https://kyouclawindilo.tk/the-two-roads-and-the-two.php Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Translated from the French by Thomas Spear. Originally published in France in , this is the first English translation of Leslie Kaplan's haunting novel about the meaning of childhood and the mysteriously intimate interworkings of child and adult. Here four adults and a child come together in a chance meeting in New York's Central Park, where the child's presen Fiction.
Here four adults and a child come together in a chance meeting in New York's Central Park, where the child's presence is a question to all of them. The novel pursues the erotic complexity of their various relationships with a special focus on the disturbing interaction between Julien and the child Nathalie. Woven through the affecting depictions of human characters, is the extraordinary depiction of the city, its tensions, its unexpected necessities, its urgencies.
Paperback , pages. Published May 1st by Station Hill Pr first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. His dad ran a candy store and they were like everyone else in their neighborhood. His Dad got this crazy idea about making stuffed bears out of cloth instead of wood or metal and suddenly everyone and his brother wanted one! Haunted, both literally and figuratively, by a past tied unknowingly to Joseph's, their story highlights the boy's newfound status.
The book has a large cast of characters, all of them single-minded and interesting. Really, that was one of the best parts of the book.
The sheer levels of affection between different family members. The family of the Michtoms is also mirrored in the rag tag family of stray kids under the bridge. The bridge kids get all the pretty words, maybe to make up for their crummy little lives.
Silent tears rolling down her cheeks, her eyes two green bruises in a dusky face. The novel splits into two separate narratives. On the one hand you have Joseph, his life, and his worries. And on the other hand you have the children that live under the Brooklyn Bridge and their stories. He thinks HE has problems? Hesse, however, is exceedingly clever. Having parents so consumed by their professional lives that they fail to spend enough time for their family?
Not exactly a non-existent problem today. But by pairing his frustrations alongside those of the homeless street kids, Hesse is able to keep returning to the notion of being lucky. And what would it take for me to let it go?
Spoiler alert , by the way. I was also amazed that Joseph never ran across the kids under the bridge. And yet, his own story, the one that waits until the end of the book to be told, is tied very closely to the story of the bridge kids. This, if anything, was the weak point of the book. The sudden reveal at the end that the ghost under the bridge is Joseph's cousin? It felt like it came out of left field. If Joseph had been feeling guilty about this role in the boy's death, shouldn't that have been alluded to in ways that are less oblique than the ones found here?
There are references to nasty things done by Cossacks to young girls, and children beaten until they almost die. The 12 and up crowd, perhaps. Hesse is weaving together so many seemingly disparate elements and living breathing characters that the end result feels more like a film, a theatrical production, or a scene on a city street than a book for kids.
But this book is beautiful. Beautiful and weird and real in a way that will touch you. If five-year absences yield books as fine as this, I urge every writer to take an extended vacation pronto. View all 4 comments. Jul 09, Barbara rated it really liked it. I always enjoy historical fiction by Karen Hesse.
This story is actually based on the real, Russian immigrant family, that invented the "Teddy Bear. New York was a thriving, crowded city filled with recent immigrants. Joseph Mitchtom is 14 in the summer of His family ownes and operates a candy shop, until a story in the news paper about Teddy Roosevelt refusing to kill an injured and restrained bear on a hunting trip, inspires his parent I always enjoy historical fiction by Karen Hesse. His family ownes and operates a candy shop, until a story in the news paper about Teddy Roosevelt refusing to kill an injured and restrained bear on a hunting trip, inspires his parents to create and sell the first "Teddy Bears.
In between the chapters about Joseph's family are short passages telling of the children who are homeless, some orphans, others the victims of abuse, who live under the Brooklyn Bridge. There is even a ghost who haunts the bridge and predicts the disappearance of children who live there. It is not a pretty picture. Theses children are literally "throw-aways. They struggle every single day just to survive. Reading this story makes one wonder how caring people could have turned their backs on helpless children. But then, things like that don't happen now days I would recommend this books for older elementary aged students or middle schoolers.
It might be a little frightening for younger children or those who are more sensitive to "scary" stuff. This was not an easy book. I'm not talking reading level, but in terms of impact. It was in turns emotionally jarring, spooky, and I wouldn't actually read this to a kid because there were some serious, even scary, situations detailed made harder to read because they were happening to kids.
There were also lighter moments, but they didn't quite balance out the difficult ones. That said, this is one of those books you read and you don't soon forget, for all of those reasons. It was in turn a com This was not an easy book. It was in turn a coming of age story, and a ghost story. A story about the kids who made it, and the ones who didn't, or just barely survived. It was well written, and I listened to it in one night. The narration was superb, with a fantastic Brooklyn accent used for the protagonist, and wonderful voices all around. Sep 05, Tasha rated it really liked it Shelves: Joseph feels trapped in his Brooklyn apartment surrounded by the Teddy Bears that his family invented a few months ago.
The bears have taken over their lives, their space and their toy store. Now Joseph spends his days stuffing bears, packaging them, and being responsible for his younger brother and sister. And all he longs to do is go to Coney Island, the symbol of all that is fun and all that is not his current life. But life isn't that simple, as he quickly finds out as he faces falling in lo Joseph feels trapped in his Brooklyn apartment surrounded by the Teddy Bears that his family invented a few months ago.
But life isn't that simple, as he quickly finds out as he faces falling in love, a death in the family, and much more during the summer he's fourteen years old. Hesse has created a novel filled with characters that are so well written they come to life. Even the more extreme characters in the family ring true and have hidden complexities to them which are a treat to discover. Joseph himself is a true teen with a certain focus on himself rather than his family.
It is when he faces hardship that his true character shines through. Hesse's voice as a writer is equally strong here with attention to period detail that make the setting as much a part of the story as the characters. Never intrusive, her voice is a guiding light bringing the period to life for children who may have no knowledge of it.
Hesse has also blended humor, tragedy and a real family into this story. One never knows quite where the book is heading because of her skillful writing, elevating what could have been a simple quiet story into something with dramatic tension that is hard to put down. Highly recommended as great historical fiction that is very well-written and conceived, this book is appropriate for year olds. It would also work as a book to read aloud and discussed in a 5th or 6th grade classroom. Jan 11, Lori rated it really liked it Shelves: Wow - I was blown away by this book, perhaps moreso because I didn't expect to be.
I am really impressed by Brooklyn Bridge. The setting of turn-of-the-century Brooklyn is vividly brought to life in the reader's imagination through year old Joseph's first-person narration, excerpts describing Coney Island from actual newspapers from that time, and a parallel story of street children living under the Brooklyn Bridge that contrasts with Joseph's comfortable life with a large, loving family. The Wow - I was blown away by this book, perhaps moreso because I didn't expect to be. The arc of the plot's action builds in layers with a final climax that I really did not see coming although in hindsight the foreshadowing and clues were there.
Rich characterizations and subplots that initially seem unrelated to the main story are all expertly woven together by Hesse by the book's end, which I was sorry to reach. I think kids who are avid readers would enjoy it, if it is recommended to them, but most won't pick it up on their own. A good choice for upper elementary historical fiction assignments. Jan 03, The Library Lady rated it did not like it. Okay, here I go again swimming against the chorus of critics, many of whom I think are biased once an author has won an award or two or three.
First of all, there is too much here I've read before. There's the tales of poor kids living under the bridge. There's some sort of ghost story. They DO tie together, but only at the very end and just barely and not in a satisfying way. It makes the whole thing disjointed. Perhaps librarians, teachers and other adults who read this book will get a lot from it. But I don't think kids will have the patience to do so. Karen Hesse can write characters that live vividly--even when she does it in blank verse. But that's just not the case with this book.
Jul 15, Lisa Lewis rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This is a sweet tale from the perspective of the main character, Joseph Michtom. His family, in our country's real history, created the ever popular teddy bear. Joseph's story tells of his struggles as a year-old Plus, he has a secret about which no one knows, which is revealed at the end. Karen Hesse, one of my favorit This is a sweet tale from the perspective of the main character, Joseph Michtom. Karen Hesse, one of my favorite authors for young kids, does a wonderful job of telling Joseph's tale and capturing the struggle of immigrants in New York City at the beginning of the 20th century.
She also gives brief stories about children who came to live under the Brooklyn Bridge, which eventually ties in with Joseph's secret. Aug 31, Karen rated it it was amazing. Hesse introduces this immigrant tale with a quote by Isaac Newton: However, readers must finish the book in order to see what Ms. Hesse means by using this quotation symbolically in relation to the actual Brooklyn Bridge and humanity, especially in the special era she wrote about. In the early s, the family of fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom has come from Russia to settle in America where the streets are made of gold.
His is the typical lively and colorful family who has come to live the immigrant life of Brooklyn. Joseph who has a pretty good life for a kid in those days, filled with stick ball, a good home, family and lots of friends, is blessed but his dream centers on going to the new and thrilling amusement park known as Coney Island.
However, Coney Island must wait. Interspersed between the chapters that tell of Joseph and his family and friends comes the haunting story of the kids who live under the bridge. Karen Hesse writes of these somewhat mystical children in a different, almost poetic way. Theirs is a life of suffering and misery which includes their individual stories of horror, starvation, pain, and even death. The central character under the bridge is one known as the Radiant Boy who glides in like a phantom spirit and frightens the children as they know that when he comes and takes someone with him, the child never comes back.
What is the connection between the kids under the bridge and Joseph? As for Coney Island, does Joseph ever get there? As you read this remarkable work by Karen Hesse, the answers to these and many more questions just may satisfyingly and incredibly be revealed. I recommend this as a perfect book for children 11 and older, as well as for adults who want to learn more about a time when our ancestors migrated to this country and settled in that magical place in New York known as Brooklyn.
Chris Sheban did the wonderful cover art and adds to this amazing book with his interior illustrations as well. Submitted by Karen Haney, August, Sep 29, Hayden Neis rated it really liked it. I love this book better than most of the historical fiction books I have read. His family owns and operates a candy shop, until a story in the news paper about Teddy Roosevelt refusing to kill an injured and restrained bear on a hunti I love this book better than most of the historical fiction books I have read. His family owns and operates a candy shop, until a story in the news paper about Teddy Roosevelt refusing to kill an injured and restrained bear on a hunting trip, inspires his parents to create and sell the first "Teddy Bears.
This book was very well written and was steady as in the plot staying together throughout the whole entire book. My favorite genre of books is historical fiction, and I love to learn the history of Presidents. So when I saw this book and read the inside cover, I fell in love. The reverse thought of not wanting wealth or fame certainly caught my attention as if is was part of the Mitchtom household, I would take advantage of it in some ways.
I like how the author ties in the time period on how Coney Island was one of the most popular destinations in the country a the time and how he had a hankering to go. If it hadn't been for the awful sub-plot, this would have been an easy 5 out of 5 book in my eyes. This book pictures the business of a family hard at work each day, working and working and not stopping.
This book is definitely unique as far as the Russian family who invented the "Teddy Bear". Some downsides of this book were some characters were hard to track and pin down it the subplot, one such example is the character Frances. She wasn't mention until the very end of the book.
And when she was introduced, I had a hard time tracking the sub plot after that. Another fault is that the nick names used for some of the characters were used to often and sometimes confusing, especially the 3 three aunts confusing nicknames. Here is a list of the names: A real estate agent A. A Uncle Meyer's new bride In conclusion, this book is very well written, displayed in my mind wonderfully. Had a few flaws, such as the subplot predicament and a few others.
Joseph hopes he'll see Coney Island soon. The dying woman wants her nephew to ask her the questions a citizen should know, so that she can die an American. I loved this book!! Jacob announces, without preamble, that he "threw up," but Mrs. Feb 13, Smithmott rated it it was amazing Shelves:
I loved this book. And if you are looking for a honest opinion, this book was wonderful! Jan 03, Patrick rated it really liked it. This is good and touching, but different than I expected. I thought it was going to be about the apparently epic task of constructing the bridge, as in the McCullough history, The Great Bridge: Instead, it is about her fictional version of what life was like for the Russian immigrant family that invented the Teddy Bear, as narrated by a yr-old son. This is all very interesting with funny and sad things about their imme This is good and touching, but different than I expected.
This is all very interesting with funny and sad things about their immediate family and extended family, all escaped from persecution in Russia, as well as their poor immigrant community. However, it's the type of thing more adults will like than teenagers. The other thread is the tragic stories of the homeless children living in a semi-community underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.
There are more than a dozen anecdotes, with these telling a separate story that eventually ties back into the main Russian immigrant family's story. These are very sad and sometimes hard to read for me even without being graphic at all.
There's also another supernatural element like in Witness , though a bit more prominent. And there are also running quotes about the newly constructed Coney Island from actual period newspapers because the main kid wants to go there so bad. The problem was that these different parts didn't mesh together seamlessly. In fact, I didn't really think the Coney Island quotes added much even though the fact they're from the time period is interesting.
The sad homeless kid profiles don't connect either until the end, and that rushed part didn't quite feel natural. That said, I still loved the main story so much that it overcame the weird plot appendages for me. It was a good, wholesome book that brought to life the reality of poverty and love and loss and change. Others may find the disjointed plot more jarring, and this won't excite large numbers of teens.
Jan 07, Cindy Hudson rated it it was amazing. Joe spends a lot of time with his sister Emily and their baby brother Benjamin. They leave home for many reasons, either they are abused or orphaned or crippled in some way, but they find shelter and solace with each other. It paints a rich picture of Brooklyn in the early s. Issues to discuss with mother-daughter book clubs include homelessness, historical events in Russia and the U. Highly recommended for clubs with girls aged 9 to May 04, Vicki rated it it was amazing.
I loved this book!! This is a wholesome book that can be read by any age 4th grade up. It is about the Michtom family who were the ones that created the teddy bear inspired by Teddy Roosevelt's refusal to shoot a bear cub. It qualifies as historical fiction, but don't tell the kids. They think they hate historical fiction. It also has "interior chapters. The interior chapters are about the children that live under the Brooklyn Bridge and they are I loved this book!! The interior chapters are about the children that live under the Brooklyn Bridge and they are written as vignettes about each child's particular story.
It is a immigration story, an American story, a family story, a success story, a failure story - funny, heartbreaking, clever, poignant, and sweet beyond measure. It will be acceptable to both sexes, though it is not action packed. The narrator of the Michtom story is told by the son, year-old Joe, who wants more than anything to go to Coney Island, but his family is just too busy making teddy bears. Through Joe's eye we see and "judge" all the people that make up the fabric of his neighborhood like Dilly the man with the pickle cart and Joe's family.
Karen Hesse is a fantastic writer; most of her novel have been written in poetry form and all are very good to excellent, but this is the best! I hope everyone will read this book. Nov 25, Karen GoatKeeper rated it really liked it Shelves: Theodore Roosevelt spared a bear cub. This family turned it into a business making Teddy's bears. And life became difficult for the teenage son. So many families pay help but not their own children doing the same work. They are family and that is what the family does. But a teenage boy seeing friends get paid resents being broke.