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.