Books & More
"In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to lead; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. "
— S.I. Hayakawa
Thursday, September 17, 2015
I want THAT pony!
Title: The Princess and the Pony
By: Kate Beaton
Princess Pinecone is a young warrior who wants a pony for her birthday. She knows what kind would be perfect for her: a handsome warrior horse, heroic in stature. Instead, her parents give her a short, wide-in-the-girth pony with bulgy eyes. He doesn’t match what Princess Pinecone would call a warrior horse…or does he? Princess Pinecone and the very small—and very smart—pony give it a try. The story is really funny, and the pony won me over, hoofs down. What a laugh to see how the big, strong warriors react to the little, google-eyed pony on the battleground! For other reads with feisty little warriors I recommend Edda : a little Valkyrie’s first day of school by Adam Auerbach and Princess in black by Shannon Hale.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Well worth the time
Title: The Photographer
By: Emmanuel Guibert
Twenty minutes into this review, and I still can't find just the right words to describe how I feel about what I've just finished reading. I just know I need to write a review, to inform people that this exists, and that it should be read. The Photographer is a book of illustrations and narration punctuated by photographs, but it's more than simply the journey of a photographer, more than the description of a few months in Afghanistan in 1986. I've read few books that have captured such a remarkable sense of resilience, a record of a culture, and a spirit of survival (even in those who don't survive). The reader will get the smallest of glimpses into a way of life totally unlike any that of any person living in America, one that that may not have changed all that much in the last 30 years. It brings a greater understanding and empathy for a region that is often misunderstood, disregarded, and/or outright despised in the West. Afghanistan is a place where despite differences in religion, customs, or traditions, humans act like humans. To see it in such a way is well worth the time it takes to sit down and read this book.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Title: Saint Anything
By: Sarah Dessen
Sydney Stanford has always lived in the shadow of her older brother, Peyton. Over the last few
years, Peyton has been making poor choices, culminating in a prison sentence after hitting a boy with his car. Sydney decides to start over at a new school where nobody knows about her brother. Soon, she meets the Chatham family, who own a pizza parlor. Layla, Mac, and the rest of the family take Sydney as one of their own. They make her feel as though, for once, her older brother isn't outshining her. She can become her own person.
Back at home, she has to deal with her mother, who wants to help Peyton in any way possible, a father who’d rather stay out of it, and a family friend who is always around—and who may not have the best of intentions. While spending more and more time with the Chathams, Sydney is finally able to admit how she’s been feeling about everything that happened with her brother, and to feel like part of a family.
Saint Anything is the story of a girl who learns that someone else’s bad decisions can affect everyone around them, and that no matter how bad you think things are, there’s always someone you can lean on for guidance and friendship.
Monday, June 29, 2015
What is that Thing?
Title: The Big Blue Thing on the Hill
By: Yuval Zommer
Everything is quiet and peaceful in the Great Forest until the arrival of a newcomer up on Howling Hill. It is a Big Blue Thing and no matter what they do…it stays put! Neither the howling from the wolves, the growling from the bears, the digging from badgers, nor the boars with their huffing and puffing will make this Big Blue Thing go away. That is until the wise old owls make a suggestion on how to rid the hill of this Thing. The freestyle illustrations of the forest animals and their surroundings are light and comical and complement the story from beginning to end. I think The Big Blue Hill is a hilarious romp for a read-aloud to a group or by yourself. Don’t forget to join in with the animal noises. What is the Big Blue Thing? Well, it is made of metal, is blue, has four tires, and…you will have to read the story to find out.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
You too can tutu!
Title: Vampirina Ballerina
By: Anne Marie Pace
What is it like to take ballet lessons if you are a young vampire? In this Dracula-meets-ballet tale, our young heroine Vampirina takes an evening (of course!) ballet class. Complete with black cape and bat-wing tiara, Vampirina twirls, trips, and wobbles, but never gives up. Encouraged by her vampire family, she overcomes her habit of turning into a bat (much to the horror of her instructor and fellow ballerinas) each time she makes a mistake during practice. She's cast as the lead in Swan Lake—but will she be able to do a pirouette without changing into a bat? Vampirina Ballerina is an upbeat story narrated in a "how to" manual style paired with super artwork by Princess in Black illustrator LeUyen Pham. A good read anytime, and especially at Halloween.
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