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Showing posts from November, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I'm a little late this week, so I'll say good afternoon, instead of good morning. I hope you enjoyed your long weekend, for those of you in the U.S. We had a nice, relaxing weekend since we didn't have anyone visiting us from out of town, and we didn't have to travel anywhere ourselves. Last week, I wrote a review of When No One Is Watching by Joseph Hayes. I also read and reviewed a wonderful book that I recommend to adults and children: The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett. With the holiday weekend, I completely forgot about the children's book meme I usually do on Saturdays! Whoops! Currently Reading I started reading  A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker, but got sidetracked with  Hoodoo Sea by Rolf Hitzer. I don't usually read sci-fi, but I can't put it down! Up Next This week, in addition to finishing up the two books above, I'm going to read The Active, Creative Child by Stephanie D. Vlahov. What are you reading thi

Book Review: The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett

Scott is the new kid in town. Ben is the elementary school bully. After Scott stands up to Ben on his first day of school, he becomes Ben's latest target for ridicule and embarrassment. The other kids commiserate with Scott, telling him all sorts of stories about Ben and the things he's supposedly done to other kids and even teachers. But when Scott finally stands up for himself, the guilt he feels forces him to offer an apology that ends up having a profound effect on both boys. The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett is a wonderful tale of forgiveness and understanding. Although the actual Christmas gift is an important aspect of this story, this novel is a must-read at any time of year. I would highly recommend it not only to adults looking for an inspirational story, but also to kids who have dealt with the difficulties of misunderstandings and bullying in school. I'd say it would be appropriate for ages 10 and up as it does involve a child's death. It is a ve

Book Review: When No One Is Watching by Joseph Hayes

Blair Van Howe and Danny Moran are close friends and successful lawyers. When Danny has too much to drink at a client's celebration of their recent victory, Blair decides to drive him home in Danny's Porche. Danny immediately passes out in the passenger seat, and Blair takes off for home. As he whips around a corner, he comes head-to-head with another car, causing it to swerve and slam into a tree. Blaire, who is about to announce his candidacy for Congress, panics. He moves his friend into the driver's seat and takes off, leaving Danny ~ and everyone else ~ to think he was driving and caused the accident. As their lives continue from this pivotal point, we see two very different reactions to the guilt of having hurt someone else. Each man's life changes dramatically throughout the years, and many ethical and moral issues are explored. In When No One Is Watching , Joseph Hayes presents a morality tale couched within a suspenseful thriller as one police officer trie

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Good Monday morning. I hope you had a great weekend. I got a lot accomplished last week ~ reading and blogging. C was still home sick for three days last week, but finally went back to school on Thursday and Friday after being out for eight days. We're all looking forward to some time off together this week to celebrate Thanksgiving. Last week, I read  When No One is Watching by Joseph Hayes. It was a thriller/morality tale that was very interesting. I'll be putting up my review later this week. I wrote reviews of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. I also shared some of the Thanksgiving books my kids and I have been reading. Finally, I finished up the Birth Year Reading Challenge . That was a fun one! Currently Reading I just started reading  A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker. I'm also going to start The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett this week. Up Next Next, I plan to read a couple books I'll

Book Review: The Kitchen House

In the mid-1700s, Lavinia loses her parents on a ship from Ireland to America. She becomes an indentured servant to "the Captain," and is brought to his plantation where she is placed to live with the slaves in the kitchen house. The Captain gives his daughter (whose mother was a slave) responsibility for caring for Lavinia. Here the little girl grows up as a part of the slaves' family, until she is given the opportunity as a teenager to move into white society. Eventually, Lavinia returns as mistress of the plantation and struggles with her loyalty to the slaves who are like family to her, and her role as their owner. The story as outlined above had such potential. But as I began reading The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, I struggled. I thought at first that I just wasn't in the mood for historical fiction. So I took a break and then went back to it. But I ended up struggling through the entire book. Although the overall story was interesting, the writing di

What My Children Are Reading

I'm still reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to C. I'm sure it will be a couple more weeks before we're done. I will say we're about halfway through the book and I'm worried it's going to end up being too scary to finish. He's quite worried about Voldermort coming back for Harry, and he was even a bit scared of the ghosts that Harry encounters when he first goes to Hogwarts. Those ghosts aren't even meant to be scary so I don't know that he's going to make it through the parts of the book that are actually scary! If we do get through this one, I doubt we'll move on to the next until he's a bit older. I know they get scarier as time goes on. Now on to some fun Thanksgiving books that we got from the library this week! I will say that I was a bit limited since most of the Thanksgiving books were out already. But I did find three that I can recommend. The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing is very cute, and I

Birth Year Reading Challenge - Complete!

On my birthday in February, I decided to join the Birth Year Reading Challenge , which is hosted by Hotchpot Cafe . It sounded like a fun challenge. Basically, you read some books (however many you want) that ware first published in the year you were born. For me, that was 1972. I decided to read four books: 1. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl Review 2. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach Review 3. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok Review 4. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin Review These are four very different books, yet I found it interesting that they all shared a similar theme. Perhaps it's a sign of the times. You see, each of these books was about being true to yourself and thinking for yourself, even if it means going against traditions and societal rules. In Charlie and the Glass Elevator , Willie Wonka does his own thing, taking Charlie and his family soaring into space and doing whatever he wants to do, simply because it's fun.

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins last summer. It was actually one of my book club selections. I was surprised by how much I loved it because I'm not a big YA fan. I read Catching Fire soon after, and enjoyed that as well, although not quite as much as the first book. So now comes Mockingjay , the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I was very excited to read it and find out how this story would end. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. While I enjoyed getting back to these interesting characters who end up in some very unusual situations, the story itself was not on par with the first book at all. Perhaps it was the lack of an actual Hunger Games inside an arena. There are battle scenes in this one, as the districts fight for freedom from the capital. And the capital resorts to its usual tactic of manufactured man-eating creatures and waves of deadly goo pouring down the streets. But it just wasn't the same without the arena. It's interesting b

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Good Monday morning. I hope you had a good week. Mine was tough. My son was home sick all week and ended up being diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. He's home again today but hopefully he'll be back to school tomorrow. I managed to do some reading and reviewing last week. I published a review of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. I also participated in What My Child is Reading this week, so you can see some of the books we've been reading. I read Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins last week. I also read quite a bit of The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, but have a few more chapters to finish. I'll write reviews for both of these later this week. Currently Reading I'm finishing up The Kitchen House and then will get back to When No One is Watching by Joseph Hayes now. I'm also reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling aloud to my son. I've never actually read it myself, so we're both enjoying it. Up

Book Review: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite movies, and was a pretty good book as well. So when I learned that Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator , Roald Dahl's sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , was published in 1972, I decided to read it for the Birth Year Reading Challenge. This book picks up right where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ends, inside Charlie's tiny home with his parents and grandparents, Willy Wonka and the elevator. Charlie and his entire family are moving to the chocolate factory, and Willy Wonka is taking them there by elevator. Because three of the grandparents won't leave their bed, they push the bed right onto the elevator along with everyone else. Then they take off up into the sky, on the way back to the factory. But they soon go too far and end up in orbit around the earth. Soon they find themselves watched by astronauts and chased by aliens before they are able to make their way back to earth and the factory. I

What My Children Are Reading

This week, we have been reading several of the library books that we have out at the moment. I also started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to C. I've never read any of the Harry Potter books, but I won this one from Brimful Curiosities a few months ago and decided to start reading it. C expressed interest so I've been reading it aloud to him. We have only read the first few chapters, so we just got to the part when Harry learns that he's a wizard. We're both enjoying it. We borrowed one of our favorite Thanksgiving books from last year: 10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston. This is such a fun book with ten turkeys on a fence, then one does something silly and ends up falling off, leaving one less. It goes down until there are no more turkeys and no more fence! The kids both like this silly story and I have to say that I enjoy reading it too. M has been enjoying Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman and Jacky Davis. This is a new Ladybug Girl