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Novel – MMP

Total Number of Books Downloaded

4 13840

The Novel

 

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

– The Minpins, Roald Dahl

 

Ever since that snowy Russian winter’s night when she was born, Molly has longed to know the secret behind each of her 35 names. When Molly unearths a pair of time-worn spectacles in her garden, she is drawn into a mysterious realm of vivid, magical discoveries. Who are these women she is named for and what have they gifted her? What are those fantastic colors swirling around the people she sees and the young man she meets on her wedding day? Will she have enough time to learn all she is meant to before the soldiers of the Red Army invade her small village, exploding her world into chaos and war? Fearing for her safety, Molly must flee her family home and travel across the Atlantic to the strange and frozen New England town of Peabody. The power of the spectacles becomes Molly’s connection and her hope in her new home, as they weave her once again into a world of wonder and tiny miracles that will change her life and the lives of her community forever.

 

 WHAT OUR READERS HAVE TO SAY

- Janelle Connor
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This book allowed me to connect with my students who are refugees or immigrants. When I first started reading this book, I was reminded of my teacher who has 8 middle names. Every sibling got to name her because she was going to be their last child. As I read, the strongest sense was sight. This book did a great job of making things visual and focusing on colors through the spectacles put an even bigger emphases on visualization. Throughout my reading, I realized I could connect this novel with the Zones of Regulation because of the use of colors per people. In the classroom, students could see that one person is a certain color and a discussion could be had about what strategies would be needed to get that character to the green zone. I kept trying to figure out how I would teach this book, but then I also thought about grade level. I can’t see a Kindergarten teacher trying to use this with their classroom. However, I could see upper elementary into middle school using this novel in the classroom. I loved the part how she kept trying to figure out why she had so many names. This was a piece that I could share with my students and connect that families have traditions or reasons for doing what they do. One student this year had his last name as his first name as his family wanted to have a child who could hold their sacred name. Some students don’t ever have middle names. This was a great way for students to connect with other students. As I read, I kept thinking that I was going to have a bit more guidance on what was expected from me with this novel and the more I read it didn’t have anything at the end that included that. There was no teaching ideas or discussion questions at the end of every chapter. I am not talking about questions students need to answer for homework, but ones that could be used for discussion. So how does a teacher use this book in their classroom? Overall, students will be able to connect with characters, plot, setting if they are ones who have come to the US from another country or think about the heritage of their family. My school is a global studies school and each grade level studies a continent. 5th grade studies Europe and this book would work with that continent study. This would help with looking at people who live in Europe and the part of Europe this story takes place. I have students who have come as refugees or immigrants and their families or other people from the community could come talk and make connections with the book. This novel certainly has many endless possibilities from talking about how people problem solved and dealt with situations that came their way to exploring history, geography, and math. I believe this book is one that your students will truly enjoy and you won’t want to put down.
- musicmexico
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How wonderful to have a book that not only schools us in diversity but uses names to do it. Throughout my 35 years as an educator, my student's names have truly changed from Mary, Sue , and Bob to Jenasis, ABCDE, Xenis, Zephy, Mohammed, and Javier. My students are proud of their names and how they are pronounced. We need books like this that illustrate the depth and complexity, and dare I say the importance of names and families that are unique in this day and age. Times are hard right now and sharing the struggles of Molly and her family with our students empowers them to persevere. I would use it as a choice when conducting book clubs with my advanced class as well as my co teach class in 6th grade which has special education and general ed as well. I would make a book trailer for it, and they would get to choose form 6 other books as weal. They lead the discussion with guidance from me. I also thought about using it as my interactive read aloud and pulling all my grammar from it via sentence imitation.I follow our state standards and pull sentences for the students to imitate using Jeff Anderson's-- Patterns of Power, or I could have my book clubs pull sentences as well and share the lesson--we will see. Yes, I am taking a training for SEL from Kagan this summer and I thought it would be a perfect tie with their emotion wheel. My middle schoolers may not have 35 names, but they have 35 emotions. 🙂 I see technology connections especially in the fact that I was in the NYTimes teaching cohort for 2021 and the NYTimes Learning Network has amazing sections that I could use with the brook--- form their what's going on in this picture and graph to their opinion section. I have an amazing history teacher colleague that would probably work with me as well. I could see her writing a grant for the book and using it as well. I felt empowered as diversity was an exploration throughout this book, and I need to immerse myself in that specific theme.
- Chloe Brock (Cunningham)
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The Girl with 35 Names, a novel by DJ Colbert, is a beautiful story of a girl named Molly (for short) who lives in a small community with her loving mother and father. Molly is unique in that, you guessed it, she has 35 names, each given in memory and honor of a special woman. While tending the garden with her parents, Molly finds a special gift from an ancestor that changes the way she sees the world around her-and opens her eyes to questions about who she is and who she is named after. Throughout her journey, Molly finds many connections to those whose name she bears. Molly is faced with many changes and unknowns, but with the strength, love and support of those she loves, she pushes through to find her place and purpose. A novel all about kindness, love, and care, The Girl with 35 Names is a must-read for teachers and students everywhere! The classroom connections and conversations that this novel brings forth will add value and respect among those who read it. Furthermore, as an educator, I was intrigued by the connection of colors to people, and also with the sharing of gifts and ability to look at people and see who they are/what they need. I felt like my "cup was filled" every time that Molly delivered a gift. This would be the perfect basis for many social/emotional learning topics, including diversity and acceptance, developing your self worth, etc.
- Jennifer L.
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Heartwarming Book! The Girl with 35 Names is a story that is very heartwarming and values the importance of family. The focus on family is pivotal to staying hooked on the book. I appreciate how the author emphasizes the importance of ancestors and connections to familial ancestry. Something I do wish the book focused on solely is just on Molly's name development throughout the entire book. I feel this piece gets a bit lost once she gets married, engages in the war, and when she immigrated to America; however the pieces highlighted in the beginning about her name are very charming and were enjoyable to read. Another piece I enjoyed from the book was Molly's use of the spectacles. My students would enjoy this piece and it is definitely an artifact that could bring up discussions about how we view people in real life and the power behind perceptions and observations of values. Additionally, I had different emotions come alive as I read the book. I loved the beginning pieces on family and connection to ancestors. That brought a warm, fuzzy feeling and made me connect to my own familial experiences. I also felt scared/anxious at points when it discussed the pieces of war and Molly's experiences with that. Lastly, feelings of sadness came towards the ending chapters when Molly didn't seem as happy as she was before once they were in the states. For example, the chapter that discussed how happy she was when she receive the gift of yarn and then made the scarf for her husband made me feel sad for her, in that she needed this gift in a way in order for her to find purpose at that point in her life. Furthermore, as an educator, the follow points are things I feel students would be able to connect to: 1)There are definitely big ideas/themes that I feel students would connect to. One is the importance and connection of family. Another is the struggles of immigration, in that many of my students are immigrants. Third is knowing and learning the value and history of your name. Around Chapters 12/13, there is a reference to the importance of learning from our mistakes, and learning from history to not repeat them. I appreciated this idea because students could make connections to growth mindset and perseverance. 2) I also can see the students connecting to Molly when she uses the spectacles to see people's energies. I feel this is something students would connect to personally in that as elementary students they are navigating their own identities and figuring themselves and others out.
- Whitney Lowrey
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The Girl with 35 Names is a book full of life lessons we can all benefit from. As Molly goes through the book finding herself, we can all see how we are a lot like Molly facing challenges but learning and growing through those difficult times. As the novel dives deeper and deeper into Molly's life it will be harder and harder for you to put the book down, it's that good! This book made me feel good and empowered me to want to do good in the world. There are so many life lessons in this book and it challenged me to want to teach others these life lessons. As an educator, I loved all the details in the book and all the vocabulary! There’s also a lot of great social emotional lessons in this book I would pull from such as helping others, working as a team, never giving up, how mindset matters, how your actions effect others and the power of influence. I would use all of the books analogies/examples with my students and have them reflect on it and discuss how we can connect that to ourselves and our personal life. There were so many great "nuggets" of take aways with this book! Definitely a must read!!
- Tori Greathouse
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This novel made me feel good to read, because each character had the different personality and you got to learn more about each character. The sensory detail that I feel is used the most is sight. Also, feel/touch because there was a lot of visual details in the story. For example, in Ch. 5 page 35 “Inside was a knitted shawl of a soft grey blue. The fringes on the end were green and viny, and at the very tips of the fringe almost hidden from sight the beginnings of tiny buds could be seen”. Students are able to connect with many different characters throughout the story - which I think would make this enjoyable for boys and girls. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but only because of all the different characters. It may be hard for some students to keep up with that, but with guidance students would be able to understand. It lingered in some places and kept my interest in others. I wish that the author had not separated the parts out but kept it all as one big story. Overall, the girl with 35 names should be a book used in 5th grade classrooms! As an educator, I loved all the details in the book and all the vocabulary! There’s also a lot of great social emotional lessons in this book I would pull from such as helping others, working as a team, never giving up, how mindset matters, how your actions effect others and the power of influence. I would use all of the books analogies/examples with my students and have them reflect on it and discuss how we can connect that to ourselves and our personal life. There were so many great "nuggets" of take aways with this book! Definitely a must read!!
- TLG
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This text is about Molly's fantastical journey finding herself. I think students of all ages would love to read this text for pleasure! Personally, I think my English learner students need windows to the world so I really like that they may have never read a book learning about this Russian culture and setting. You could use this book across the curriculum, with ELLs, etc. Many students from spanish speaking countries have never read texts set in this part of the world and I would love to incorporate that into our curriculum.
- Martin Nethercutt
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I was privileged to be one of the "in" crowd during the conception of this fascinating book, and am delighted, but not surprised, to see his it has grown legs and become so much more. I will certainly stay tuned to watch the story's progress.
- Caitlyn
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The Girl with 35 Names reminded me of books from my childhood that I love still to this day - Heidi, A Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and so on. It wrapped me up like a warm blanket, a comfort novel that I imagine will become a classic in the library of many little girls. As a teacher, I think many of my students would connect with Molly when she and Sam travel to Massachusetts. Many of my students are from other countries themselves. Personally, I connected with the novel because of the Russian background. We adopted four children from Eastern Europe, so it really resonated with me. I feel like my students and I could turn this novel into a service learning project.
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- Vincent Dublado
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Judged purely on narrative terms, The Girl with 35 Names is luminous reading experience that not only entertains but also nurtures recollection.
- Amazon Customer
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Amazing, exciting story line. Awesome book. Exciting read.
- Lauren Jane
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Loved the journey of the protagonist Molly.
- Marie
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Amazing read! I usually take awhile to finish most novels but I could not set this one down!
- Mary D
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Invigorating , couldn’t put it down.
- Amazon Customer
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MORE OF THIS PLEASE, DJ Absolutely the best written and composed YA book I have read over a decade.
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- Larry D.Elmore
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The Girl with 35 Names is an adventure that takes place in another time yet provides lessons for the present. Where love and hate meet face to face. We are taken on a mystic journey that takes us from sweet cakes to hatred beyond words. A wonderful read for all ages. I highly recommend.
- Norma
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I am impressed with Colbert’s many creative metaphors and descriptive phrases that envelop the pages of The Girl with 35 Names. They bring thenstory to life and evoke an array of emotions as the pages unfold, as Molly’s life unfolds.
– Sanford Wagenberg M.D.
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An original tale that reminds us of the importance of tradition, the wonderful gifts our mothers and grandmothers An original tale that reminds us of the importance of tradition, the wonderful gifts our mothers and grandmothers have bestowed on us, the resilience and strength that accompanies the immigrant experience, and the necessity of bringing warmth and color into our lives.
- Jim M
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The important element of Molly is what her journey teaches. The author DJ Colbert is a brilliant writer and her messages woven throughout Molly’s story are a gift that every reader will enjoy.
– Grant Leishman
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DJ Colbert’s characters remind us in no uncertain terms that there is sunshine to be found in even the direst of circumstances and that we have to give love and joy to receive it back and when we do, we receive it back in spades. Aligning with my own view of the Universe, I found this story immensely uplifting and just a fantastic read. I can highly recommend it.
- Chana Nohomovski-Ofer
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The Girl with 35 Names was a hard-to-put-down, intriguing novel to read. The characters were well developed and I listened to it on the audiobook version and I loved the narration, such a beautiful voice. I wanted to keep listening. I highly recommend it.
- Vincent Dublado
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Judged purely on narrative terms, The Girl with 35 Names is luminous reading experience that not only entertains but also nurtures recollection.
- Pádraic Whyte PhD.,
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The Girl with 35 Names by DJ Colbert is a highly entertaining must-read novel that won’t disappoint. Right from the start, the reader is glued to the book. DJ Colbert does an excellent job in developing the characters who are quite credible in the story. It doesn’t take long to feel like you are living right there in the past. It’s a great feel-good story and wonderfully engaging that has broad appeal that I can unequivocally recommend to people of all ages who enjoy fiction.
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