Wednesday, July 3, 2013

View from the 32nd floor by Emma Cameron

Every so often I read a book that I just love and this is one of those times.  View from the 32rd Floor had an unpromising cover but please don't let that put you off.  This is a wonderful book very reminiscent of the writing of Odo Hirsch.  This book has a strong sense of compassion and community and a cast of interesting characters led by one special boy called ...

The hero of this book is a boy called William - well that is his real name but he has a book  - The big book of Names so each day he selects a new name and his joyous family and friends do not question this - each day William announces his new name and for that whole day everyone is happy to use it.

Here are some examples :
Gregory (vigilant watchman) Faust (lucky)
Demetrius (lover of Earth) Altair (flying eagle)
Forbes (traveller) Peregrine (a falcon)
Aulis (helpful) Oswin (divine friend)

William lives in a high rise apartment opposite another high rise apartment building.  He likes to use his binoculars to check on his neighbors - not because he is a spy or a busybody - he is just interested in people and their habits.  As the book opens a new family have moved in and William notices the girl walks like a pony.  He hopes this girl, who is called Rebecca, might become his friend.  He also notices one elderly neighbor is not eating properly and another never opens her curtains.

There are some delightful little ideas in this book.  For example each night William's dad sets their CD player with a new song for William to listen to while he eats breakfast.  Another example is the way William says "Always, always."

This book is also brim full of splendid food - and if you have read any part of this blog you will know that I love books that mention food and feasts and picnics and cake!

If you enjoy View from the 32nd Floor - what am I saying WHEN you read View from the 32nd Floor you will love it and then you should look for Hazel Green by Odo Hirsch, What do you think Feezal by Elizabeth Honey and Amelia Dee and the Peacock lamp also by Odo Hirsch.

I am going to make a bold prediction and say this book should be short listed for the 2014 CBCA awards.  If you are looking for a book to read this book should be number one on your list - it is sure to make you SMILE!!

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