the whole book. He can't do his job and every time he appears in the story he's dealing with a complaint from a homeowner. I will give him one positive and that is the great southern colloquialisms he uses. "You don't have to hang from a tree to be a nut." "You can't keep trouble from coming, but you don't have to give it a chair to sit on." He's down to earth, honest and kind. I live for those kind of characters. I won't say anything about Mavis' mother other than her character being way under-developed.

Then there's Henry. The dog having a voice doesn't work in this book. I like the premise of a discontinued Greyhound escaping from the racetrack adoption center and a girl wanting to save both the dog and the person who needs a dog. This is all good. Here's the problem with this book. Rose's character dragged the story down. She didn't need to be there. Mavis could have met Mr. Duffy before his dog died and then found Henry on her own. Rose being in the story detracted from a solid development of both Mr. Duffy and Mavis' mother. And two girls squabbling about petty stuff? Ick. More dialogue between Mavis and Mr. Duffy would have been fun to say the least.

I have to mention this because the annoyance factor was high for me. Ringworm is a fungus you get when moisture stays against your skin too long. Hookworm is a worm that burrows between your toes. I was shocked that O'Connor got this wrong.
( )
  valorrmac | Sep 21, 2018 |
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When her mother uproots them again to another home and takes a job as housekeeper, ten-year-old Mavis is determined to find a best friend in Landry, Alabama, where the summer also holds the promise of friendship and change for a sad man, a stray dog, and a timid girl.

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