Alive and Well in Prague, New York

Alive and Well in Prague, New York

by Daphne Grab
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Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

Matisse Osgood is a New York City girl through and through. She buys her clothes at Andy's Cheapies, watches indie films at the Angelika, and wouldn't be caught dead on a hayride. But when her father gets sick and Matisse's parents decide to leave Man-hattan for a small town in upstate New York, her perfect world crumbles. As Matisse trudges through life in Prague, she dreams of waking up in her apartment on West 78th Street with a father who's well enough to walk with her in Central Park and a mother who doesn't pretend that everything is okay. When rumors surround Matisse at school and her father's symptoms worsen, Matisse realizes that the friends she's making in Prague are the kind you can count on. They help Matisse find the strength to reach out to her father, who may not be as far from her as she thought. And one particular farm boy shows Matisse that country living is a lot more magical than she ever imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061256707
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 12 Years

About the Author

Daphne Grab grew up in a small town in upstate New York. She has worked at a number of jobs, including teaching high school history, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, and teaching English in China. She also earned an MFA in creative writing at the New School. In 1998 she moved to New York City, where she discovered that she has always been a city girl at heart. She lives there now with her husband and children.

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Alive and Well in Prague, New York 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Superb and yet it operates within the confines of the possible. I hope that next time this very promising writer will try to reach out beyond her grasp.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Matisse Osgood is the daughter of two well-known New York City artists. Life is good for Matisse. She's a city girl through and through. Then her father gets diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, and is told that he should avoid working on the sculptures that he loves, for fear that he may fall off of a ladder at some point.

After much consideration, Matisse's parents decide that the best thing for the family is to get out of the city. To remove all reminders of what her father can't have anymore. So off they move to Prague, New York. Yes, it's named after the famous European city. The only problem is that Prague, NY, is nothing like its namesake. Hayrides and pep rallies are the excitement Matisse can expect in her new town.

It takes a while, but finally Matisse finds a friend in loner Violet. They have similar tastes and personalities, and the friendship forms quickly. Other quirky characters in Prague enter Matisse's life. At first, she has a hard time letting anyone in.

Matisse is dealing with her own grief and guilt over her father's diagnosis. Life at home is hard and Matisse has always been reserved when it comes to dealing with private issues.

Through the help of her new friends, her father's acceptance of his diagnosis, and the quaint setting of Prague, NY, Matisse slowly opens up and becomes a better person in her new surroundings.

Ms. Grab writes a tender story of a girl's struggle to accept the life she's had thrust upon her. Matisse's life is thrown upside down with the move and her father's illness, and slowly she learns that there are some things she can control, and others that she has to learn to accept and live with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matisse Osgood is the daughter of a painter and a sculptor, so it's no wonder she's named after an artist. But tragedy strikes her family when her father topples from a ladder and gets a concussion. It turns out that he has nerve damage and is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. That prompts the family to move from New York City to small town Prague, which breaks Matisse's heart because she has to leave behind the city she loves. And moving doesn't seem to help anything at all. Her father is still sick, her mother pretends like nothing is wrong, and Matisse is worried someone will find out her family's secret. In the process, Matisse manages to make one true friend, Violet. They are similar in so many ways they both hate Prague and can't wait until they can finally get away from the small town. There's also her friendly neighbor Hal, who seems dorky at first but grows on Matisse. But not everyone is so welcoming. There's the nasty popular girl Jennifer who seems determined to make everyone hate Matisse. The false rumors start to fly, and Matisse still can't deal with her father's sickness she compares it to a wound. And eventually, all secrets have to come out. Alive and Well in Prague, New York is a beautiful story about a young girl learning to cope with her father's illness. It was interesting to watch Matisse grow and find out what really mattered to her. In some ways, Prague was stereotyped as other backwards small towns with its hayride and seemingly stupid traditions, but the setting wasn't as important as the characters. I have to say that Matisse and Violet are probably two of my new favorite fictional characters they have so much style and I'm not just talking about clothes. At first, they only have each other, and they are perfectly content with that that is something to be admired. They might not seem like it in this small town setting, but they are truly kick-butt heroines. I also appreciated the romance, even though it was only added in at the end. I recommend Alive and Well in Prague, New York if you like a shorter but meaningful read. There's a lot that can be learned from this novel about family and friendship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The one thing that surprised me about this book was how it was marketed for a younger audience than I expected. The print is large, the plot line is basic, and nothing 'naughty' happens. But, of course that's not a bad thing. I think it added to the overall warm charm the book had. Each character was whimsical and fun, and even though their actions may have not seemed realistic at some points, they were still fun to read about and you felt as if you knew them well. I also liked how the romantic aspect of the story played out. I loved Hal and I think that him and Matisse make one of the cutest couples I've read about in a while. There's just something so innocent about the high maintenance city girl falling for the hokey farm boy. I adored it! Another thing that really brought the book to life for me was the strong female lead. Even throughout her boy troubles and the issues with her family, Matisse was able to stay sane and competent. I loath books that place females in weak and inferior positions, so for that reason alone, I loved Alive and Well. I'd definitely recommend this book to everyone. It is sure to warm your heart and leave you wanting to read more of Daphne Grab's smooth and clear writing. I'm definitely looking forward to more books from her!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a little surprised to find myself enjoying this book since I assumed it was for girls but I started reading a few pages and couldn't put it down. Yes, there was some discussion about vintage clothing shopping and kissing but it disappeared behind strong dialogue, a good plot and too funny descriptions of human thinking and interaction. It totally worked for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was hooked from the first page of Alive and Well in Prague, NY. Matisse is a teen both kids and adults can relate to. Her struggle to fit in after leaving NYC for small-town Prague, her reluctance to tell others about her father's Parkinson's Disease, and her rollercoaster ride of new relationships make this story interesting, heartfelt and realistic. Five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book you can read again and again, and I'm sure I will . . . Daphne Grab's debut novel describes a daughter's experience with her father's illness -- but even though it deals with sickness, it is never melodramatic. It is just extraordinarily real. The narrator, Matisse Osgood, is a displaced city girl who finds friendship and romance in her new upstate NY town, and comes to terms with her dad's Parkinson's disease. I wanted to be Matisse's friend -- I'd even hang out at Milo High to get to meet her! -- and I highly recommend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
New York City girl Matisse Osgood, named after a famous painter, thought she¿d never leave the city. Until her parents decided to move the family to a small town. Now she¿s stuck in deary Prague, New York where the theater does not even have the current flicks. The town is a total bust in Matisse¿s eyes compared to the frequent shopping trips and exotic restaurants back in New York City. Though her life starts to look up as Matisse makes a few friends, thinking that maybe, just maybe, Prague isn¿t that bad after all. Alive and Well in Prague, New York is a fabulous read that is impossible to put down. A truly heartwarming novel that fills one with a sense of cheer and hope as Matisse struggles through not only adjusting to small town life, but learning how to open her heart to those who matter the most. This finely crafted debut novel from Daphne Grab surely strikes a reader¿s heartstrings through and through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a real gem! I could not put it down, yet I never wanted it to end. The writing is fantastic and the story is incredibly engaging. The main character, Matisse, is a hip, cool New Yorker who reluctantly moves with her family to a small, uncool town in upstate New York. At first Matisse misses Manhattan's vintage clothing shops and sushi restaurants so much that she cannot see the hidden beauty in rural New York. But with the help of some interesting classmates, and a few unexpected surprises, Matisse learns that there is more to life than being cutting-edge. This debut novel from Daphne Grab is truly incredible! I highly recommend it to everyone. This book is going to be a real hit!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely one of my favorites now. It has you hooked from the beginning when Matisse Osgood ( named after the famous artist that brought her parents together)is starting at her new school in Prague, New York. She has moved from NYC because her father has Parkinson's disease. Her mother just ignores this problem like nothings wrong and Matisse can not bring herself to talk about to no one. This book deals with growing up and facing your problems. Also it has romance and hummer. This authors first novel is heartwarming leaving me wanting more. I can not wait for her next book. I would suggest it to anyone. 5 stars