falling in

I popped into a book store this weekend with my family and, as usual, my ever-growing list of books I want to check out was not with me.

So, I did my usual perusing and came across:

The first page sucked me in and I'm not sorry about paying $16 Singapore dollars for it.

Isabelle wears second hand clothes and loves finding treasures in dumpsters, like her new, red, pointy boots.

Page 40 is such a funny, yet sadly true description of kids at this age:

"If they [children] smelled the merest molecule of something 
different about you, noticed that one of your ears was set 
higher than the other, discovered disturbing patterns 
in the freckles on your arms-- a wolf here, a pig's head there-- 
they turned against you. They made up stories about you."

Isabelle is different, but I love how she embraces it. 

Page 88:

"Teacher's whispered it in the hallway as Isabelle walked past,
girls giggled it in the cafeteria as they watched
Isabelle open her lunch box to reveal
sandwiches made of hot dog buns and lavender jelly.
Boys yelled it in the playground along with, 'weirdo', 'retard' and 'doofus'. 
Complete strangers called Isabelle strange.
But Isabelle never felt strange. She felt like herself."

This is why I loved Isabelle and was rooting for her throughout the story. Frances O'Roark Dowell writes in such whimsical imagery, it's like a paintbrush in your imagination's hand. I could taste feel and smell every scene in this book. 

The only thing that I found a bit 'off' (irritating is too strong a word), is when the narrator interrupts. Now, I love a good Lemony Snicket kind of story, but I think it's all about hitting it at the right time. Don't get me wrong I LOVED this book and I absolutely LOVE Dowell's voice, but I was so into Isabelle's story that I sometimes got a bit irked at being taken out of the story to be told something. Dowell does this the first time in Chapter 4 and promises that it'll only take a minute, but then I find she does it a few more times and I got a bit annoyed.

Dowell's writing is so delightful to read, I really wish she'd kept the narrator out of it. STILL it was worth every penny and I'm looking forward to sharing it with my kids now that I've finished it!

WHO SHOULD READ THIS: Everyone! Aimed at children 8-12. Younger boys will definitely like this.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS: Dowell will suck you in with her prose that rolls through your head forming fantastic pictures and then off your tongue to make everyone laugh! This book will make you remember what it was like to be 10-- if you are 10, I hope it helps you embrace your differences! 


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