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Reviews:
Across the Pond by Storyheart (Barry Eva) review copy
The Cat's Book of Romance by Kate Ledger personal collection
The Dragons of Spratt Ohio by Linda Zinnen library book
Frog on His Own by Mercer Mayer library book
Gravitation Volume 1 by Maki Murakami personal collection
Harriet and the Roller Coaster by Nancy Carlton library book
Heat Wave by Richard Castle bookcrossing
If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond library book
Into the Volcano by Don Wood personal collection
Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Magic Tree House #12) by Mary Pope Osborne
So B. It by Sarah Weeks library book
Stop in the Name of Pants by Louise Rennison personal collection
There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer personal collection
Waterwise by Jeff Orff library book
Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf library book
Whoo-oo Is It? by Megan McDonald library book
Frog Goes to Dinner by Mercer Mayer library book
Ghost Town at Sundown (Magic Tree House #10) by Mary Pope Osborne library book
Harriet Beecher Stowe by Suzanne M. Coil library book
If You Can't Say Something Nice, Say it in Yiddish by Lita Epstein personal collection
Incubus, Succubus by Neil James Hudson review copy
Journey Around the World by Sarah Albee personal collection
King Ottokar's Scepre by Georges Remi Hergé library book
Mrs. Muffly's Monster by Sarah Dyer library book
Operation Starseed by JM Snyder personal collection
The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives by David Bainbridge
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss personal collection
You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby personal collection
Can Kittens Take a Catnap? by Clair Palfreman-Bunker personal collection
Halfway to Each Other by Susan Pohlman review copy
I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears by Jag Bhalla library book
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond library book
Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha-ha!by Barbara Park personal collection
Junie B., First Grader: Boo and I Mean It! by Barbara Park personal collection
Lions at Lunchtime (Magic Tree House #11) by Mary Pope Osborne library book
Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali library book
Max's Christmas Stocking by Rosemary Wells library book
Me, Myself and I by Jane Louise Curry library book
Paddington Bear and the Busy Bee Carnival by Michael Bond personal collection
Where Are Maisy's Friends? by Lucy Cousins library book
The Divorce Party by Laura Dave review copy
Sarah Whitcher's Story by Elizabeth Yates personal collection
What Happy Working Mothers Know by Cathy L. Greenberg review copy
The Witches of Worm by Zipha Keatley Snyder library book
Murder in the Magick Club by Byron A. Lorrier review copy
Wolf Song Visions by Scott and Linda Reade review copy
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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Comments for Across the Pond

Across the Pond (Link goes to Amazon)Across the Pond: 12/08/09

Across the Pond by Storyheart (Barry Eva) synched up with Anita Shreve's latest novel, A Change in Altitude when both decided to highlight the oddities of American English. Both fall into the trap of a blanket assumption that all Americans speak the same dialect and use the same words.

The word in question that had me putting on the brakes to run an informal poll on the name of a particular type of intersection. What I learned is that in most (not all!) of the United States, the name for a circular intersection is "traffic circle." Most of the rest of the English speaking world (including most of California) calls it a roundabout. However, both books insist that the United States calls it a "Rotary." That's only true in Massachusetts.

poll

In all fairness to Across the Pond, the young adult story of Fred and his trip to the United States while his parents are in holiday in Australia, is set "an hour from Boston." I would still have preferred either parent to have said, "In Massachusetts we say..." but they never do.

The reason I'm making such a stink over regionalisms is because a big part of the plot is Fred's homework assignment to compile a list of differences between British and American English. There are the more obvious ones like boot vs. trunk, bonnet vs. hood and lift vs. elevator.

Another time though that the book seems to slip up is in Fred's internal dialogue. He's a football fan (soccer) and Brit (the American teenage girl) is a baseball fan. He makes comparisons between the fans of football to those of baseball but he always thinks the word soccer. Why? My guess is to avoid confusing American readers who don't know there are two sports called by the same name. Really; trust me, we know. Some off us even know that in other countries, our football is called gridiron (not that's played anywhere else) to not be confused with Aussie rules football (which is a nice bridge between rugby and American football).

Although Across the Pond had me grumbling and scratching my head at some of the included language lessons, I enjoyed the book a great deal. It's a short, easy read. Storyheart does seem to understand American culture as an ex-pat now living in Connecticut. Fred and Brit are likeable and believable teenage characters. 

What about you? Is it a roundabout, a rotary or a traffic circle? Do you have another British to American English story you'd like to share? Leave it in the comments, I'd love the hear it.

I received this book for review. I have since released it through BookCrossing.

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Comments (2)




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Comment #1: Tuesday, December, 8, 2009 at 18:44:41

Barry Eva

Thank you so much for the review, and the information. Living in CT and really only knowing the eastern states, I had only heard about Rotary. Not that there are many in this area, I think I've seen one in Mass and that was it, where as in the UK they are about every 100yds.

The football stuff I know is more conman these days after all US will be playing England in the World Cup. Also you want to check Gaelic Football against Aussie Rules there is a couple of good games almost the same. I am still getting into trouble using English sayings etc at work even though I have now been "across the pond" for ten years.

Once again, thank you for your review and comments, I'm glad you enjoyed the book

Barry



Comment #2: Tuesday, December 15 at 22:19:21

Pussreboots

I will have to check out Gaelic Football rules. When I was in Tasmania I loved watching Aussie football.

I have two roundabouts on my street that I drive through four times a day. Your book and Anita Shreve's latest just happened to both use the word rotary which made me stop and think about all the different names for a roundabout. Any book that makes me stop and think and do some extra research gets high marks from me.