Monday, February 1, 2016

Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

Nobody Likes a GoblinNobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Netgalley

This is one of those books that completely turns a genre on its head, and I just loved it. In this story, the goblin is the protagonist and the adventurers that invade his home are the antagonists. They come to his, pillage it for treasures that include his best friend, Skeleton, and leave. It makes the usual hero into the heartless villain essentially.

Goblin, of course, goes on a rescue mission to get his friend, Skeleton, back. He is mistreated by nearly all the other characters he meets on his journey, which pulls at your heartstrings because this goblin does nothing to earn the mistreatment that he receives, and you find yourself rooting against the cruel humans and elves of his world. They are bullies it turns out, driven by fear, that wish to destroy Goblin just for who he is.

This book could offer a great character lesson for any teacher that shares it with a class. This book, with its innocent approach, allows readers to confront the wrongness of discrimination head-on through fantasy. Therefore, you don't have to concern yourself with the awkwardness that sometimes arises out of trying to have this same discussion with more realistic examples. It offers readers a chance to think about a situation from a new point of view and should really invite a lively discussion.

I, for one, love this book, and I hope it makes a huge impact on the market when it is released. Really impressive story that will make readers empathize with a traditional enemy. Outstanding.

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Don't Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager

Don't Dangle Your ParticipleDon't Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Like the many books by Brian Cleary on parts of speech, Vanita Oelschlager's book does an excellent job of describing the proper use of a participle. It also demonstrates how a participle can be used incorrectly, utilizing humor to make the point clear. I use books like this all the time at school. Teaching these concepts can seem boring, but the use of humorous examples engages students right away. I would be as likely to use this to teach the participle concept as I would be to use Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! to teach about comma use and The Girl's Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can't Manage without Apostrophes! to teach about apostrophe use. Making it possible to laugh at the absurdity in the new meanings of a mistake means that a student understands just how important writing correctly is. This is a great book to add to any collection. It's short, but not so short as to prevent the point from being made. I was very impressed.

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