Monday, October 29, 2012

a single thread by Marie Bostwick

 It's a long way from Fort Worth, Texas, to New Bern, Connecticut, yet it only takes a day in the charming Yankee town to make Evelyn Dixon realize she's found her new home. The abrupt end of her marriage was Evelyn's wake-up call to get busy chasing her dream of opening a quilt shop. Finding a storefront is easy enough; starting a new life isn't. Little does Evelyn imagine it will bring a trio like Abigail Burgess, her niece Liza, and Margot Matthews through her door.
Troubled and angry after her mother's death, Liza threatens to embarrass her Aunt Abigail all over town unless she joins her for quilting classes. A victim of downsizing at the peak of her career, Margot hopes an event hosted by the quilt shop could be a great chance to network-and keep from dying of boredom.
As they stitch their unique creations, Evelyn, Abigail, Liza, and Margot form a sisterhood they never sought-but one that they'll be grateful for when the unexpected provides a poignant reminder of the single thread that binds us all. (

I have been reading mysteries with thread as a theme such as buttons and embroidery. When i picked this book up i thought it was something similar. But unknown to me, yes it has theme of quilting (thread) running through the story but also ladies helping each other dealing with breast cancer, the camaraderie.  It was a good read! I am looking forward to reading the next in the series 'a cobbled court quilts novel'. 

Wonder by R J Palacio

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

I read Wonder , this is a quick and easy read. I enjoyed this book. Auggie is a hero, I called my son a hero as well when he graduated from high school. He has Aspergars he was picked on, ridiculed and just tormented every day of school, even on his soccer team when he was in elementary school. It was terrible to watch I just didn't know what else to do after making administrators aware of it. I even think it made life worse for my son.  I can imagine how life was for August. Heroes they are.
Pick the book up and enjoy the read.

Fifty Shades Trilogy

Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James
I have read where this trilogy is on the NY Times Bestseller list. I ask myself how this is possible. When I picked up the first book in the trilogy I did out of curiosity.  I have read many novels  that were erotic, romance with eroticism and many other types of erotics. I probably read Fifty Shades of Grey cover to cover skipping very few pages. As i read the 2nd book Fifty shades Darker, I was hoping Anastasia had grown more back bone and went on with her life. But no she succumbed to Grey. I was talked into reading the 3rd Fifty Shades Freed by colleagues. I can say I should have listened to myself and not have purchased the book. Over the 3 books I probably read less of this book then all of the other 2. I skipped more pages looking for the story of the book.
if you are looking for an erotica book go to your book store their are so many more worth your time. One such author is Karen Marie Moning her Highlander series is erotic.  I am now beginning to read her new series MacKayla Lane novels, DarkFever.
I recommend passing on the Fifty Shades Trilogy and find another author with great romance and eroticism.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

Trouble twins" Dallas and Florida are orphans who have given up believing there is such a thing as a loving home. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple who live in the beautiful, mysterious Ruby Holler, but they're restless for one more big adventure. When they invite the twins to join them on their journeys, they first must all stay together in the Holler, and the magic of the place takes over. Two pairs of lives grow closer and are changed forever.(

This was the first book I have read by Sharon Creech. I really enjoyed this story. 2 couples, one a set of twins considered trouble makers and the 2nd a husband and wife. The older couple brings the twins into their lives. Tiller and Sairy give the twins a home, confidence and reassures them they are normal kids growing up. Dallas and Florida do wonder about the older couple but do enjoy the adventure. A good read quiet and unassuming it will bring smiles into your life. 

Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly by Robert Dalby

An irresistible Southern charmer about small-town gossip, second-chance romance, strange weather, and ballroom dancing in the most unlikely places.

Laurie Lepanto is on the horns of a dilemma. Her favorite market, the Piggly Wiggly, of Second Creek, Mississippi, is on the verge of closing its doors, nearly done in by a new Mega-Mart across town. Over the years, the Piggly Wiggly has been more than a supermarket-it's been a community center and town hall, and it's even seen a little romance blossom in its aisles.
Laurie-who has never met a problem she can't solve- is determined to help Mr. Choppy, the Piggly Wiggly's manager, keep his business afloat. She enlists her fellow "Nitwitts," a formidable array of the town's most influential widows, and the town's most eligible silver fox, Powell Hampton, a sixtysomething widower and former ballroom dance instructor. For two hours a week, Powell will waltz-or fox-trot or tango-at the Piggly Wiggly with Second Creek's ladies while the salesclerks do their shopping for them.
In a place like Second Creek, where everyone knows everyone, waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly soon becomes the town's most festive event. And after a few turns around the floor with the handsome and charming Powell, Laurie soon begins to make plans for romance as well as civic renewal. (

This was a good read, romantic, charming and loving with friendships.

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

I found comfort reading this book, it gave me a sense of goodness and peace, as if the Trinity was leading me through a dark path as it was leading Mark to find a way to forgive himself.

Flyboys by James Bradley

Flyboys is historical fiction but as I read the book it seemed so real. its subtitle is 'a true story of courage'. As I read this book there were times where I had to stop reading the book just to be able to continue reading the book. The scenes seemed so real.  To think that our fighter pilots were treated with such barbarism.  As i read this book I kept thinking about Heart of the Samurai. How the Japanese tried very hard to keep others(foreigners) out of their country.
This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculously rescued. The fate of the others-an explosive 60-year-old secret-is revealed for the first time in FLYBOYS. (

I recommend reading this book. We need to remember how American pilots and soldiers were treated because we are being treated the same by middle easterner radicals. They have/ had no care for life.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

        Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .
In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of          Camp Half-Blood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?
The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophesy remains a mystery. . . . (

I enjoyed this 3rd book in the trilogy of the Heroes of Olympus. At times it got alittle confusing with all the various places in Italy.  Wish i knew more about those places of interests. Now I must wait until Fall 2013 for book 4 The House of Hades.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Powerless by Matthew Cody

Powerless I liked alot, probably because of Daniel. The new kid in town who uses his power to save his new friends. Daniel doesn't have the same powers as his friends so how can he save them?  What is he saving them from?  Read Powerless.

I had to force myself to push through this book. I just didn't get it until the end. I wish the cover looked a bit more inviting and interesting for a middle school students.

No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

No Passengers Beyond this Point by Gennifer Choldenko. Wow this is a different story. At first it was a family being split because of their home being foreclosed on and Mom needing to stay back to finish out the school year. The children are sent ahead to live with their Uncle.  Mysteriously the children's plane land in an area or town where everything is perfect. All the children need to do is agree to stay. Finn and Mouse decide fast they don't want to stay but India wants to stay in the perfect world. Finn and Mouse try to get India to realize the perfect place isn't for them. India has alot of soul searching to do. Does she go along with Finn and Mouse?    Do the children get to their Uncle's house?

This is a mystery with a twist of fantasy.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Camo Girl by kekla magoon

Camo Girl  is set in a suburb of Las Vegas, Ella and Zachary, called Z, have been friends forever, but Z has always been “the weird kid” in their class. He collects stubby pencils, plays chess, and maintains an elaborate –and public– fantasy life, starring himself as a brave knight. Z’s games were okay back in 3rd or 4th grade, but by now their other friends have ditched them both. Z doesn’t care, but Ella longs to be part of a group of friends, even though most of the class makes fun of her. Ella’s mother is black and her father (now deceased) was white, and she’s the only black girl in their sixth grade class. When a new boy, Bailey, moves to town, he befriends Ella, because they are now the only two black kids in class. But Bailey is popular – popular enough to make Ella cool and give her a wider circle of friends – but only if she stops hanging out with Z. Ella’s faced with a difficult decision – remain loyal to the boy who has been her best and only friend for years, or pass up the opportunity to be one of the popular kids that she has always longed to be.
Bailey has a secret. What is his secret? If others found out his secret would he still be popular? Or one of the 'cool ' kids?

all the broken pieces by ann e. burg

all the broken pieces is a novel in verse.  Mitt Pin would like to forget war torn Vietnam, bombs that fell and the terrible secret he left behind. He is now living with a caring adoptive family in the United States, he finds himself forced to confront his past. And that means choosing between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom.  This copy comes from the back cover of the book but doesn't tell the story. Matt faces prejudice because of his nationality, he faces problems because he wants to play baaseball but faces the unfairness of teamates. With the help of his parents Matt learns to face all that prejudice and more.

Bulu:African Wonder Dog by Dick Houston

Bulu is not a book I would normally read. This is about Bulu a dog who lived in the African bush. His owners, Steve and Anna, were warned that dogs usually don't survive long in the bush because they become 'food' for the wild animals.  Bulu has adventures in the bush, some riskier then others more terrifying for Steve and Anna the Bulu. He is a courageous and determined dog.

It is a Virginia Readers Choice book, a pleasure to read.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flygirl by Sherri L Smith

Flygirl,  I really enjoyed reading this book. It is another Virginia Reader's Choice.  I loved Ida Mae. Her persistence wanting to be a pilot.With America entering WWII the Army needed pilots to move planes from one place to the next. Ida had the chance to become a pilot.  She uses her light skin to 'pass' as a white girl, to learn to be a pilot. Ida Mae wants to fly become a pilot but soon Ida Mae learns denying one's identity and family a burden.  But will this stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a pilot?
I loved Ida Mae a strong female wanting to achieve her dreams, her persistence at a time when her skin color might have stopped her. Way to go Ida Mae!

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period this book wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be about kids attending a private and the cattiness between students. Boy was i wrong. Kristen finds herself outside the clique her best friend was a part of. Only to have her mother keep telling her you need to be apart of that group,  When Kristen finally decides to take a leap to sit a another table for lunch is when the ---- hits the fan. Especially at home. Kirsten so called keeps running home to her mom about things going on at school, only to have Kirsten's mom questioning Kirsten. We all know friends are a must but its tough to deal with when you are constantly being picked on. Now enters Walk. Kirsten over hears her parents, talking or was it a another fight?  How does Walk fit into being a friend of Kirsten's ?

You need to read the book to find the answers?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jacob's Rescue by Malka Drucker & Michael Halperin

Jacob's Rescue is not another typical WWII hiding of Jews from Nazis. This is Jacob's story how he was saved by a Polish family until the Russians came into Poland. Alex and his family took Jacob in and through out the years eventually took in Jacob's brothers. Alex's family kept them safe until then end of the war. Jacob and David finally reunited with their Dad in Palestine.
This book was published in 1993 but I recently found it as I was taking inventory at school. Its a good read for a student looking to read less then 150 pages and the story line moves quickly probably because the Germans/Nazis were always looking to hunt down Jews during this time period.  its sad that this is part of our world history.

This is very simialr in history to Between Shades of Gray

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen

Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen is a great book to read. At first I thought the book was about a dog that is true to a point but the meat of the story. School is out for the summer. Finn is home deciding how many people he will talk to over the summer break. He already went to the library for a selection of books to read over the summer. Matthew a friend is staying with Finn. They get a neighbor her name is Johanna. Johanna gets Finn creating a garden in his back yard.  Finn and Matthew get coaxed into helping Johanna raise money for a charity. Throughout the story Johanna weaves friends together to create family.

This is my second book I read written by Gary Paulsen. As with Lawn Boy I really enjoyed this story.  This would be a good book for students who like to read less then 150 pages. Also Lawn Boy has less than 90 pages for those students who don't like to read 100 pages both books are a good read.  But read this story because the dog, Dylan, does bring notes to Finn but who is writing the notes? READ Notes From the Dog.

Middle School the Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson

Middle School the Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson is actually only about being a 6th grader and one year of middle school. Rafe makes the the first year of middle school seem like the pits. He decides he needs to break every rule in the middle school rule book giving himself points the more difficult the rule is to break the higher the points award. Rafe gets detention and In school suspension when caught or when he can't talk the teacher out of the situation.  Its a bizarre story. I am certain I never met a middle school student like Rafe in my 30 years of teaching in middle school.
I guess it is written in good humor for middle schoolers but I now question if I should purchase the second book, sequel to this book.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.

When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.

They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .

It's anyone's guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival". .

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The Things They Carried  by Tim O'Brien, I found this book by accident. While teaching summer school a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the 11th gr. American Lit. teacher was using this book in his class.  I found a copy of the book tucked away on a shelf in the store room. I really wasn't certain what this book was about because the teacher was giving back ground information to the students. Then I realized the students in this class really have no idea about Vietnam. Even I really had no knowledge of the 'conflict'. I was just a junior high school student in 1968 and when I was in high school history class I can barely remember the class let alone know if Vietnam was even mentioned. How sad! Is it taught today in some capacity, I don't know. When I think of Iraq and Afghanistan will these 'conflicts' or wars be mentioned in our history books? Will students know of them? I feel we can't learn from the past if we don't teach about the past. I have had students in class who don't even know about 9/11. These students were barely a twinkle in their parents eyes. These 'conflicts' need to be opened for discussion. 
Anyway back to the book The Things They Carried , I am glad I found this book.  At first I thought is was a group of short stories about each of the members of this platoon or company. You can see I am not knowledgable on military ways. This book is about the items they carried with them from home, keepsakes from family, pictures, all kinds of items some were even good luck charms. The Vietnam conflict wasn't  discussed when I was in school. I do remember sending care packages to my cousin Joey, I remember sending socks, kool-aide, and all kinds of things. I still have the pictures he sent back of himself with bullet belts(?) crisscrossed over his chest. I know he came home safe and sound but after that I don't know what his future held for him.  In this book it brought to life the Vietnam Conflict. It back memories of the news programs with body counts and draft card numbers being listed with Walter Conkrite. I remember the protest marches being shown on TV and the Kent State issue. I remember the massacre of a village and soldiers being tried for killing the villagers. I am not certain of the names.
There are times when tears just came as I read the book from being frightened as the soliders were, because a friend was killed, because a letter had to be sent home telling parents how brave and soldier like their son was or just because I needed to relive the tension from reading about the guys in the book. As back in the 1960's and today young guys are being sent to a place knowing they maybe the guy that isn't coming home safe and sound.  Knowing the guys they are fighting aginst aren't using the same international rules of war. Oh. God I can't imagine being so scared, not getting a good day or nights rest.  But I am proud of guys who did and do go to fight to defend our democratic ways.

If you were just a young child through the 60's and 70's, pick up a copy of The Things They Carried, it might help make sense of the Vietnam Conflict or was it a war? Whats the difference!  It brings to life what  day to day was like for these soldiers.  Possibly the next time you see a soldier you will say 'THANK YOU', I do.

I was going to donate this copy to the local public library, but I decided not to and on my next trip in to Washington,D C, I live less then an hour away.  I will leave it by the Vietnam Wall. It is a book for many others to read. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peak by Roland Smith

Peak is the first book I have read written by Roland Smith. Peak is also on the 2012-2013 VRC selection list. Again,this is a book I wouldn't have picked up to read. The cover doesn't draw me to the book. When I read the title 'Peak' I thought of a peak, at the top of something, like a mountain!  In this case Peak is his name. Peak is a adventurous guy. Climbing is in his blood, both of his parents are climbers. Peak is taken to Tibet/Nepal by Josh (his Dad). Peak thinks its because his Dad wants to get to know him better but actually there is an underlying reason. You need to read the book! You know that Mount Everest is is Tibet/Nepal, does Peak make the climb? does Peak make it to the 'peak'? You need to read this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read this book on one of the hottest days in July,  I had to make myself put the book down because I wanted to know if Peak made it to the peak or were there obstacles in his way? To find out you really need to read Peak. Smith's words kept pulling me through the book.  The last sentence of the book tells it all  ' The only thing you'll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie for below.'.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes

Operation Yes by Holmes is another VRC selection. The cover has 2 little green solderies men. Taking a better look at the cover it does give a clue to the story. I really liked this story, I didn't really know anything about this story but once I began reading the story I enjoyed it and was dragged into the story, by Gari and Bo.  Its not the firstbook I have read about the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars but the first book that brought me into the life of a soldier getting ready to leave her family,other families living on a military base and the pain and recovery of a injured solider.  THANK YOU

Don't be afraid to read this book it's not about war but folks getting together to help each other. 'looking for the cracks'   and     'Yes, and ...'

From authors website:
“Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle.”

It’s just a rectangle of tape on a plain linoleum floor. Ten feet long, four feet deep, at the front of a sixth-grade classroom near an Air Force base in North Carolina. But when Miss Loupe steps into the space, it becomes a putting green. A prison cell. A stage. And she teaches her students how to make that magic—theatre—happen as well.

Bo loves the improvisation exercises: They focus his restless energies and distract him from his father’s impending deployment overseas. But Gari has more important things to worry about—like getting her mom home safe from Iraq. When Miss Loupe’s brother goes missing in Afghanistan and Miss Loupe herself breaks down, Gari, Bo, and the rest of the class have to improvise their way through their own “great battles” . . . and find a way to help their teacher fight hers.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I read When you Reach Me it is a Virginia Readers Choice selection. That is all I can say about the book. The reviewers say this book is a science fiction/mystery probably because it talks about time travel, Enstein's Relativity and a crazy guy that hangs out in the street. I think in the book the author wants me to understand that Marcus is this crazy guy, but time travels. The author does mention A Wrinkle in Time,  I read A Wrinkle in Time when I was in school but I didn't understand that book either, I can't even recall that book except for knowing the book title and author.
I suggest try reading it, Miranda is 6th grader, her Mom will be a contestant on a game show. She has friends, gets a first kiss and trying to understand her friends.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heart of a Samurai b Margi Preus

I need to be honest, this is a book that I would not have picked up to read. Heart of a Samurai it is a Virginia Readers Choice selection book, for 2012-2013.
Looking at the cover, I thought it would be more like a graphic novel but it isn't. This is a true story wrapped in fiction, a historical fiction novel.  Manjiro was lost at sea off the coast of Japan in 1841. He and his friends get picked up by an American whaling ship. This story tells of the how Manjiro becomes a 'friend' of the John Howland's Captain (John Whitfield), the Howland is a whaling ship, he learns to live in America for a short time, goes to school, earns enough money to get back to Oahu to find his friends then sails back to Japan. Once back in Japan he and his friends were treated like spies. The story ends in 1851. I don't want to give away the story but there is so much more to learn about Manjiro.
Manjiro's helps to open Japan to trading with whaling ships, helps America and Japan to be 'friends'. Once again this kind of history isn't taught in US History classes.

As I said it wouldn't be a book for me to pick up and read, but I have read it and it is a good read. Once again enough history in it to make you wonder how we got to today. Themes that run through this include bullying, racial ignorance, environmental issues with the extinction of whales and the short tailed albatross for its feathers. There is a mention of Herman Melville sailing on a whaling ship to Japan, to information to write Moby Dick, as Manjiro was sailing to America. So there is lots of history dates, to think soon after Manjiro left America, we would be fighting a Civil War.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Cosmic was published in 2008. It is Virginia Readers Choice Selection for 2012-2013 school year.
Poor Liam is growing too fast physically. Adults think is is an 'adult' because he needs to shave and tall for his age. He has fooled store clerks and salesmen. Liam enters a contest, he thinks winning the contest will have him be one of the first to experience a new amusement park. He wins! and now needs to play the role of an adult and have a 'child' to go with him on this trip to the amusement park. Liam gets his friend Florida to go along with him. The two of them take this adventure. What is the adventure? Read Cosmic, Liam's quote 'The world is my thrill ride.' Enjoy the story.
The author lives in England. There are uses of the British colloquialism in the book.  If you have read any of Roald Dahl stories this would be a book for you to read, lots of humor and light hearted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I found this book at the high school I am working in for summer school.  This is a  murder mystery novel. Take away witchcraft, spells being cast and a private boarding and Stacey you have a Nancy Drew mystery. Lost the suspense of the mystery, who done it because the pacing of the book was slooow.  Even at the end, with Stacey trying to find Drea I didn't feel the suspense or fright. 
Give it a try, there are more books in this series.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Paper Daughter by Jeanette Ingold

One lie leads to another lie and all of a sudden you have weaved a web.  Is that how the quote goes? I picked up Paper Daughter to read thinking it was about a girl following in her father's footsteps in to newspaper journalism. It is to a point until Maggie takes on a summer intern job with the Herald, the local newspaper.    Her father is hit by a car and dies just a few weeks before the intern job is to begin. During her intern position Maggie is assigned to assist Harrison to track down a story. In tracking down the story she realizes her father was in the same neighbor as a killing.  Is her father invovled? Why was he in the part of town? Maggie wants to find out and undercovers more then she expected. 
Read the story, I enjoy it. A quick view into the newspaper business, an insiders look.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Girl in Blue written by Ann Rinaldi

Ever since a guest speaker from Mosby Heritage Association came to school, I have really been hooked on the Civil War or the War Between the States! I live very close to where the battle of Bull Run took place 150 years ago as well as the reenactment last summer. Girl in Blue is the 3rd book I have read about girls enlisting in the Army to fight during the Civil War.  The other 2 books were non fiction where this book is a fictional story based on an actual person from Michicgan who fought in the Civil War. This story was based on Sara Emma Edmonds.  I love American History, what is taught in schools doesn't due our history justice. Only bits ans pieces are taught. I can't say I ever heard about women enlisting in the Civil War or the Revloutionary War either for that matter.

This is definitely a historical fiction story, Sarah is a strong lady of character, escapes her father's abusive hands.  How does she hide her identity to join up! Read the book to find out. 

between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys

Wow!, What I didnn't learn in US History class, probably because it wasn't really US History but it would have been good to have been given a heads up that more happened during WWII the Hitler and the Nazis!!!

This occureed in Lithuania June 1941. How could so many people disappear and no one in the US know about it.  Did it really take until the bombing of Pearl Harbor for the eyes of the US governement  to be opened wide? I had to explain to my children that their brother who has been diagnosed with Aspergers' Syndrome that he would have been taken by the Nazis and who knows what torment he would have gone through because of his learning disability. Now to think people from the Baltic countries just disappered from their homes, imprisoned for years under the worst living conditions.

Read between shades of gray,  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ophelia and Abby Mystery series by Shirley Damsgaard

Summer School began today. Yes, I am 'teaching' summer school. The library was quiet but I am certain tomorrow will be different until the end of summer school in August. The day begins at 8 am  and goes until 1 pm, a  long day for students in class.
I found this series a few years back. I kept up with series but after awhile I couldn't find the next book in the series until just recently when I was looking for another book in a different series. This a good enjoyable series, I hope the 8th book comes out soon.

Witch way to Murder-Ophelia had turned away from the ‘gift’. Ophelia has dreams and it will take her dreams to solve the murders and thefts. Charmed to Death-Ophelia's friend is murdered, did she 'see' the murder and how is Gus' death related or not?
The Trouble with Witches-Ophelia has been asked to use her psychic abilities to find a girl that has gone missing
Witch Hunt-Ophelia is beginning to embrace her 'talents' and takes in Tink
The Witch is Dead-Ophelia want to adopt Tink but there is a murder to solve and Tink is kidnapped why?
The Witch's Grave-Ophelia is attracted to a book author but he gets shot by who and why is it possible Ophelia was the target?
The Seventh Witch- focuses around Abby and life in the NC mountains

I was attracted to this series because of the 'witch' craft, healing, and mind readings and also Ophelia is a witch but she is a librarian by vocation. It's a nice comforting series to read. A good summer read. Enjoyable! I'll be returning the last 2 books in the series to the library tomorrow.

tofu quilt by Ching Yeung Russell

This book is written in free verse. I enjoy reading free verse, at times I think I read free verse to quickly but that is also the reason why I like reading free verse. Make sense? 
Tofu Quilt is what I would call a multicultural book. It is a book written about experiences in Hong Kong and China.  As I read the book I could see some of the same experiences I had reflected in the poems. I grew up in a small New Jersey town but still had the same kinds of experiences as the author had in her town, especially the school experiences.

From Tofu Quilt:

my books

My friends often tease me,
because I spend all my money
on books
nothing else.
They say,
"After you read them,
they are useless and will be covered with dust!'

I make covers for all the books I own,
fearing I will mess them up while I am reading them.
My friends ask," Why do you do it?
They're just books." 

But my friends don't know
my books are my world,
my best companions.
their stories make me cry,
make me laugh,
make me wonder,
and dream
that someday Iwill
read my own book.

This entry in Tofu Quilt speaks to me about  why I enjoy reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Quick and the Thread & The Long Stitch Good Night by Amanda Lee

As I have said I am into mysteries all of a sudden. Especially if I can relate to the location or subject of the mystery. This series I have been reading is An Embroidery Mystery. I have read four in the series. I am pulled to this series because it is focused on Marcy a one time accountant turned shop keeper. Marcy opened a shop for her interest in embroidery and she offers all kinds of classes. She is the 'investigator' and keeps the police informed of any leads she finds. The latest in the series, The Long Stitch Good Night, I read I thought I knew who the murderer was but at the end there was a twist. I didn't suspect Charles!

I was not always a librarian like Marcy I have changed my career but still within the education field. If you are into embroidery and crafting this is a good series to read. The first in the series is The Quick and the Thread #1, enjoy. Oh an if you love Irish grey hounds you will love Angus.

The Long Stitch Good Night- #4
What is Marcy up to now! She has a new interest in Irish embroidery, that's good for her, she can offer classes in the Irish embroidery.  It's St. Patrick's Day, how is Marcy involved with the murder at Todd's bar? Or maybe she isn't? Who dun it?

Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood

I have enjoyed reading mysteries. Not so the deep meaningful kind but the quick read pleasurable reads. I can read them quickly and carry them with me when I get kept waiting in an office.
In Fire and Ice, Sophie Rose is the daughter of Bobby Rose a supposedly notorious big time thief sought after by the Chicago Police.  Sophie writes for a local small time Chicago paper. She is asked to interview a guy running his 25th 5K marathon. He has told Sophie he is involved in a 'Alpha' project. She doesn't understand the relevance to the marathon. But William disappears, doesn't run the marathon but disappears off the face of the earth, cell phone  and web page are no longer working or online.  Sophie has issues with the police and FBI because of her father but some how she has Jack MacAlister (he is FBI) as a body guard when she goes to Prudhoe Bay to find out what happened to William in Alaska. So what did happen to William and how did Kelly's Root Beer employees lose all their retirement money?? Lots of turns and twists with a good dose of romance.

Monday, June 18, 2012

the Serpent's Shadow- Rick Riordan

It's the 3rd book in the Kane Chroniles series. It's Sadie and Carter's mission to find the shadow and restore Ma'at. Apophis is causing all kinds of trouble. Gods are disapperaring and Magicians are divided. I won't spoil the book by saying it is the conclusion of the Kane Chronicles. But is it really? the end to Sadie and Carter's adventures.

Wine Country Mystery- Ellen Crosby

The Merlot Murders, 2006

The Chardonnay Charade, 2007

The Bordeaux Betrayal, 2008

The Riesling Retribution, 2009

The Viognier Vendetta, 2010

The Sauvignon Secret, 2011

I read them all in order. I enjoyed the mysteries because of the location of the stories. I love reading about the areas I have visited and know. It is like revisiting the area all over again.

Lucie Montgomery becomes the sole owner of her family's winery that is not doing well financially.  She has a cranky vintner named Quinn Santori from California. Whom she thinks is hiding something but has a major crush on. You know sometimes you can pick out the murderer I couldn't there was always a twist that i didn't count on. The series was recommended to me and I enjoyed each one. I am glad Lucie got her man, tall, dark and dangerous. 

Reading for the summer

Its been hectic these past few weeks.  I have to say I am glad school is out for summer break. I will be teaching summer school but as the librarian not a classroom teacher. Should be good.  My own personal reading have been off. Sometimes reading too much just is that too much.  I did organize a guest speaker for school this spring. He was from the Mosby Heritage Association. After listening to him for 2 days he got my curiosity up about women in the Civil War. I have read 2 books how women took up arms for both the North and South to fight for their side.
They Fought Like Demons-Blanton, Deanne this book opened my eyes to women in battle on both sides. Some were recognized and other shunned.
Another book I read during the SOL testing, it was a quick read with lots of pictures, I found it in my school library. I'll Pass for Your Comrade- Anita Silvey. I read this book first which then took me to the other book.

I have read other books which I will add as other entries. It was a busy school year for me even with an assistant and a 2nd librarian. I really can't believe the school district actually paid either a salary. She or I should say both were unprofessional all year. The most I can say about the 2nd librarian was she came up with ideas for bulletin boards, read lots of magazine so she and the assistant could talk about the latest goings on in Hollywood, created jewelry patterns and weeded the non ficiton collection.  It was pathetic to see her feet up on the desk as she read books during SOL testing. I really can't come up with anything she really did all year that really earned her a pay check. There were days when both of them chatted from beginning of the day to the end of the day. And they both looked exhausted at the end of the day. I figured if I worked this hard with the 2 of them there, I could work just as hard by myself in an elementary school. In my district most elementary schools only have 1 librarian. I know I can work in an elementary library, isn't that what I did this past school year work alone!  A good example; 3rd quarter I was working on over due notices to put into report cards, she actually sent a student to me to assist in finding a book and the other librarian continued her chat with the assistant. When asked to collaborate on the end of year report she added 1 sentence about weeding the non fiction collection. She was a public library librarian she should have kept the job because she isn't a school librarian.  I'll keep looking and hoping for a elementary school librarian position within my district.  I'll really don't want to go through the interview process again.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Paperquake by Kathryn Reiss

Just like San Francisco Earthquake 1906, Paperquake in the past takes place during the 1906 earthquake but in present day takes place during a more recent earthquake in the Oakland/ San Francisco area. Violet dreams of earthquakes, children running and being scared, why does she have the dreams, and what could be causing the dreams? Her parents purchase another store in San Francisco for their business, as Violet and her sisters clean the store they find letters addressed to 'V'. How do the letters help the children in the past but also bring comfort to Violet. Violet uncovers information that helps her write her science report but also solves the mystery of the letters and diary.

Its about time traveling, magic and earthquakes. A good mystery solved by Violet. Bringing yesterday into the present.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

San Francisco Earthquake 1906 by Kathleen Duey

Inventory was taken at the school library the last week in January. I found so many good books that students have ignored in favor of the latest greatest new book that has been published lately. Including the Hunger Games series which I first read about 3 years. I know the movie hype is why all of a sudden people are looking to read the novel. Hopefully it will keep teens reading. There is a world of books on book shelves that are just as good as Hunger Games, with real believable characters. So keep reading.

I have read San Francisco Earthquake 1906 because I saw it sticking itself out on the book shelf at school the other day. I saw the word 'earthquake' in the title which is another reason why I took the book to look at and brought it home to read. I finished reading Paperquake by Kathryn Reiss perhaps that is why I brought home the other book to read. On the spine of this book was the label romance perhaps that is why I brought home the book to read. I read many romance novels especially after I have read so many young adult books. San Francisco Earthquake didn't come across to me as a romance as much as a mystery. Yes Sierra develops a puppy love crush on one of the guys staying at the hotel but its her life that captured me. How she struggled by herself to make a life for herself but also about the dreams she has and yearns to happen. Sierra realizes the guy she crushed on was a dandy. Praying on the rich wealthy ladies to get ahead.

You need to read the book to find out Sierra helps the Harlans and getting the guy of her dreams.
I hope when I take the book back to school that I can encourage a student to read it.

The book was published in 1999 but worth looking for in the library as well as Paperquake written by Kathryn Reiss.

Monday, January 9, 2012

After the Rain written by Norma Fox Mazer

Rachel's grandfather, Izzy has been diagnosed with cancer, mesothelioma. Izzy, is active, takes walks alone but one day he fell. Since that day Rachel stops by his place after school. She walks with him. The doctor told Rachel and her mom Shirley that Izzy only has a matter of months to live maybe just weeks. The tumors in his lungs have increased in size causing Izzy to have trouble breathing.

Meanwhile Rachel and Lewis are trying to have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. This is difficult because of Rachel's walks with Izzy after school.

When it becomes to difficult for Izzy to breathe on his own at home he is taken to the hospital. Rachel begs her parents to stay with Izzy at the hospital, they let her stay.

This book hit really close to me. I lost my grandfather to cancer. I hardly got to know him. You will need tissues to finish reading this book.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

This Jenny Cooper's diary of her time spent with Jane Austen. Jenny and Jane attended the same boarding school. Jane was very ill at the boarding school when Jenny posted a letter to Jane's mother. The terrible thing that happened to Jenny was that she left the boarding school at midnight so that the letter will get to the Austen's by the morning mail. While Jenny was out at midnight trying to get to the posting Inn she met Captain Thomas Williams. Being the gentleman he was , he made certain Jenny got back to the boarding school safe and he promised to keep this midnight walk to himself never to tell another person. If that was so then how did Jenny's sister in law find out?

Jenny's diary begins in February 1791 and ends April 1791. It is a diary kept by a girl with all her comings and goings, day to day private moments, the good things and the bad things that happen to Jenny. I enjoyed the book. A inside look of Jane Austen.

The War Within by Carol Matas

I took this book from the library shelves of my school library. Not really certain why except to say it is a historical novel about the Civil War. I picked this book over the past week, as I was reading this book I was very surprised to find out this is more then about the war between the states or the Civil War. I know that during my US History classes i was taught about the internment of the Japanese Americans during WWII but I don't remember ever being taught about how the Jews in the south were treated by Rule 11 and Grant. It took President Lincoln to overturn Rule 11 that allowed the Jews to return to their homes and businesses in Mississippi. This is definitely missing from our history books.

The Union troops were fighting to 'free' the slaves but in turn it was the North imprisoning the Jews because they thought they were violating trade regulations. So much is missing from our US history books.