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Tunes for Bears to Dance To by Robert…

Tunes for Bears to Dance To

by Robert Cormier

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267942,587 (3.53)2
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    After the Train by Gloria Whelan (meggyweg)
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    The Trial of Anna Cotman by Vivien Alcock (IAmMidnight)
    IAmMidnight: The book has a similar examination of power that is so frequently found in Cormier's works.

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Not my favorite of Cormier's books. It's got some interesting ideas, but the plot comes together too easily, and even though it's set in (I guess?) the early '50s and the language is trying to capture that, some of the terms the bigoted boss uses are offensive by 1992 standards. I get why they were used, but it just didn't feel true to the time to me. Or something. I dunno. This book just didn't do it for me, though I liked the title an awful lot.
This may be among my least useful reviews. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 30, 2013 |
It was okay. I really don't think there was much plot development or character development. I guess it's be good for 3rd and 4th graders? ( )
  ABookVacation | Nov 12, 2011 |
Henry and his family are dealing with the recent death of his brother and decide to move to a new town. In this new town, Henry meets Mr. Hairston, his new boss at the grocery store, and Mr. Levine, an elderly Holocaust survivor. Mr. Hairston devises an evil plan to test Henry's character.

This story has a universal appeal in that it deals with good versus evil. I was anxious to find out what decision Henry would make. Readers who enjoy stories about people who are faced with making ethical decisions with huge risks will like this one.

Honors and Awards: None ( )
  amcguinn | Apr 24, 2010 |
the great book every ( )
  masterbaster4 | Sep 24, 2009 |
This Cormier book is suited for a younger audience, from about age eight on up, and lacks the violence and sex that often appears in his other books. Just because it's not as explicit, however, does not mean it's a fluffy read: it tackles weighty issues of prejudice and the need to take a stand against evil. 11-year-old Henry's family has been torn apart by the sudden death of his brother, but he finds solace in his friendship with Mr. Levine, a Jewish Holocaust survivor. Then Henry's boss, a child-abusing bigot named Mr. Hairston, threatens to destroy Henry's relationship with Mr. Levine, and Henry must decide between what is easy and what is right. This would be a good book to use to introduce younger children to the Holocaust, and to teach them about prejudice. ( )
  meggyweg | Mar 7, 2009 |
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Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we are longing to move the stars to pity.
—Gustave Flaubert
Deliver us from evil.
—Our Father
To Fabio Coen
With my great thanks
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The old man came out of the crazy house every morning shortly before eight oʼclock and walked down the graveled path to the gate, carrying a small leather bag that swung like a pendulum from his right hand.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440219035, Mass Market Paperback)

A masterful portrayal of hatred, prejudice and manipulation that challenges readers to examine how they would behave in the face of evil. Henry meets and befriends Mr. Levine, an elderly Holocaust survivor, who is carving a replica of the village where he lived and which was destroyed in the war. Henry's friendship with Mr. Levine is put to the test when his prejudiced boss, Mr. Hairston, asks Henry to destroy Mr. Levine's village.

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

(see all 4 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Henry escapes his family's problems by watching the woodcarving of Mr. Levine, an elderly Holocaust survivor, but when Henry is manipulated into betraying his friend he comes to know true evil.

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