@Download Book ¹ The Animal, the Vegetable, & John D Jones ë eBook or E-pub free

I went through a major Betsy Byars phase in fourth grade this is the only one I own, though I think I found it at a yard sale or a book sale or for free I d have to re read it to give an accurate star review. @Download Book Ù The Animal, the Vegetable, & John D Jones Þ It was supposed to be a great vacation for everyone Clara and Deanie were thrilled about spending time with their father now that the divorce was final But they re surprised and horrified at having to share Dad with his girl friend and her stuck up son right in the same beach house And for his part, John D Jones can t stand the arrangement either, especially the squabbling girls, whom he dubs the Animal and the VegetableWhen Clara falls asleep on her plastic raft and is washed out to sea, everyone is hopeful until the float turns up without her It s the first time they ve all pulled together But is it too late to reveal their true feelings Two sisters are going on vacation with their divorced dad It turns out he s invited a girl friend and her son to join them at the beach house None of the kids are happy about it The ocean drags one of them out to sea and as they wait for her to be found, perspectives change. As a kid I thought John D Jones s notebook was just the coolest thing I d ever read about and resolved to begin doing that myself I did not follow through, but fond memories of this book remain A great little story about family and friendship. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Fourteen year old Deanie and her twelve year old sister Clara are excited to be spending their vacation with their divorced father on Pipe Island in South Carolina But when Dad surprises them by casually revealing that his friend Delores and her son John D Jones will be joining them, they are not at all pleased.Though the sisters are close in age, they are very different Deanie is vivacious and somewhat ditzy, but has an unerring instinct when it comes to how to push Clara s buttons Clar Fourteen year old Deanie and her twelve year old sister Clara are excited to be spending their vacation with their divorced father on Pipe Island in South Carolina But when Dad surprises them by casually revealing that his friend Delores and her son John D Jones will be joining them, they are not at all pleased.Though the sisters are close in age, they are very different Deanie is vivacious and somewhat ditzy, but has an unerring instinct when it comes to how to push Clara s buttons Clara is awkward and insecure and feels slow and clumsy and boring next to Deanie, and try as she might, she is never able to hurt Deanie as effectively as Deanie can hurt her.Their first morning in the beach house, while their father is away picking up Delores and John D., Clara and Deanie get into an argument precipitated by Clara catching a sand flea and tossing it at Deanie The fight escalates until they are screaming insults at each other Animal Vegetable and for good measure they also throw in rude references to Dear Delores and her cretin son just in time to be clearly heard by the Joneses, back from the airport.John D is not offended In fact, he could not have asked for a better introduction to the daughters of his mother s new boyfriend John D is a self absorbed, highly intelligent twelve year old who has a sky high opinion of himself and a correspondingly low opinion of everyone else He goes out of his way to expect others to fall far short of his own high standards, and is seldom disappointed Clara and Deanie s screaming fight allows him to feel superior to them, and when he feels superior to people, he knows how to deal with them.Delores, a newspaper advice columnist, has the good grace not to let on that she heard herself and her son being insulted, and throughout the vacation, she treats Deanie and Clara with kindness and respect She sees that Clara is miserable and reaches out to her, but makes the mistake of telling Clara that she and John D havein common than they would think both kids are smart and like to write But the revelation backfires, because Clara is hurt and embarrassed that her father had told Delores about her writing and has even shown some of her writings to her.Clara s unhappiness is so acute that on a day trip to the Seven Continents amusement park, she goes on a wild ride, knowing it will make her throw up, just to get away from Deanie and John D The rest of the time, she spends hours in the ocean, floating on a raft and not letting herself think too much.Deanie spends her time suntanning, and John D works on a book he s writing that he subtitles How to Conceal the Stupidity That Lurks In All of You And so it seems that things will go on this way all through the entire two week vacation, until the day Clara dozes off on her raft and drifts away from shore John D is first to notice she s out of sight, and alerts Deanie, and they end up walking into town to find Dad and Delores and alert the Coast Guard.Clara wakes up to find herself in rough water and with the island far in the distance She tries to paddle her raft back toward shore, but the waves keep pulling her farther out And the weather is turning dark As they wait for the Coast Guard to find Clara, Deanie finally feels remorse for the hateful way she s often treated Clara, and it s Delores who comforts her She also tells Deanie that John D s father was killed in an accident the very day John D was born, and in her grief, she was unable to bond with him as she should have, and that as a result, John D has tried to keep himself closed off from other people he tries hard not to care, because caring about people leaves you open to being hurt.A message comes in over the radio Clara s raft has been found And Clara wasn t on it The family is stunned and horrified, and John D., in spite of himself, begins to allow himself to feel compassion for them, and for Clara He sees the way Deanie grieves for her sister in spite of their hostility, and he realizes that he wants to be a part of family life too and to share in the emotions of others, emotions he d previously considered beneath him.Unbeknownst to her family, Clara was spotted by a fishing boat and taken aboard, leaving her raft in the water The boat s radio is out of order so the crew has no way to radio to shore to let anyone know that Clara is safe with them She just has to wait till they can make it to land.When the boat finally docks at the marina, John D., staring out the window, sees it first, and sees Clara being helped to disembark His announcement of Here s Clara stuns and then delights everyone in the marina office, and John D himself is surprised to realize that he is relieved and happy.Humorous and sad, the story paints a realistic picture of a family in all its imperfection The characters all make mistakes and do things to hurt each other, but with Clara s safe return they get a second chance to make amends and focus on what is really important Clara and Deanie are looking forward to being on vacation with their dad until they find out he is bringing along a girlfriend, and the girlfriend s son, John D John D isn t crazy about meeting the girls either, and rather than calling them by name, he refers to them as the Animal and the Vegetable The kids do their best to avoid each other until a near tragedy bands them together unexpectedly.Though this book has a quirky title, it s really a very straightforward story about the tension betw Clara and Deanie are looking forward to being on vacation with their dad until they find out he is bringing along a girlfriend, and the girlfriend s son, John D John D isn t crazy about meeting the girls either, and rather than calling them by name, he refers to them as the Animal and the Vegetable The kids do their best to avoid each other until a near tragedy bands them together unexpectedly.Though this book has a quirky title, it s really a very straightforward story about the tension between kids who are forced to interact because of their parents relationship with each other What makes it stand out is the way Byars describes each character and brings each one to life in his or her dialogue Each chapter is like a small character study in which the reader shares brief glimpses into the thoughts of the three main characters Byars manages to inspire feelings of empathy for all three of them, making it difficult to take one side against the other This means that the reader begins to accept friendship for the trio before the characters themselves can even imagine it, which contributes to the reader s feelings of satisfaction at the conclusion of the story.I sometimes wonder why Byars seems to solve so many of the problems in her books with tragedies In the books of hers that I have read in the past few years, conflicts have been resolved by a drowning, a car accident, a near drowning, a punch in the face, and a flood, just to name a few I can t tell if Byars believes that people only change when life throws dire circumstances at them something that feels very Southern a la Flannery O Connor or if she is just trying to keep things exciting by throwing in these high stakes Either way, it s a definite pattern in her work, and it has varying degrees of success In this book, the dangerous situation works well enough, but also I think the story could have made its point just as well without putting a character in that situation.Compared with Goodbye, Chicken Little, The Animal, the Vegetable and John D Jones was the better book, but it is by no means as original or well written as something like The Summer of the Swans or the Blossom series It s a solid three star read which is dated, but which might still appeal to a 21st century kid in a similar situation to that of the characters.This review also appears on my blog, Read at Home Mom