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Falling In Hardcover – March 2, 2010
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From School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a charming little book intended for readers ages 8 - 12. I think that it is a good, gentle introduction to fantasy books if your child is interested in reading that genre. The story is fairly simple and easy to follow, but while the "mystery" is really no surprise for older readers, younger readers will delight in trying to figure out who Isabelle really is and if Grete is really a witch. The type is fairly large and the pages a bit smaller than usual so young readers will make rapid progress and should finish the book pretty quickly.
The writing style was my favorite part of the book. It is written in a confidential, story-telling mode that experienced actors and performers use to engage their audience. However, I will say that one of the things I both enjoyed and did not like about the writing style were the random asides inserted by the author.Read more ›
Surprisingly stoic about her social status, Isabelle is as much puzzled as troubled by the situation. A great reader, especially of fantasy, she decides she must be a changeling. For one thing, what is that buzzing noise she's been hearing all morning at school? Sent to the principal's office for not paying attention in class, Isabelle steps into the nurse's office and, imagining the possibilities, opens a mysterious door. Her final remark to a classmate waiting for the nurse is, "Yes, I believe I'd like to visit the country of Mice. I'll try to be back by lunchtime, but if I'm not, save one perfect french fry for me, would you?" Then Isabelle "falls in," emerging in another world, another school.
There the children take one look at her clothes and accuse her of being a witch. After semi-convincing them she's not, Isabelle sets out to explore her new domain. It turns out the local villages send their kids away to camp in the forest for fear of a horrible child-eating witch. Isabelle being Isabelle, she heads straight for the witch. Along the way, she meets a village girl named Hen who agrees to accompany her, although Isabelle hides her true purpose. They eventually come to the cottage of an old herbwoman named Grete who feeds them and teaches them her craft--but Isabelle begins to suspect that Grete is the witch.
Other than Isabelle's initial journey to another world and some mild psychic powers, there's not a whole lot of magic in this book.Read more ›
Isabelle Bean is a misfit in her life. She thinks about things differently from the average kid. She ends up having an adventure that explains why she is so different. Or, was it all real? It is kind of similiar to Alice in Wonderland in the sense it leaves you wondering if the author intended the story to be real or not.
I really enjoyed the author's style of writing. She speaks to the reader in a confidential way. It was refreshing. Overall, the book itself is well-written. Nowadays, we get some great storylines, but the quality of writing isn't very good. Not so here. She demonstrates an ability to actually "write" in the true sense of the word. The book is written for ages 8-12. I think boys may like the story as well (or at least read it in secret).
The summary alone intrigued me: "Isabelle Bean follows a mouse's squeak into a closet and falls into a parallel universe where the children believe she is the witch they have feared for years, finally come to devour them." First, that name Isabelle Bean. By no means nutty, but just enough that it hints at the weird and wacky world too come. Then there's the parallel universe. Immediately, I'm thinking about other examples in fiction such as when Lucy enters Narnia through the wardrobe in The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis or Coraline enters another twin house through a door in the book of the same title by Neil Gaiman. Last, there's the witch. The description "finally come to devour them" makes me think of the wicked witch in Hansel and Gretel. As I'm pretty sure that a middle-school girl who falls through a closet isn't that kind of witch, I'm eager to know exactly who this Isabelle Bean is.
As for the story itself, Falling In is like nothing I had expected for two reasons. First, there is the main character, whose response to a spelling list is to press her ear to her desk. That sounds a tad peculiar, doesn't it? Immediately, I want to know more! Moreover, I'm guessing that Isabelle gets into trouble with teachers. Dowell doesn't instantly allow Isabelle to escape her real world, which allows me as a reader to find out how much of an outcast she is.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very cool girl finding grandmother story. And she finds her by falling into a closet. Into a different world where the gram is thought to be a witch. Great fun readPublished 16 months ago by Aunt Deb
she is eleven now, and i thought i had lost her. the video games were only for her friends, as were the secret thoughts that pre-teens have. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by marti forkner-vernon
This is the best book I have ever read and elementary school students this is the best ar Brooke everPublished on February 4, 2013 by Kelsie Vicknair
This story was great a real page turner too I loved the way it was put together and the suspense.Published on January 30, 2013 by Tim Clarke
I never got to read the book because each copy had some duplicate pages and other pages missing. Get a different bindingPublished on January 18, 2013 by Katherine L. Bourne
I downloaded this book after reading several great reviews - and while it's pitched at 8-12 year olds, believe me, this 61-year-old found it enchanting. Read morePublished on January 6, 2013 by Janis Ian
this is a nice book,not the best I ever read,not the worst.I wouldnt reccoment for anyone under 10.it is very suspensful tooPublished on October 7, 2012 by panda lover 21
This was a cute children's story. I have been reading a lot of children's stories lately for whatever reason. I hope that children actually read this and enjoy it too. Read morePublished on September 7, 2012 by Amanda N. Carpenter
by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
April 2012 (paperback edition)
Mesmerizing, memorable, magnificent,... Read more