I just don't think we'd get along based on her parental choices; but that's what made the book so interesting to read. She was nasty to all the teachers she met, they were nasty to her from her perspective? I disagreed with just about every move she made but I've never lived it so I maintain major respect for her devout dedication to her son. Oct 24, Dereth rated it really liked it Shelves: I plunged into Raising Blaze on the recommendation of a family member. Raising Blaze is an awakening. I have no first-hand experience with autism outside of the occasional encounter in the workplace.
Ginsberg, and through her, her son, reveal an inside portrait of a life unknown to me. I must say that, for all the good help and support Blaze received along the way, I would have reached through time and space to throttle a few of his teachers. Jun 14, Heidi rated it really liked it. Debra thought everything was fine until her son, Blaze, started school. His had been a difficult birth and he struggled with issues like asthma, but other than that he seemed like a normal kid.
He didn't spend much time around other kids but seemed to be hitting all of his developmental milestones. But on the first day of kindergarten literally the very first day, if Debra's memories are accurate his teachers knew there was something different. After observing Blaze in class for just three hour Debra thought everything was fine until her son, Blaze, started school.
After observing Blaze in class for just three hours on his first day of school, his kindergarten teacher insisted he go into the special ed classroom. Debra would spend the next 8 years probably more, but the book ended there being her son's advocate. Blaze wasn't slow, she argued, he just saw things differently. He spoke metaphorically and could easily be overwhelmed by other people's emotions.
Trying to fit her square peg son into the round hole of a school classroom was made harder in an era of ever-increasing class sizes and pressure for high test scores. I felt for the teachers as well as for Blaze and his mother. The story is from Debra's point of view, of course, and she got along with very few of her son's teachers and administrators. I'm sure they had their own stories to tell. I wish there were more insights here about what could have been done and how to help kids who aren't mainstream.
Jan 16, Rita Glick rated it it was amazing. I read it in 24 hours. Having worked in classrooms with children who have no diagnosis, my heart ached. I would like to see this as required reading for mainstream teachers, but I'm afraid they would blow it off as the writings of an over-protective parent; so many of them don't get it and too many don't want to. Ginsberg admits her own eccentric background almost as an excuse. But aren't we all eccentric in our own way? I was happy to read so much about her family and Beautifully written book..
I was happy to read so much about her family and how they were able to work together as adults to help raise Blaze. I was saddened when Ginsberg spoke of her family as if there was something wrong with the way they lived.
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I don't think she meant it to come through that way, but it did for me. Her family seem to be compassionate, caring, loving, and successful people. Debra Ginsberg has an incredible talent for mothering and for writing and I highly recommend this book. Oct 16, Kylie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I had a very hard time putting this book down.
Debra Ginsberg is a gifted writer I started reading Waiting, but wasn't able to finish it before it had to be returned to the library, so it's back on the hold list! I have a son named Blaise, which was actually what first drew me to this book. My Blaise is different. Another thing that drew me in. The way she describes having him diagnosed, or attempting to have him diagnosed, is all exactly how I felt going through this with my Blaise. I just rea I had a very hard time putting this book down. I just really loved her book. I, too, have been forced to attend school with my Blaise now, granted, she wasn't really forced to help him to focus and control his impulses.
I also do not have the problems at home that they have at school. For me it's a five star book because I just completely relate to her and her struggles. And, I bought her Blaze's book because it gives me hope. Mar 14, Alicia rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this book for a graduate course on creating and sustaining positive classroom environments.
As someone who has been in classrooms with students eerily similar to Blaze, I've felt exhaustion toward parents who I felt were either blissfully ignorant, or neglecting to do their part. This is the first time I've ever heard a personal account of what it is like to be the parent of a student navigating the world of special education, and it has I read this book for a graduate course on creating and sustaining positive classroom environments. This is the first time I've ever heard a personal account of what it is like to be the parent of a student navigating the world of special education, and it has definitely caused me to at the very least think twice before I pass a silent judgement on a parent.
This book reads like a story rather than a memoir. I hated putting the book down, and found myself constantly interested in what Blaze would encounter next. Definitely a worthwhile read. Sep 23, Nikki Byer rated it it was amazing. I enjoyed reading this book even though there were many things I disagreed with. As a classroom teacher for 39 years, I can relate to the school's perspective. As a grandmother raising my grandson who is on the autism spectrum, I have to wonder if the author had taken the advice of the psychologists and psychiatrists and perhaps gotten some outside therapy for Blaze, if perhaps the outcome would have been different.
Going by the descriptions she presented, he has many of the symptoms of autism. My grandson had some of the same behaviors, but we really work within the school system as well as having him receive outside therapy and now that he is in high school he is almost normal. The book was a fast and enjoyable read, but I was sometimes frustrated with the author's decisions.
Aug 18, Shawna rated it really liked it Shelves: I've read a number of books written by parents who obsess over their children's problems, the ones that immediately come to mind are "Augusta, Gone," "Live Through This" and "Beautiful Boy" and there comes a point in each of these memoirs where the reader, or at least I, fatigue and find I am no longer interested in the minutiae of someone else's children's problems. Even so, I did finish this book and found it to be enlightening in what it exposed about the morass our current educational system I've read a number of books written by parents who obsess over their children's problems, the ones that immediately come to mind are "Augusta, Gone," "Live Through This" and "Beautiful Boy" and there comes a point in each of these memoirs where the reader, or at least I, fatigue and find I am no longer interested in the minutiae of someone else's children's problems.
Even so, I did finish this book and found it to be enlightening in what it exposed about the morass our current educational system and how any child who doesn't have a strong and savvy advocate will likely be drugged into submission or marginalized to make it easier for the system to fuction. Jul 03, Andrea rated it liked it Recommends it for: If you want to dive into the world of special education, unusual children, and the public school system, this book is interesting.
It's even interesting if you're not into these things. Blaze, Ginsberg's son, is somewhere in the world of not normal, but undiagnosable. Ginsberg reveals her life and her son's life in this novel as they navigate from a complicated child birth to the 7th grade. It's well written and full of the details that make us see and examine our less then our perfect thoughts. Jan 06, Sharon rated it really liked it Shelves: This book raised a lot of questions about special education and how school districts handle special needs students. The author herself had a unique upbringing, which brought up a lot of questions as I was reading this book.
In addition, her relationship with her child and her naive approach to how we prepare children for Kindergarten was also thought provoking. Finally, it was interesting to watch her viewpoints of public education change year to year, as her son went through each grade of schoo This book raised a lot of questions about special education and how school districts handle special needs students. Finally, it was interesting to watch her viewpoints of public education change year to year, as her son went through each grade of school. This book was well written and worth reading.
Jun 23, Julie Dalle rated it really liked it. This was an intriguing book. It kept my interest with laughter but the topic of a young boy with special needs was serious. I particularly liked how the author focused on his education, that was of interest to me most as I see students with special needs or some that appear to be different all the time and realize what they may be going through.
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Find out why- meet the sensitives today Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention hoffman alice york historical island coney early fire city fiction lives triangle father coralie unusual events eddie factory century main. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I have really liked the other novels of Alice Hoffman's that I have read, but unfortunately didn't enjoy this one.
It progressed too slowly, and the level of descriptive detail in the story began to feel indulgent or self-conscious in some way, rather than poetic or lyrical. To be sure, Ms. Hoffman brings New York alive, and I liked that she grounded the story in two real historical events - a shirtwaist factory fire that fueled the workers' rights movement, and a huge Coney Island fire.
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Her characters are also very well-wrought, from the Coney Island show 'freaks' that we get to know as real men and women, to a Jewish mystic from the lower East side Orthodox community, to the hermits in upper Manhattan, still living in the forest, before the city has fully taken over. But the compelling historical setting and characters didn't make up for the slow pace for me.
Raising Blaze: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World
The story moves back and forth between the lives of 2 characters - a young woman with webbed hands who is featured as a fish-girl in the Coney Island museum her father runs, and a young man who has abandoned his Jewish Orthodox upbringing, now working as a crime photographer on the fringes of society. Each of their stories is told in part in first person as if they are reminiscing about their past, and in part through a third person narrator.
That was much too long of a lead-in for me, and I had almost abandoned the book before this. But even in those, the writing and level of detail began to feel like an obstacle. So unfortunately for me this was just so-so overall, with both good points and bad points. What is the difference between a freak and a monster? The difference is what lies beneath the surface of the skin. Coralie Sardie often refers to herself as a monster due to a birth defect that produced webbing between her fingers.
In the year of , her webbed fingers are a curiosity that lead to a childhood of exploitation. Eddie Cohen, a Russian Immigrant, Orthodox Jew, and photographer, also has a distorted view of the world. His stems from tragedy and his experiences as an mistreated laborer in the garment district. Neither Coralie nor Eddie see their fathers for who they really are, and these misconceptions shape them as they struggle to come of age.
Drawn together by the river, shaped by water and fire, these two characters eventually save each other. The backdrop of their story is New York City in the year A year fraught with labor disputes and tragedy. An era where police were not public servants, but held in the employ of businessmen to do their bidding. Justice was hard to come by, if it existed at all. Women, children, and immigrants were commonly exploited.
They were commonly misused and abused in carnival side-shows.
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Labor Unions got powerful and demanded higher wages and perks. Furthermore the inefficiencies of government regulation and large state run industries coal, steel, transportation, etc. The transportation system in US was highly regulated in the 70s. Airline routes are a good example of how the government limited the number of airlines on any given route and that allowed them to charge high prices.
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They made a good profit despite the fact that many planes had tons of empty seats. Compare that with the disruption caused by Uber today with Taxis. They have opened the market up not only deregulated the taxi industry, but have gone further and made it incredibly easy for an individual to offer you a transportation service for a fee. Marc takes a heavy subject like world economics and narrates many of these events in a story-like manner that makes the book enjoyable. I marveled at how many of the changes like privatization, seemed to be trends that spread from one country to another.
If you are remotely interested in economics, I highly recommend this book.
An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy
Aug 31, Ryan Tolusso rated it really liked it. A refreshing take on the "low-growth era" of the s onward by someone who doesn't have a political axe to grind. Levinson looks across countries to find the causes of lower growth and to measure the political trends that arose in response to it.
He tells the story of the overburdened bureaucracies of the post-war developed countries but also the failure of "neoliberalism" and deregulation to reverse the slowdown of growth. Levinson seems to conclude that neither approach statism vs neolibera A refreshing take on the "low-growth era" of the s onward by someone who doesn't have a political axe to grind.
Levinson seems to conclude that neither approach statism vs neoliberalism was effective at ensuring the extraordinary times went on, but it would have been interesting to have a discussion of whether the neoliberalism of the 80s and 90s improved growth at the margin e. In some cases this seems to be the implication of Levinson's findings e. Mar 06, Liam rated it really liked it. In late October , just as the Arab oil producers were raising prices and cutting back supplies, a rumor made the rounds in Osaka that the country was running out of toilet pape "By , the tide of deregulation had advanced so far that in France, where the state had dominated the economy since the age of Louis XIV, the government abolished controls on the price of bread for the first time in years.
In late October , just as the Arab oil producers were raising prices and cutting back supplies, a rumor made the rounds in Osaka that the country was running out of toilet paper. A newspaper picked up the story, and mobs of housewives soon set upon grocery stores to buy every roll in sight. A government statement that there was no shortage only increased the panic. In Amagasaki, an elderly woman broke her leg when a crowd of shoppers pushed her to the floor. In Shizuoka, one man purchased a thousand rolls, just in case.
In Tokyo, stores capped sales to individual customers. As Japanese apartments filled up with boxes of paper, the government stepped in, ordering wholesalers to empty their warehouses of toilet paper in order to stem the frenzy. The huge reservoir of underutilized labor that had shifted into more productive work in the postwar years could not be tapped again: The sorts of public-sector expenditures that could bring almost immediate gains in productivity, such as building superhighways and modernizing ports, had been made.
Although young people entering the labor force invariably had more schooling that their parents, the years of an extremely rapid rise in average education were past now that literacy was almost universal in wealthy economies. Future advances in well-being would depend heavily on developing innovations and putting them to effective use.
Across the wealthy economies, business investment, which had increased and average of 5. It surpassed any reasoned expectations. And we are not likely to see its equivalent soon again. Jun 23, Sam rated it really liked it. The new normal —the expression, appears only in the last few pages of An Extraordinary Time. But Marc Levinson gives ample clues that the new normal, in various guises, has persisted since the stagflation of the early s.
If central governments have failed to address economic woes coherently since then, it is because their actions are almost always counterproductive. A latent theme coursing through An Extraordinary Time is just how unsuccessful governments are at ensuring desirable economic ou The new normal —the expression, appears only in the last few pages of An Extraordinary Time.
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A latent theme coursing through An Extraordinary Time is just how unsuccessful governments are at ensuring desirable economic outcomes. They lead us in the false hope of expectations of plenty, instead. As a thought exercise, readers might wonder what new technologies or unseen contingencies might prove him wrong. Well, only if the highways are up to the task--and only if the vehicles themselves are game changers in terms of their benefits. Otherwise, they are just an incremental blip. Gene-splicing as a cure for some diseases? Only if the procedure can be made affordable, and applied more-or-less fairly, without resorting to some kind lottery system.
Some consumer device comparable to the PC, laptop, or smart phone, that has yet to be invented? No doubt lots of useful things remain to be invented, but they will appear incrementally, at least in the new steady-state system in which we find ourselves. That is, until we return to another new normal. Mar 01, Phillias rated it it was amazing. Great modern history survey. Dec 24, Peter Tillman rated it it was ok Shelves: This is an odd book. It purports to demonstrate that "mature" economies, such as the US, Western Europe, and Japan, can grow rapidly in special circumstances basically, he uses the recovery from WW2 as his example , and then settle back to lower growth for the long term.
What he actually does, is spend two short chapters on the postwar boom, the rest of the book on the difficult decade following the oil shock of , and a short wrapup chapter where he says that the cause of the bust or drop This is an odd book. What he actually does, is spend two short chapters on the postwar boom, the rest of the book on the difficult decade following the oil shock of , and a short wrapup chapter where he says that the cause of the bust or drop in growth is the drop is productivity improvements, in all advanced economies worldwide.
He does have a number of amusing anecdotes of political folly, which is not hard to find. I skimmed after awhile, but I didn't find the book very compelling. Levinson writes well, but goes off on tangents and into imo superfluous detail. He's probably right in outline, but some countries do better than others, after the boom fades. The US is one, until recently. Which he doesn't really acknowledge or address.
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