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Astonishingly, this novel's deceptively simple graphics follow the tale of a real girl's coming to adulthood - without victimization or patronization. Not sure how many stories there are out there like that. You do learn a lot about Iran in the process of reading it, but that's merely the nutritional information, not the reason to enjoy this tasty treat. Also, the movie is not an exact adaptation - I would say the narrative is stronger and the visual elements even more compelling in the movie.
Pretty good. Things I liked: the main character, the lessons in bold print throughout the book, and the Hollywood setting. Things I didn't like: all the women were beautiful, all the men were gorgeous, and cell phones ringing (and being answered) at the most inopportune times. It was a little long, but still entertaining enough to keep me reading. I have to say I was a little let down at the end, even though it does finish on an promising note.
If I was in second or third grade, I'd probably give this a 5. It definitely is not written for 24 year old librarians, but Dav Pilkey's book is awesomely clever and hilarious, and many reluctant and non-reluctant readers will love this book (though they might have already read it). I'm sure there are those who will object to the subject of toilets/toilet humor etc. In this case, I'm not one of them.
This book was really starting to irritate me with how slow and uneventful it was. I was hoping for so much more, but then, by the end of the book I was brought to tears. It became evident just how much I had invested in these characters. Aside from my overall experience, the writing and imagery were beautiful and compelling.
The author begins this book by focusing on the bees circulating in his garden, pollinating the plants. He recognizes that the flowers have gone out of their way to develop trends/tricks that make them more appealing to the main pollinator of our age. Of course, the lack of agency in the bee (after all, it is 'programmed' to do this) is ignored when humans go apesh%t over a different type of plant. The author makes us take a step back and recognize that when we spread a plant's genes far and wide, we are really acting no differently from the buzzing bee. This insight starts a four part look at 4 different species that we have taken from one of many, to nature's elite: the apple; the tulip' the pot plant and the potato, specifically the Monsanto variety. The potato comes last, and really for this section to be relevatory and groundbreaking, you need to NOT have head the Omnivore's Dilemma first, another one of his books which delves much more thoroughly on this subject. Sadly, this section actually makes me appreciate GM modified food, only because when you learn what a 'clean field' is, which is the normal growing conditions for Idaho spuds, GM really does manage to leap over what is an impossibly low bar set by our industrial agriculture. Also, you get to read about when a Monsanto executive actually utters the words: trust us. The author finds that as comical as every other human being on the planet. But really, the other three sections describing how the apple was spread by Johnny Applesead as a way to get people loaded, the tulip crazy got crazy over a misfiring genetic 'break' which actually weakens the plant, and how pot's ability make you forget and take away the affective filter we constantly carry through our lives as a rational way to cope does the book really hum. Pollan does what great authors do; makes you look at what you thought was common-place and restore your sense of wonder. Did you know that apples have to be grafted because the seeds are so amazingly diverse that your delicious tree that made the most mouth watering apples ever might produce progeny that you would sooner spit on than eat? Or how about the the uniformity of the tulip is broken by a viral infection which makes a unique pattern which gradually weakens the strain (the beautiful flower that got the Dutch so hot and bothered) until it fades away (very rock-star-esque if you ask me). Or how about how the drug war in America forced US pot growers underground, sent them to Amsterdam, and ended up crossing the two plants (sativa and indica) to produce these genetic freaks that only grow 2 feet tall, constantly flower and really need to be studied more because it turns out that some of the goofy side effects might be much more significant than we were lead to believe: or perhaps you want the human body to be able to remember every single face you see on the subway today and you want to be able to recall with crystal-clear vividness and clarity the pain of childbirth? Perhaps the best compliment I can pay his book is made me want to put down roots so I can nurture a garden, a feeling I haven't had for a long time.
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