Monday, April 30, 2007

Forever Lily

I was hoping I had found another great adoption book to read but this, Forever Lily, by Beth Nonte Russell, DID NOT fit the bill - did it have some good parts?? YES - it rang true to me in so many ways, but she keeps interspersing her dreams throughout the story - dreams that are supposed to be symbolic - and then her strong Buddhist undertones - that was very distracting to me as a reader. It seemed every time the author ran into a problem in China she needed to call her Buddhist "guide" - that just didn't sit well with me - and then sometimes the author prayed for help - I could never figure out who she was praying to - and then wondered, sadly, if she even knew!! The story does have a very odd twist as the author is traveling with a friend to China to pick up her friend's daughter, but right away her friend does not feel a bond to this little one so she asks her traveling companion, the author, to take this little one for her. YES, I could understand her feelings of extreme love for this little girl she had never even met before, her feelings of being so "in another world" in China, seeing the extreme delays in her little one and then watching the changes happen so quickly, and wanting to turn around and do it all over again. BUT, I was just so distracted by her always needing a "Buddhist" answer for all of life's problems. For an even better adoption-themed book read this or this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lunch with Nancy Carlson

How much more fun can a day be?!?! Eating lunch with Nancy Carlson!?!? Ok, I'll admit - it was in a LARGE group, but it still counts - lunch with Nancy Carlson!!! She is a wonderful speaker - I enjoyed it immensely! Her adoption book is such a treasure - but I have a tendency toward such things!!! Anyway, just had to brag - to this book lover, there isn't much better than seeing/hearing authors!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Jade Dragon

What a great book - The Jade Dragon by Carolyn Marsden and Virginia Shin-Mui Loh is ranking right up there in my book. I loved it - it's a wonderful story of two second grade girls - one who is from an American-Chinese family living in the U.S. and another - an adopted Chinese girl. Ginny, the american-chinese, desparately WANTS to be friends with another Chinese girl but Stephanie, the adopted girl, is not proud of her Chinese heritage and only reluctantly pursues the friendship. It is heartwarming as you watch the two girls struggle with friendship issues, but even more than that, I love how both girls come to feel a fondness for their Chinese heritage in different ways. As an adoptive mom, I thought it was eye-opening. I buy my little one Chinese dolls, Chinese books, Chinese music, etc. so that she keeps some of that heritage. But Stephanie, the adopted girl in the story, wants nothing to do with that Chinese heritage - just made me think.......I still won't stop buying those things - I want them to be there if she chooses them, and deep down, I hope she does - that is a part of who she is! I think younger girls will love this - AND maybe adoptive moms too!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: The Pox Party

I didn't write this review as soon as I had finished this book as I needed time to process. This is quite the read. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M. T. Anderson is a Young Adult novel that I think could easily have been an adult read except it is the story of a teen. Wow - having just seen the movie, Amazing Grace, I am feeling hit over the head by these "slavery" issues. This was not light reading - very heavy and very hard to read. I just can not fathom all that was done to slaves and then that people justified it as "helping" them or research. The book itself is very difficult reading - the writing is not contemporary, but I can see how it won a National Book Award - it is very powerful. The ending?? Well, it certainly leaves you ready for book #2 - now, it just better come out soon before I forget everything!!

For another blogger that I couldn't agree more with go here.
One more point - I will not be having my twelve year old read this one for some time - it is Young Adult for good reason - it touches more than once on the female slave/slave master relationships that often happened - just a little more than I want my not-yet-teen to encounter, but for an older teen - it is handled appropriately.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Peter Roop in Person

What a fun night - I took my oldest son and we went to a dinner/banquet with the author, Peter Roop. This man is a dynamic speaker and makes his stories come to life. My son left saying he wanted to read every one of Roop's works. I was impressed - one of the better author's I've heard speak. AND it's not everyday that you get to meet a real live author!!!! :) Micah is now in bed reading his new book - that was signed just for him - way to make a kid's night!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide!

One of my all-time favorite children's reads is Candace Fleming's Muncha, Muncha, Muncha. So you can imgine my happy dance (ok, maybe you don't want to imagine that!!) when I saw this!!!! It's her latest Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! It's those bunnies again and they are back to torture Mr. McGreely!! This time it's not his garden, but his house and he can't find a way to keep them out BUT be able to get back out himself!! Sheer enjoyment for young and old!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Max Counts His Chickens

How could you even go wrong with Rosemary Wells???? You can't ~ and she's done it again with Max Counts His Chickens. This another great Max and Ruby story - in this one Max and Ruby are searching for 10 hot-pink marshmallow chicks left by the Easter Bunny. Of course, Ruby seems to find most all of them and Max can't seem to find even one!!! I'm glad they had a 1-800 number to get in touch with the Easter Bunny!!! It's a great one!!

Monday, April 02, 2007


I recently finished Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata and what did I do?? I ran right out and bought my own copy!!! My boys are so "into" war novels and this one is truly a "keeper." BUT - I wasn't surprised - I have been a big fan of Kadohata - - - - Even before I got to meet her and talk with her over lunch!!!!! This is a wonderful story of a dog that is sent to Vietnam as an army dog. He and his trainer, Rick - form an incredible bond ~ one that makes that story almost too difficult to finish. But don't let the fear of a sad ending keep you from finishing - it is a wonderful book. It had a lot of army information that my boys will devour and gave great insight into the war - I could tell Kadohata did her research as much of it "rang true" with me from things my own Dad has shared from his experiences. We classify this one as Young Adult in our library because of the war scenes. But I am going to let my son read it now - and he is an early teen. Wonderful, Wonderful book!!!!

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