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The Wild Book by Ms. Margarita Engle

The Wild Book

by Ms. Margarita Engle

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The descriptive language used throughout this book creates lovely imagery. "The skin of a frog feels just as slippery and tricky as a wild inky word." I am a big fan of books written in poetry so I might be biased, but I loved this book. I enjoyed the fact at there was a decent amount of character development. The young girl grows in knowledge and capability through life experiences, determination, and encouragement from her mother. Each poem led you through her journey to overcome her dyslexia and not accept her diagnosis of "word-blindness." This would be a fantastic book for a child struggling with reading or lacking interest in reading. I highly recommend this book because it shows that everyone can overcome a challenge or setback as long as they never give up. ( )
  AubrieSmith | Feb 2, 2017 |
  sydneykroll | Oct 30, 2015 |
Overall, this was an enjoyable book to read, but simply not my style. The language is very descriptive, the first person point of view was an excellent choice, but the climax of the story didn't happen till almost the very end of the book. The language allows the reader to be immersed into the story and allows the reader to imagine being there with the narrator through her struggles of learning to read. An example of this is when Fefa describes the letters spilling off the page as she tries to read a book. Also, the first person point of view allows almost the same thought. The author using first person allows the reader to feel like the narrator is talking to the reader, as if telling the story just to them. This is shown the best when the author is describing what happens when her family goes to the beach and explains in detail what each of her family members is doing. However, I don't like that the climax of the book, a letter saying they needed to pay a ransom for the children or they would all be kidnapped. The solution was found the page after, and this leaves me feeling I read the whole book for no reason. The message behind this book is to never give up; if there is something holding you back, keep working on it until it no longer has a hold on you. ( )
  taylorsmith11 | Sep 11, 2015 |
Summary: Fefa is living in Cuba and has been diagnosed with word blindness. She has. Hard time reading and feels like the words crawl like slippery. She is constantly teased for her reading issues. Her mother gave her a book with blank pages to see if that would help her overcome her fear of reading and her "disability". Through her "wild book" Fefa is also able to save her family when they are threatened.

Personal Reflection: I loved the way the author used poems to tell the story of her grandmother. She used her grandmothers past that she experienced in Cuba to tell a beautiful but historic event in the Cuban culture.

Extension Projects:
1. Have the students make a blank book and through out the week have them write/draw after reading the book.
2. I would create a large book out of poster boards and have the children help create a pop up book with all the creatures that Fefa imagined as she tried to read. It could be a class project.
  BethanyKisner | Oct 23, 2014 |
Margarita Engle's books are just not my thing. I don't really feel like I get to know characters through the verse format. I think I liked this one a little better than some of her others, but it's just not really my favorite thing to read. ( )
  abbylibrarian | Apr 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ms. Margarita Engleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morales, YuyiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547581319, Hardcover)

Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping and hopping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them?

But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. "Think of it as a garden," she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:07 -0400)

In early twentieth-century Cuba, bandits terrorize the countryside as a young farm girl struggles with dyslexia. Based on the life of the author's grandmother.

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