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The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi
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The ACB with Honora Lee (edition 2017)

by Kate De Goldi (Author), Gregory O'Brien (Illustrator)

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8121148,805 (3.79)10
Member:dutchgirldtd
Title:The ACB with Honora Lee
Authors:Kate De Goldi (Author)
Other authors:Gregory O'Brien (Illustrator)
Info:Tundra Books (2017), Edition: Reprint, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Perry is a nine year old, lonely only child of professional parents. Her life is scheduled down to the minute every day. Recently her father's mother moved into a nursing home a few blocks from their home. Perry's grandmother, Honora Lee, has dementia. Perry notices her grandmother often recites bits of poetry and likes the alphabet. After much pleading, Perry persuades her parents to allow her to visit her grandmother once a week on Thursday so she can make an ABC book with and for her grandmother.

It's great book that illustrates the growing relationship between Perry and Honora Lee. Perry not only learns about her grandmother, she develops relationships with other residents and the staff at the Santa Lucia nursing home. Perry's innocent acceptance of her grandmother's condition and determination to form a relationship regardless of her disability are inspiring. I recommend this sweet, humorous little book. ( )
  cathemarie | Jul 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this as an Early Reviewer book. I am not familiar with the author, who is from New Zealand and, it seems, is quite well-known and loved there. This is the story of a 9-year-old girl named Perry whose dance classes are canceled for a time and finds herself with some free time on her hands. He convinces her parents to let her use the time normally in class to visit her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's or some form of dementia and lives in a nursing home. While there, she gets to know her grandmother and the other residents and makes an ABC book based on the people, events and activities in the home. What I liked best was Perry's ready acceptance of the people she meets there and her patience with her grandmother, who never can remember who she (Perry) is. She seems to have more forbearance and understanding than one would expect from a child her age, and indeed, has some good insight into the people she meets at the home. She accepts them as she finds them, and includes many of them in her book just as they are. Worthwhile and interesting read. ( )
  dutchgirldtd | Jul 17, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a juvenile fiction work with a fair few illustrations about a young girl's relationship with her granny who is suffering from dementia. It's really a beautiful little book, one which doesn't try to force a moral lesson or solve any major problems. Perry is simply finding a way to interact with her grandmother and the other residents in the nursing home. De Goldi also touches on the way Perry's parents deal with her gran, and how they now view time with her (simply as a duty). Perry cannot fix her gran's memories, but she can find pleasure in their interactions and in the unique qualities all of the residents of the home have.

I really liked this, and I think it's a perfect way to introduce young readers to the issue of dementia and nursing home visits. It's definitely geared toward the younger end of juvenile fiction but I think an older child could find a lot in it as well, particularly if they have a close relative dealing with Alzheimers or dementia. ( )
  mabith | Jul 14, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The ACB with Honora Lee
By: Kate DeGoldi
Illustrated by: Gregory O'Brien

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Perry is the very busy daughter of two very busy parents. When a spot opens up in her schedule, she begs to be allowed to visit her grandmother, Honora Lee (in assisted living). Her parents are strangely hesitant about this suggestion but eventually agree. Honora is her dad's mom and they have a awkward, almost hostile relationship. We don't really see this change over the course of the book. The book focuses on the relationship between Perry and Honora.

The book never comes out and specifies that Honora has Alzheimer's but it is clear through her behavior that her mind is deteriorating. Also, most of the other residents at her facility seem to be in a similar state. My own mom has Alzheimer's so many of the resident's behaviors seem very familiar - the disconnect between what is mine and what is yours, the sometimes aggressive and childish response, saying everything that pops into her head, the slight discombobulation that comes from a disordered mind, forgetting things (of course). This is all very realistic and familiar and sad for me. However, the book mines these things for laughs. I often say that we have to look for the good in Alzheimer's (my mom lives exactly in the moment, there are no regrets, she absolutely does not remember any bad thing I ever did). Yippee, right? I respect that she is trying to find humor in Alzheimer's but as a current participant, it just is sad. These used to be fully functioning, well respected members of society and now they are funny? Not sure if this is a theme that seems appropriate for young people.

Also, what about the bees?!!! According to Perry (in this book) bees only live four weeks. I checked this out on-line and discovered that this "fact" is only partially true. There is a very broad range depending on type of bee and their specific job (queens, workers, drones). Some bees do indeed live only four weeks, some less and some much longer. This felt like an odd addition to the book. Perry picks up dead or dying bees and collects them. She even uses them to make pictures. I found that this created a rather sad overtone. At the end, all her bees are curled up like crispy, dried out babies. It was a disturbing image for my brain-eye. I kept waiting for the bees to coalesce into an important theme and it never really does. I suppose the idea is that all of our lives are "short" in comparison to the universe or whatever. The last scene is Perry and her friends releasing the small bee bodies into a river. She envisions them floating away through an idyllic landscape to the sea. Which I suppose is the author making us think of our own fates. Not really a book that I think most young people would enjoy.

However, what I did love was the interaction between Perry, her grandmother, and the other residents. Perry decides to create an abecedary (abc book) with the help of the residents. She makes real connections with everyone and approaches each of them with love and patience. Perry accepts them as they are without making demands on them. She never even seems fussed that Honora doesn't remember her from day-to-day. Perry is just content to be there. The letters of the book are not in order and most often represent Honora's disordered brain. This part of the book is lovely.

I also completely loved the illustrations. They often contain colored balls that look like brain neurons (in a textbook). There are arrows connecting the different thoughts. I really loved exploring each picture and divining it's meaning. There was one that I loved that showed musical notes as a mountain. That was a beautiful representation of what was happening in the story. There were some pictures with zentangles which always get my eye involved. But, again with the bees, there were several bees scattered throughout the book. A lot actually looked dead. Yeah, I'm flummoxed by the bees too.

Overall,
There are some lovely aspects to this book which are worth exploring. ( )
  pammycats | Jul 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The ACB with Honora Lee is a quiet book about family, aging, love, and connections. A young girl named Perry visits her grandmother, Honora Lee, who lives in an assisted living facility. Perry makes an alphabet book based on her visits with Honora and the other residents. Her experiences and insights are unique, curious, and sometimes humorous. The illustrations by Gregory O'Brien are fantastic with muted colors and imagination. A work of art! ( )
  standhenry | Jul 9, 2017 |
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Book description
Moving, charming novel from much-loved, international-award-winning children's author Kate de Goldi, author of the 10pm question. Beautifully packaged and illustrated throughout with drawings by Greg O'Brien. Perry's mother and father are busy people a they're impatient, they're tired, they get cross easily. And they think that only children, like Perry, should be kept busy. On Saturday mornings Perry and her father visit her gran, Honora Lee, at the Santa Lucia rest home, but Gran never remembers them. 'Who is that man?' Honora Lee asks when Perry's father leaves the room. After movement class is abruptly cancelled, Perry is allowed to go to Santa Lucia on Thursday afternoons. She discovers her Gran has an unconventional interest in the alphabet, so Perry decides to make an alphabet book with the help of Honora and the others. Soon everyone is interested in Perry's book project. Kate De Goldi's The ACB with Honora Lee unfolds with characteristic warmth, quirky, surprising humour and a rich cast of 'residents'. The story is a meditation on kindness and patience and acceptance; that of the very young and the very old. It's a story that will resonate with echoes of recollection for many from Perry's endearing perspective on the adult world to the embracing kindness of those who care for the elderly. A many-layered and playful novel with a crossover audience, it will delight both the young and the not so young.
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"Perry's mother and father are busy people ... they're impatient, they're tired, they get cross easily. And they think that only children, like Perry, should be kept busy. On Saturday mornings Perry and her father visit her gran, Honora Lee, at the Santa Lucia rest home, but Gran never remembers them. 'Who is that man?' Honora Lee asks when Perry's father leaves the room. After movement class is abruptly cancelled, Perry is allowed to go to Santa Lucia on Thursday afternoons. She discovers her Gran has an unconventional interest in the alphabet, so Perry decides to make an alphabet book with the help of Honora and the others. Soon everyone is interested in Perry's book project" --… (more)

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