Maria (@mselke01) and I are reading together and we are now
Batty About The Beyonders,
Oh Noes! I was totally NOT feeling this book. Here we are 190 pages in and I hadn't bought into it. After a short twitter conversation - Maria graciously let me quit reading.
So, this is the final installment in A World Without Heroes! Please check out Maria's Melange where she's given this book more than it's due!
As Always, my words are in blue and Maria's are in purple.
A World Without Heroes - Part 1 - p1-99
A World Without Heroes - Part 2 - p99 - p190
Kathy: BE FOREWARNED - I DO NOT LIKE THIS BOOK!
Maria: I tend to try to “look for the good”, and I found a few things I liked, but overall I agree. I do see upper elementary boys enjoying it. My own fourth grade son devoured this book and insisted I buy the second. I now regret spending the money on the hardback copy. He’s a voracious reader, and maybe he’s not yet as discriminating as I thought.
Kathy: I feel like Mull is simultaneously reading a book about hero fiction and trying to write one incorporating the things he’s learning: evil ruler who will toy with you, mentor who will bestow gifts upon you - including the use of his name, “rightful heir” ousted by evil ruler.
Maria: Laugh! No, seriously, I can see this. This is about the same way I felt when I read the first Paolini book. My students were GAGA over it, and I read it thinking, “You can really tell he was only a teenager when he wrote that.” I did finish that book, but I never really enjoyed it.
Kathy: That's another one I didn't finish! I've made it halfway TWICE!
Kathy: That whole paragraph about what it means to be a hero. Gag.
Maria: Yes! That was one of the first things I decided rubbed me the wrong way.
Kathy: I don’t understand how they know their way around this “other world” so easily. We’ve been told time and time again that maps are forbidden, so how do they know which way is east? Are they assuming things work like they do “beyond”?
Maria: You know, that didn’t occur to me. Now that you mention it, I agree. I’m not sure why that one didn’t jump out at me. Most of my favorite “high fantasy” includes maps galore.
Kathy: At least I can look forward to trying to figure out “The Word”! Kind of reminds me of Westing Game in that aspect. A _ _ EN _ _. Other than that? Reading just to finish.
Maria: Didn’t you like Westing Game? I did love that one, and I often have student reading groups read it. Some love it, some find it so very confusing. I hate to give up a puzzle.
Kathy: Oh yes, I loved The Westing Game. I meant this as a compliment to World Without Heroes!
Kathy: Gah! I don’t have much to say about this section! I am forcing myself to read it and I am NOT enjoying it. We are almost 200 pgs in and I haven’t thought of one student I would give this to! I could barely keep my eyes open through this! It took me HOURS to read the less than 100 pages in this section.
Maria: As we chatted about on Twitter last night, I think it’s time to give this one a burial at sea. Wave goodbye to Beyonders and let’s move on with our lives. I may still try to burn through the rest, just to find a glimmer of what my son loved in it. But I’ll be happy to not have to pull it apart or take notes on it. I’m hopeful our next choice will be more appealing!
Kathy: You are a gem! I may re-visit it this summer when I have more time. For now, I can't wait to find a palate cleanser!
Maria and I decided we would do a post discussing how we decide to abandon books. I will say, the more I read, the more I abandon. I'll talk about why during the discussion.