Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse

"The guys say I'm lucky."

The abstract is hidden because it may contain spoilers. If you would like to read the full summary, simply use your cursor to highlight the next few lines and it will magically appear.

Abstract: In 1903 Brooklyn, fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom's life changes for the worse when his parents, Russian immigrants, invent the teddy bear and turn their apartment into a factory, while nearby the glitter of Coney Island contrasts with the dismal lives of children dwelling under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 229 pages


lisarenea said...

I wanted to love this one. Above all other genres, historical fiction is my favorite. I am always excited to see a book take on new territory, especially when it is written by an author who has been so amazing in the past. So, I was excited about this one. Unfortunately, I found the story was a victim of trying to do too much which made it feel forced and awkward in the attempt. The amount of characters and side stories inhibit the reader (or at least this reader) from making an attachment to the story. Little things like alternating character real names with their nicknames add to the confusion. In the end though, it was the forced life lesson connected to the underlying bear theme that made me say enough is enough! Some portions of the story are thought provoking, inspiring, interesting but as a whole the story was just not satisfying.
I am interested to hear other views on this one! Did I just miss something?

RistauReadslibrary2 said...

I have to respond to Lisa's comment. I, too, was excited to see Hesse with a new historical fiction novel out and thought the summary sounded great. But when I read it I was let down. I didn't like the chapters about the homeless under the bridge at all and found them confusing. I also expected it to be a bit more about the family's life which was not the case at all. I don't think Lisa missed anything and I am happy I found someone to confirm my own feelings on this book.

Genie Bishop said...

I really liked this book. I think this is a good candiate for the Newbery. I liked the characters and thought they were well developed and they grew emotionally by the end of the story. The history of what happened in Russia to the characters explained their behavior in New York. I never thought about the book having to many characters. I especially liked how the one aunt had helped other people get to New York from Russia. I thought the characters were very rememberableI liked the ending too. I thought the ending did a really good job of explaining how we are all human and make mistakes and how some mistakes just can't be forgotten but can be made better if you can have closure. Also the story brought to light how people become homeless; something young readers may not even think about even though they know there are homeless people.

Jen said...

I was distracted by the two storylines plus quotes between most chapters. I didn't want to get past chapter 20 and not yet fully understand how these fit together.

I found the writing to be heartfelt and tender but was, in the end, left dissatisfied.

Kayakgirl said...

I was really looking forward to reading this one, but it wasn't what I had anticipated.
If she had left out all the weird stuff about the homeless under the bridge, it would have been perfect.

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

I too was not that impressed with the book. My expectations were fairly disappointed.

Holly said...

This book was very slow and not very good AT ALL.