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Six Weeks to Yehidah Paperback – August 2, 2011
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"When people ask me what I read, I say 'Classics,' because to me there isn't a lot else worth reading. Six Weeks to Yehidah is now on my 'Classics' shelf."--Melissa Lemon, Cinder and Ella
"Melissa Studdard's Six Weeks to Yehidah was a mind blowing, imaginative journey and a soul awakening, wonderful read."--Sylvia H., Reader's Favorite
"This is Studdard's first novel which happens to be in the genre of children fantasy, in the tradition of Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy in the Land of Oz. And like these books, Six Week to Yehidah will be loved and read by adults as well..."--Rasoul, Rumi Poetry Club
About the Author
Melissa Studdard is a professor, a book reviewer at-large, a contributing editor, as well as the host of a radio interview program. Her writings have appeared in dozens of magazines and journals. She currently lives in Texas with her daughter and their four cats. For more information, please visit www.melissastuddard.com, or www.sixweekstoyehidah.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
I cannot recall the last time that I have read a children’s novel—but to hold this book in my hands and indulge in the wonderment of these pages awoke my inner child and reminded me of how I came into writing in the first place—how I used to write stories about a little Indian girl named “Dark As Night” before I ventured into poetry. I wondered if Melissa’s book had been published in my youth how it would have inspired and influenced my own writing. I can envision my child-self carrying the book with me at all times as I was prone to do with the books I love, which cultivated into my adult habits of dog-earing pages, highlighting text, and making my own careful notations in the margins. I always say that if you find a book in my home that has not been scribbled in by my hand, it is either a book I have not yet read, or a book I did not enjoy. Needless to say, Six Weeks To Yehidah is marked so heavily that it is barely distinguishable that I only recently received it. These are my marks of love and adoration.
“Always remember, that the most beautiful and authentic worlds are within your very own self, and you can always find them.”
The story of young and adventurous Annalise weaves a tapestry through her fantastical journey through mystical realms.Melissa’s surrealist settings and quirky characters are reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, but with a deeper philosophy. The reader swings with Annalise through states of dreaming/wakefulness, fantasy/reality, and physical/spiritual realms. In the end, Annalise discovers that there is very little that separates these states of being. Melissa’s use of language and metaphor trapezes the reader through the wonderment of child-like innocence and curiosity that ultimately reveals ancient wisdom and prophecy. She merges cultures and belief systems from around the world and throughout history alongside her creatures of make-believe. The story is laden with prophetic symbolism and reference from The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying, Bodhisattva, Golden Ratio, and the sacred geometry of mandalas, yantras, and labyrinths. The story is filled with portals, realms, gates, and unraveling mysteries.
For children, the book serves to awaken the kind of curiosity and soul seeking through wonderment and fantasy which ultimately manifests a palpable understanding. We need more literature for our youth that invites diversity, tolerance and altruistic harmony:
“All religions have similarities and that these are the real truths. The differences among them, those things that people fight over, are not the deeper truths.”
For adults, not only does this story awake the innocent, free-spirited child within—but I believe it also validates the role that many poets and artists strive to fulfill without judgment or condemnation.I have long felt that artists and writers are the prophets of modern day. In the past, people would be institutionalized for their beliefs and revelations that did not fit into society’s segregated ideologies. But the artist found the loophole of proclamation through fantasy and creation; uninhibited expression.
“In art, we can present our truths as fantasies without having them questioned. It allows us to share our ideas.”
Ultimately, Six Weeks To Yehidah is a book for children and a book for the child within. It is literature such as this that endorses an open and expanding spirituality through fantasy that has the capacity to unite all cultures into a supreme state of reality.
The world that Melissa Studdard introduced to me was an exciting one, even if at times it confused me. Each 'test' that Annalise had to take was one that any human being could learn, but in Annalise's case it was a journey of choosing whether to live or die. There's a sense of spirituality about this book, not anything blatantly obvious, just an idea that there is something out there after death. It's a book that I think young adults and adults can appreciate. In fact, I can think of one young friend I have in cyberspace where this book might be right up her alley.
Also, there is a sense of magic in this book that made me think that the author's imagination had gone wild and was on steroids. This book was in no way what I expected. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect, but Melissa's Six Weeks to Yedidah surpassed my expectations.
Anyway, along the way she meets characters that are both funny and also wise. They helped her to learn how to find her way back to people she loves. It's really hard to describe them because they are beyond normal characters. There's one character, Bob, who acts as her guide in the world she ends up in, and one who has special meaning to her, only she doesn't know it. I only guessed what the relationship was between towards the end of the book.
Then there are the other characters like Mabel and Mimi, her sheep. The friendship they had with Annalise changed as the story went on. They sang as well. It's one of things that made me laugh. I just found it so funny and it was part of the charm of the book.
This is not a light book to read. You have to concentrate and I think each person will take something out of it that is slightly different to anyone else. It will mean different things to people. The story was also well-written, although I can't shake the feeling that there was a fair bit of info-dumping at times. Also, people may have a hard time understanding some of it.
That being said though, it shouldn't stop people from reading it.
And now here's my rating:- five out of five stars.
Swept away from her peaceful home in the rural Verdant Hills, to a mysterious place in the clouds, Annalise encounters a series of challenging circumstances, meets new friends and learns to deal with those who aren't so friendly. Annalise is forced to make life changing decisions and learns not only about the new world she sees, but gains deeper insights into herself.
Six Weeks to Yehidah will challenge, entertain and surprise its readers, and young Annalise will wind her way into your heart in her quest to find the way back home. But insight and wisdom are woven into the tale as well. Studdard delivers a universal spiritual message within the story, one that speaks to all people regardless of age, crosses religious barriers and reaches deep into our collective spirit. The book reminds us, "Everything is connected through the fabric of the universe..." and that we are connected, not just by places, "but times, people, plants and stars too; anything you can imagine and some things you cannot yet imagine."
I come away from reading Six Weeks to Yehidah with a warm fuzzy glow, smiling from the inside out. This is a must read for all young people and adults alike. I completely agree with other reviewers who compare the tale to those of C.S. Lewis. Six Weeks to Yehidah is filled with twists and turns to keep curiosity piqued, imagination stretched, and pages turning. Studdard's creative tale will spark the interest of anyone who picks up this book and joins Annalise in her heart-opening journey.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall: Stars: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
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