Free read è eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ñ Emily BlejwasEel it was realistic to abusive situations I have been involved with in my life I also did not feel the content was appropriate for children Yes it was real life Yes they need exposure to real life but not with the tainted opinion that certain choices such as drugs suicide and abuse are okay The book never specifically states it is okay but it doesn t emphatically say they are wrong which is what I want my kids to know While I enjoyed this book and feel it deserves a 4 star rating I have mixed feelings about it It shows the harsh realities of life for some children Ie domestic violence hunger poverty nderfunded schools etc On one hand this can help these children feel The Highgate Vampire understood as they can identify with and see themselves in the characters It can also raise empathy andnderstanding for children who are not exposed to the same injustices On the other hand I m not entirely sure all 9 11 year olds could handle this It takes some emotional intelligence that is not always available at this age especially for kids who fall into the group of not having experienced this suffering It deserves conversation though no matter who reads it was a section that I The teacher was reading aloud to the class and the main character said to the story just made her want to dream and not worry any This is a great exa once you know freedomThis is freedom this is a weapon greater than any force you can name Once you know this and know it with all your being you will move and act with a determination and power that the federal government cannot ignore that the school boards cannot overlook and that the housing authority cannot dismiss Martin Luther King Jr Chicago 1966 ARC pages 205 206Brittany lives in inner city Chicago Does that inevitably mean endless multi generational recycling of WIC welfare worry and weariness Does starting life in rban or rural poverty mean leaving school as a dropout Not necessarily Once You Know This opens in Chicago ends in Montgomery Alabama the city the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Rosa Parks put on the map for all time Without a doubt fifth grader Brittany has inherited basic smarts but classmates teachers friends and neighbors all play essential parts in helping the eleven year old imagine and enact a future So does the internet though mostly by making everything easier than it would have been back in the last centuryThe story moves along at an easy interesting real life pace the characters are fabulous Most of s would have loved having a creative teacher into cultural arts like Mr McInnis who d relocated north from Mississippi for his first ever teaching job I feel as if I d met him met Brittany and her Mom Maureen had than a brief conversation with many of the other people in the book Emily Blejwas captures reader interest and credibility too with micro views into Brittany s world that rang true to my own experiences growing Light Structures - Structures of Light up and later working in inner city settingsAfter finding herself busted flat in Baton Rouge Janis Joplin tried to tells freedom s just another word for nothing left to lose yet freedom s really a way to claim agency begin making choices that lead to building a future for yourself and your community Once you know freedom you ll be determined and powerful No one will ignore youOnce you know this isn t in the religious books category although Brittany and Mom attend church in Chicago at least once church ladies in their new Alabama home provide ample good eats My Judeo Christian tradition that affirms the Old and New Testament scriptures places a huge emphasis on freedom and Hebrew bible scholar Walter Brueggemann reminds s we celebrate the ten commandments with their bounded freedom and limits as papers for life together in community As I ve mentioned not a few times on this site and countless times in the adult Sunday School class I facilitate we discover the neighbor at the heart of Torah we meet our neighbor as the focus of Jesus of Nazareth s succinct summary of the ten commandments into two Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind and thy neighbor as thyself At the end of that summary the gospel according to Luke includes Jesus telling the lawyer thou shalt live if he follows the commandments In short God gifted s with the commandments ordinances precepts statutes law torah so life might thrive and harmonize with Martin Buber. Est friend Marisol stick together at school but at home Brittany’s granny is sick her cat is missing there’s never any money and there’s her little brother Tommy to worry about Brittany has a hard time picturing her future as anything but a plain white sky If her life is going to ever change she needs a plan And once she starts believing. 35 Some may find this debut novel incredibly bleak and steer away from it I was impressed with how deftly the author tackles several different issues and how carefully she paints her portrait of Brittany Kowalski and her experiences living in Chicago If life at home is "dismal due to the abusive relationship that her mother seems mired in life at school offers some bright "due to the abusive relationship that her mother seems mired in life at school offers some bright The eleven year old protagonist s teacher Mr McInnis offers hope to his students encouraging his sixth graders to dream big and imagine the possibilities that lie before them But even her teacher faces challenges from a cumbersome administration and budget issues that cause a field trip to the auarium to be cancelled after months of preparation for the event Reading and writing are Brittany s solace and she and her best friend Marisol stick together at school At home she avoids Jack her mother s boyfriend as much as possible and hangs out with her great grandmother who has Alzheimer s and is fading away day by day Brittany realizes that the only hope she has is if her mother can escape the clutches of the controlling Jack something she seems Asimovs Science Fiction, July 2016 unable to do Taking matters in her own hands she seizes the opportunity presented when a birthday card arrives for her great grandmother and tracks down Fuzzy the man who sent the card It s clear as the story moves forward that it is hard to leave all that is familiar behind and yet it is sometimes necessary to do so in order to save oneself The author carefully includes passages that arenderstated leaving to the imagination of readers some of what is occurring in the book For instance when Brittany describes taking in a stray cat Patches and how Jack lets the cat out while everyone else is asleep it s clear exactly what kind of man he is Many youngsters will see their own stories mirrored in and perhaps draw strength from Brittany s determination to improve her lot in life Then too the influence of a teacher who dares to dream and push against the way things are
as well as encouraging his own charges to strive for cannot be discountedwell as encouraging his own charges to strive for cannot be discounted wanted to reach into this book and take care of Brittany myself I identified so much with her confusion and struggle with figuring out how to help her mom get her family into a safer situation I have lived in Chicago most of my life but I had resources than Brittany and her family did It made me sad in the beginning when she did not have a vision of the future for herself I am so glad she found her inner strength I enjoyed how the story shows a lot of major problems in the world and in the city of Chicago from the viewpoint of such a young child She sees abuse she lives in poverty she sees violence and she sees the issues with funding for Chicago schools I liked how the author incorporated those elements beyond the basic plot This book is inspiring to young children Living in the grim reality that she lived in Brittany s determination and positivity will inspire other children to feel hope as well and realize that everybody has a future Read my full review at A lot of issues in a little book Sometimes you just need one of those positive stories where all the good and exciting things about to happen to a group of people effortlessly lock into place like puzzle pieces This is especially true if you read a lot of depressing nonfiction or fiction that likes to put its characters through the wringer and never let p Once You Know This is about a family in Chicago mom tween daughter toddler grandmother with dementia and abusive absentee partner The tween is bright and lucky to have a best friend and a teacher who guides her with positive reinforcement They discover that they have a safety net in the form
OF FAMILY IN MONTGOMERY ALABAMA BUT DO THEY HAVEfamily in Montgomery Alabama but do they have courage to get on that bus Strangely enough this read like a page turner because although I knew how it would end I was so anxious to reach it because I like these people a lot This book was beautifully written and held my attention the whole way through I loved the character development especially of Brittany and her teacher and the depictions of the different forms that hope can take in difficult circumstances I would recommend this book for preteens and p since there are mature themes reference to suicide in particular and ideally it being read by y I really struggled with how to rate this book It was a ick read that dealt with a lot of issues that were resolved too easily I did not A girl wishes for a better life for herself her mom and her baby brother and musters the courage to make it happen in this moving and emotionally satisfying story for readers of Kate DiCamillo and Lynda Mullaly Hunt Eleven year old Brittany knows there has to be a better world out there Lately though it sure doesn’t feel like it She and her S definition of love as responsibility of an I for a thou Brittany s Plan B worked to perfection but back in the last century without internet or any time thou Brittany s Plan B worked to perfection but back in the last century without internet or any time this one with internet almost everywhere her plan wouldn t have happened without than a little help from her friends and acuaintances Once you know this reveals love in action As MLK optimistically insisted the arc of history bends in the direction of justice and justice is where freedom determination power and responsibility liveI d love to see Once You Know This as a big screen or home screen movie and I d "welcome a print seuel Gosh I really don t like to give "a print seuel Gosh I really don t like to give reviews I want to find something good about a book and lead with it I write I know how difficult the process can be But I also sell books and I sell books to kids This book is marketed to kids 9 12 In the first 50 pages the the main character deals with domestic violence grandparent dementia and possible neglect poverty food insecurity mental illness suicide parental illness inference of teachers homosexuality an nderfunded school I think there were a few thingsbut it was a pretty long list and I could not remember them all I am going to break this downWhen we sell books to children 9 years old we have to consider a couple of things First what is their reading level Second what is their level of sophistication Successful books for this age can be issue books But they deal with one maybe two issues I consider Donna Gephart s book Death by Toilet Paper to be an excellent example of this It deals with a boy who has lost his father to cancer and the ensuing financial dislocation to his home There is a grandfather who has slight dementia but he adds to the story and does not add burden to the child It is a funny book with a lot of heart and most importantly there are some solid adults in the story Another great book in this vein is Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate In this story the main character is coping with potential homelessness with the return of an imaginary friend who just so happens to be a giant talking purple cat It is sweet It is clear that the adults in the story are struggling But the reader can have empathy for their plightI Red Shoes for Lab Blues understand that children in this world growp in difficult circumstances The world is not a fair place for children For at risk children they want to know that there are books that can reflect their life This book just feels like it is trying to hit them over the head with how miserable their life is The message of hope it tries impart gets lost in the fear I felt this character must feel living in a home with an abuser There was no humor nothing to lighten the tension of this child in crisis The ending was predictable I have serious concerns about recommending this book to children as young as nine because it really feels like it is asking too much of them Some of the issues listed above were couched in language that I am not sure a 9 year old reader would get The reference to suicide was something I as an adult picked Pearsons Comprehensive Medical Assisting up on but I am not sure a 9 year old kid would Is it really necessary to the main character s story The reference to homosexuality of the teacher broughtp in a note passed between students in class again is this necessary to the story of the main character If the character were a little older if there were less issue boxes trying to be checked off if there were just a little softness to the storyNow some fine print I don t just come at this book as a snobby bookseller I grew Weshki-Bmaadzijig Ji-Noondmowaad up in an abusive home I have known poverty The one and only thing I can say saved me from this was the library and my library card Books taught me how to be empathetic Books painted a world of possibility Books showed me what normal looked like Books gave me the tools to cope with what was happening in my home I did not want to read stories of girls who lived horrible lives I was already doing that I wanted to read stories of girls who were spunky assertive I wanted to read fantasy and adventure I wanted to read about horses I wanted to read friendship stories I can appreciate that the author as a victim advocate has tapped into her experience to write this book I am sure she has seen things many ofs can not comprehend This book is going to be marketed to 9 12 year olds not just those who may share the same story as the girl in this book but those kids who may want to Touch Blue understand at risk kids I am just not sure this is the book I could recommend. In herself Brittany realizes that what has always seemed out of reach might be just around the corner This debut novel by Emily Blejwas is perfect for readers who love emotionally satisfying books Thoughtful andnderstated it’s the hopeful story of a girl who struggles to make her future bright and the makeshift family that emerges around he. .