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Let's fix it! This thing deserves to be read more. It's got tha This book is rad! It's got that special Christopher Paul Curtis vibe of hard things happening, but offset by wry narration. Dave Caros has so much attitude that you just latch onto him from page 1 and cheer him through the hard times.

Unlike some orphan-type stories, this guy never gives up. He takes matters into his own hands right from the get-go. You gotta cheer for him. This is the only book for young readers I've come across with a Jewish protagonist that is not about the Holocaust, so big ups for that. It's filling a huge vacuum in YA lit. I was a bit puzzled when one of the minor characters started railing on the "schvartzers," though.

It was thrown in and rebutted really awkwardly. I get why Levine did that- it would be naive to assume that the Harlem Renaissance occurred in an absence of racism. Still, I felt like the African-American characters were doing just fine on their own without being contrasted by a racist remark. Apr 14, Elinor Loredan rated it liked it.


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Dave, the hero of the story, is immediately endearing, as is his papa, whose loss I feel keenly. Even in his deep grief Dave retains his sense of curiosity and adventure, and he tries to dull his emotions and hurt by insisting to himself and others he doesn't need anyone. He is actually dying to be wanted, and in the end he chooses friendship and connection over freedom, staying in the hated HHB for his wonderful 'buddies' there.

The humor, analogies, and insights throughout the novel feel very Dave, the hero of the story, is immediately endearing, as is his papa, whose loss I feel keenly. The humor, analogies, and insights throughout the novel feel very natural and not contrived, and though the sentences tend to be short, almost cryptic, they have flow. In the beginning I follow Dave closely as the reader, as each event and scene is followed up with his thoughts about them.

Later, though, he starts to slip away from me, as it were, particularly when he first escapes the orphanage by night and joins the rent party.


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How does he feel about the party and the people there--at ease? Does he breathe a sigh of relief? It is clear at once how he feels about the orphanage, but not about other places. I do get a little bored towards the middle, and there is a little too much description of every room, object, person.

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I like Solly and Irma Lee and how they at once 'take him in', but I think I would feel more for both of them if I found out more about their backgrounds--perhaps more dialogue with Dave asking them questions about themselves. Still, there's a great struggle between Dave's wish to leave the orphanage and stay with his buddies and artistic opportunities, and a satisfying resolution. The door thudded closed behind us and clicked shut. As soon as I heard the click I wanted to leave.

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Bloom, aka, Mr. He also sneaks out at night, where he meets Solly, a con artist fortuneteller, who shows him the exciting nightlife filled with jazz and colorful characters of Harlem. During his nighttime excursions, Dave meets famous artists, writers, and poets of the Harlem Renaissance. He also meets and forms a very special friendship with Irma Lee, an African-American heiress, whose influential mother supports and showcases the arts.

Because of Solly, Irma Lee and her mother, his fellow orphans, and his art lessons, Dave comes to realize that he does not want to runaway. He has a family, just a different kind.

Dave - Funky Friday (ft. Fredo)

Together they help to oust the dreaded Mr. Doom and improve life at the orphanage. Feb 07, Kate rated it really liked it.

What a satisfying book. I read this to my 7 year old son, and he and I truly enjoyed it.

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It is one of those novels where he would ask for extra reading time multiple times throughout they day, and I was happy to oblige him because I wanted to know what would happen next as well. It was our first venture together out of the genre of fantasy, and I was so surprised how thoroughly Bret took to it.

I found this boo What a satisfying book. I found this book at a thrift store after seeing it mentioned on a booklist of lovely junior novels. I absolutely recommend it. Apr 09, Jennifer rated it liked it Recommends it for: year olds curious about Harlem Renaissance and orphans. Although clever, engaging, backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and support characters are compelling, stilted writing in this hard-luck, route orphan tale fail to deliver.

CIP: When orphaned Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys where he is treated cruelly, he sneaks out at night and is welcomed into the music- and culture-filled world of the Harlem Renaissance. I was expecting the moon and got a few stars. Unfortunately, I was really, really looking forward to reading this I think that it has its place and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it; I think there's some good stuff in here I just wanted it to rock my world and it didn't.

Dave at Night

I did love Solly and some of the descriptions of New York. Genre:Young adult fiction When I think of books by Gail Carson Levine, my mind automatically goes to young adult fantasy like "Ella Enchanted", which I really enjoyed when I first read it--the movie was another story :. In "Dave at Night" Levine seems far away from the fantasy that I associate her with. I thought she did a great job with it, though.

I really found myself caring for Dave and I was fascinated by the Harlem night life that she portrayed in the book. The story follows eleven y Genre:Young adult fiction When I think of books by Gail Carson Levine, my mind automatically goes to young adult fantasy like "Ella Enchanted", which I really enjoyed when I first read it--the movie was another story :.

The story follows eleven year old Dave who is sent to live in a dismal orphanage after the accidental death of his father. The cruel nature of others and the harshness of life alone is a big part of the story, but so is the flip side. Caring people that are willing to see the goodness in others and encourage its development, as well as those who show great loyalty and sacrifice personal comfort for the benefit of another. Good story with a great message. Sep 13, Kara rated it liked it.

Author project requirement This book was definitely different than the other GCL books I am used to reading! But, it was a pleasant read. Mentioning different artists, poems, musicians, etc. I love the time period of this book the most, and I am a die hard fan of orphans-fi Author project requirement This book was definitely different than the other GCL books I am used to reading!

I love the time period of this book the most, and I am a die hard fan of orphans-finding-justice tales. The main message: family is what you come up with; it is a perfect mash up of "buddies" and unlikely friendships. This is a charming book. While nothing can ever surpass Levine's fairytale-with-a-twist works like Ella Enchanted, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, and Fairest, I loved reading her take on historical fiction.

The characters are rich and full, and an added bonus was I was pleasantly surprised by the way it ended. Not predictable and totally enjoyable; a must-read for any fan of Gail Carson Levine! Oct 02, Rebecca N.

A departure from the world of fantasy

McKinnon rated it did not like it Shelves: could-not-finish , recommended-to-me , reading-for-janus. Renewed this at the library the maximum amount of times before I realized I just did not have enough enthusiasm in the story to continue it. As far as orphan stories go, it was way too predictable, and I felt most of the first chapters could've been left out as implied backstory. I was surprised at how engaging I found this to be.