Me and Marvin Gardens

Me and Marvin Gardens

Obe Devlin has problems. His family's farmland has been taken over by developers. His best friend Tommy abandoned him for the development kids. And he keeps getting nosebleeds, because of that thing he doesn't like to talk about. So Obe hangs out at the creek by his house, in the last wild patch left, picking up litter and looking for animal tracks.One day, he sees a creat...

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Title:Me and Marvin Gardens
Author:A.S. King
Rating:
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:256 pages

Me and Marvin Gardens Reviews

  • Neil (or bleed)
    Jul 09, 2015

    A. S. King never disappoints me.

  • Karine
    Feb 15, 2017

    O que falar de mais uma obra escrito por god herself?

    Um amorzinho. É um pouco estranho não morrer de chorar no final como nos últimos 3 livros dela, mas terminei de ler com o coraçãozinho aquecido. Acompanhar o Obe, os problemas dele e o apego que ele tem a história da família e antiga terra dela é muito... como explicar? É tipo tomar leite quente antes de dormir. Devo comentar que adorei a parte da história onde a gente vê como desde pequenos meninos são ensinados que meninas são realmente cois

    O que falar de mais uma obra escrito por god herself?

    Um amorzinho. É um pouco estranho não morrer de chorar no final como nos últimos 3 livros dela, mas terminei de ler com o coraçãozinho aquecido. Acompanhar o Obe, os problemas dele e o apego que ele tem a história da família e antiga terra dela é muito... como explicar? É tipo tomar leite quente antes de dormir. Devo comentar que adorei a parte da história onde a gente vê como desde pequenos meninos são ensinados que meninas são realmente coisas com as quais podem fazer o que quiser. Os adultos veem como algo inocente e até bonitinho, mas como a irmã de Obe bem frisou, é isso que faz com que sejamos objetos sexuais quando chegamos a puberdade. Enfim, é A.S. King 4 kids porque até mesmo aqui ela tem uma mensagem que vai muito além da interpretação literal da história contada. A gente pode ver beleza na destruição e transformar algo ruim em algo bom.

  • Tasha
    Jan 26, 2017

    Everything has changed for Obe over the last few years. His family’s farmland has turned into a housing development. His best friend is now friends with the kids living in the new development. He has constant nose bleeds caused by something he doesn’t like to talk about, but it has a lot to do with his ex-friend and the new development. Obe spends a lot of time at the creek on his family’s remaining property, cleaning up the trash left by others. Then he meets an unusual animal. It is an odd mix

    Everything has changed for Obe over the last few years. His family’s farmland has turned into a housing development. His best friend is now friends with the kids living in the new development. He has constant nose bleeds caused by something he doesn’t like to talk about, but it has a lot to do with his ex-friend and the new development. Obe spends a lot of time at the creek on his family’s remaining property, cleaning up the trash left by others. Then he meets an unusual animal. It is an odd mix of pig and dog and it eats plastic. Obe names the animal “Marvin Gardens” and knows that he has to keep it a secret from everyone. But when his ex-friend discovers the animal too, Obe has to decide who to trust and who can help Marvin Gardens survive.

    A.S. King is best known as a writer for teens. She has made a lovely transition to middle-grade writing here in a novel of environmentalism and self-acceptance. King wrestles with the problems of middle-grade friendships, the loss of green space, and the question of how one kid can make an impact on climate change or even on his local environment. Throughout, her writing is a call for action, for personal responsibility and for staying true to what is important to you as a person.

    Obe is a fascinating protagonist. At first, he seems young and naive, but as the book progresses, one realizes that he is simply interested in the environment, understands deeply changing friendships, stands up for others, and speaks out for the rights of animals and nature. King manages this without giving Obe a major shift or change, rather it is the reader who grows and changes and understands the character in a different way. It’s all thanks to King’s skill as an author, her way of showing adults as fools at times, and her willingness to allow Obe to simply be himself.

    A strong book about the environment and a rousing call to be responsible for your own patch of earth, this will be a joy to share aloud in a classroom or with children who love nature and don’t mind a bit of muck on their shoes. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  • Ms. Yingling
    Nov 11, 2016

    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

    Obe lives in a previously rural bit of Pennsylvania that is quickly becoming suburban. Worst of all, the land on which the new houses are going up used to belong to his family, before his great grandfather lost it to pay drinking debts. His family is doing okay, but Obe is fighting with former best friend Tommy as well as dealing with recurring nosebleeds that resultant from Tommy punching him in the nose. His one solace is going to the creek behind his hos

    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

    Obe lives in a previously rural bit of Pennsylvania that is quickly becoming suburban. Worst of all, the land on which the new houses are going up used to belong to his family, before his great grandfather lost it to pay drinking debts. His family is doing okay, but Obe is fighting with former best friend Tommy as well as dealing with recurring nosebleeds that resultant from Tommy punching him in the nose. His one solace is going to the creek behind his hose and picking up trash there. Once he finds an odd, slimy, hoglike animal that eats plastic, things start to get a little weird. He names the animal Marvin Gardens (his father is obsessed with Monopoly), and knows he has to keep him hidden from the authorities, as well as the neighborhood kids who might hurt him. At the same time, he feels that Marvin's ability to survive on plastic might be environmentally useful, so eventually tells a trusted teacher. Add to this the fact that Marvin's scat can eat through tennis shoes and decks, and there is a time factor that comes into play.

    Strengths: I adored the setting-- how many children have had to deal with seeing land that's been in their family for generations given over to McMansions? I liked that the family was supportive but struggling a lot with working long hours. The middle grade friendship between Obe and Tommy is also spot on. The little insights into what life was like 100 years ago was an interesting inclusion.

    Weaknesses: I was really loving this until Marvin showed up. I know that there needed to be some other form of conflict, but this was definitely a fantasy novel once we brought in the mutant animal that ate plastic. Just got kind of weird.

    What I really think: I might have to buy it, just because of the parts I liked.

  • Mrs. Krajewski
    Feb 21, 2017

    Obe Devlin is a loner, but he's okay with that. He spends his free time by Devlin Creek, which is on a little patch of land that his family still owns. His family used to have acres and acres, but Obe's great-grandfather had to sell it to pay for his drinking problem. Now developers are moving in, but Obe still has his creek. This is where he meets a new "friend" that he eventually names Marvin Gardens. Marvin is part dog, pig, and who knows what else. Obe has never seen anything like him before

    Obe Devlin is a loner, but he's okay with that. He spends his free time by Devlin Creek, which is on a little patch of land that his family still owns. His family used to have acres and acres, but Obe's great-grandfather had to sell it to pay for his drinking problem. Now developers are moving in, but Obe still has his creek. This is where he meets a new "friend" that he eventually names Marvin Gardens. Marvin is part dog, pig, and who knows what else. Obe has never seen anything like him before, but he grows to care for him. Soon a former friend of Obe's, Tommy, meets Marvin too, but Obe doesn't trust Tommy anymore. Tommy left their friendship a while back for another group of kids, and now Obe is worried that Marvin could be in danger.

    I loved this book just as much as Amy's other novels. I look forward to sharing this one with my students, and someday my son, who is a true scientist at heart.

  • Amy
    Dec 10, 2016

    If you know this author’s YA titles (written as A.S. King), you’ll immediately identify the qualities that are central to most of her books: we have a protagonist who is dealing with social ostracism in peer group and at home; we have parents who are a little evil; we have a absurdist con

    If you know this author’s YA titles (written as A.S. King), you’ll immediately identify the qualities that are central to most of her books: we have a protagonist who is dealing with social ostracism in peer group and at home; we have parents who are a little evil; we have a absurdist concept that lands in this otherwise realistic narrative like a spaceship landing in the middle of a cornfield.

    Sixth grader Obe Devlin is watching his family’s ancestral land turn into housing developments. He can’t roam freely any more and it’s cramping his style. Meanwhile, former friend Tommy has turned against him, has made other friends at school, and now calls Obe a hippie for Obe’s creek-wading, trash-collecting habits.

    One day Obe comes across a strange dog-like, pig-like creature who eats plastic and is responsive to Obe’s entreaties, whom he names Marvin Gardens. Obe and this creature develop a friendship, a friendship that’s imperiled when Obe realizes that Marvin’s scat carries some of the same qualities as toxic waste.

    There’s a lot to love here: King’s style is fresh, wry, and rebellious. Middle grades can be a lot more complacent (as a genre) than YA, and King clearly wants to take your typical boy-and-dog narrative and toss that on its head. Good. Middle grades needs this churning.

    There are also a lot of lovely connections to make to the world around us. Some of them are overt and totally the stuff of middle grades standard fare, like the school’s daily pollution facts during Earth month and the heroic science teacher Ms. G. Middle grades wouldn't be middle grades if we didn't have teacher-heroes. Others are more subtle and lend themselves to closer examination like a YA title, like the extended connection to Monopoly (every chapter begins with an illustration of one of the game’s character pieces) and Obe’s development. Obe's defensive strategy to Monopoly parallels his defensive strategy to protecting his neighborhood from increasing sprawl.

    Let me be clear for a moment that Obe is not some sort of didactic pseudo-hero who serves as a vehicle for lessons about the environment. King is too good for that. Instead, he’s just a kid who sees himself in the world. He thinks about how the Susquehanna eventually leads out to the Atlantic Ocean. He and his friend go hunting for rocks and she tells him how old the rocks are. Here is a character who seems, if anything, spiritually connected to where he is in place and time, and part of his interest in the environment stems from this more fundamental interest in where he is.

    There were a few plot points that dangled here a little too much without deep resolution and a few things about this book that I’ll want to explore in future writing and blogging.

  • Brian
    Dec 23, 2016

    I wish this book existed when I was growing up.

  • Brittany
    Feb 27, 2017

    If you're looking for A.S. King, yes this is the same author, but it's an entirely different feel when she switches to middle grade books. Not that it wasn't good, but it was clear she had an agenda here and there were slip ups here and there where it started to feel a little preachy. I think this would be an excellent choice to read and discuss in a classroom. There's plenty about science and the environment to dig into, but also more universal themes of bullying and friendship and trying to fi

    If you're looking for A.S. King, yes this is the same author, but it's an entirely different feel when she switches to middle grade books. Not that it wasn't good, but it was clear she had an agenda here and there were slip ups here and there where it started to feel a little preachy. I think this would be an excellent choice to read and discuss in a classroom. There's plenty about science and the environment to dig into, but also more universal themes of bullying and friendship and trying to fit in that any middle schooler is bound to relate to.

  • Lola  Reviewer
    Jan 16, 2017

    This is A.S. King’s first middle grade book.

    I’m quite familiar with her young adult novels, so with her style, but I still had no idea what to expect from ME AND MARVIN GARDENS. After all, there are many differences between YA and MG.

    I’m not disappointed with this novel written for young readers. A.S. King is known for inserting dept in her stories in creative ways – which is one of the things I like most about her – so it’s true I wondered how she would perform as a writer of middle grade ins

    This is A.S. King’s first middle grade book.

    I’m quite familiar with her young adult novels, so with her style, but I still had no idea what to expect from ME AND MARVIN GARDENS. After all, there are many differences between YA and MG.

    I’m not disappointed with this novel written for young readers. A.S. King is known for inserting dept in her stories in creative ways – which is one of the things I like most about her – so it’s true I wondered how she would perform as a writer of middle grade instead of her usual category.

    Although there is a very evident young vibe and the main character (Obe) is eleven years old, I think older readers may enjoy this as well. I sure did. It’s not exceptional, but it’s such a hopeful story. Beautiful themes are featured, such as friendship, environment and the importance of treasuring our roots.

    Marvin Gardens is Obe’s new and not-quite-supposed-to-exist friend who eats plastic. Obe, who believes saving the environment is a salient mission, is fascinated by Marvin Gardens. Sadly or not-so-sadly, he will discover that there are no perfect solutions – nothing is either black or white.

    This is a slow book. Not much happens. Obe thinks a lot. Fortunately, he thinks about important subjects in interesting ways. Plus Marvin Gardens is a curious character – I love animals; I wish this one existed!

    Even if it’s slow and uneventful, it’s hard to not want to keep reading, because this book makes us wonder about what will happen to Marvin Gardens – Where does he belong? What will happen to him? How will the story end?

    Such a heart-warming story.

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  • Forever Young Adult
    Feb 23, 2017

    Mandy W.

    Montell Jordan

    Big Sister

    0

    A.S. King, MFs (My Friends)!

    Environmentalism, Toxic Masculinity, Friendships, Monopoly

    Where Have You Been All My Life?

    Read the full book report

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