Monday, May 28, 2007

This is a good one - check it out!!

Cuz' some games are just worth playing!!! (Click on the box if you want to play too!)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Happened to Cass McBride?

What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles was quite a read. One of most people's greatest fears - being buried alive - is the whole crux of the story. But wow, it really makes you think - our words are very powerful - sometimes they can even create more destruction than we ever thought possible. Cass is forced to think through her words when she is buried alive and given only a small hole of air to keep her breathing. I thought it was a great read - kept me thoroughly engrossed! Make sure you read it in a BIG room, though - sometimes you just need to gulp for air!!!

*One note - some of the language is quite harsh - lots of swearing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Road

It's another "guest blogger" day - I asked my husband to give me a review on this book he just finished, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. So here it is - my husband's review:

To say that I enjoyed the book might sound a bit odd considering the topic. The story centers around two characters a father and a son. The two of them live in a post-apocalyptic world that was destroyed by
fire. There are very few survivors and most of those who have survived have turned into cannibals. Everyone is out to save themselves. As the father and son travel they struggle daily with obtaining the basic necessities for life.

The author’s writing style is very effective in that he
allows you to see a strong, convincing bond between the father and the son.
At first I was a bit disappointed with the ending but after pondering things for a while I think it was pretty good, as good as things could be in a world destroyed by fire. I don’t want to give the ending away but a couple themes I noticed are:

Love between a father and a son
The amazing resilience of a child
Innocence protected
How people can deteriorate to evil so quickly
Hope amidst a world where there is no hope
Trust that there is a remnant of good people.

This book could make for a good discussion group.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grace Lin

I just have to do a post on one of our favorite authors - Grace Lin is just superb - her works are beautiful AND so fun since we seek out anything Asian!!! If you haven't seen her books - go check them out - and if you have, make sure you see her new one - Lissy's Friends. AND don't forget the Lissy Doll!! For more fun - visit Grace's blog.
She's got three new books coming out that I'm EVEN MORE excited about too - this one, this one AND this one!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Safe House

My latest read??? Safe House by James Heneghan. I am not exactly sure what to say about this one (I know, not like me!!), but I am really riding the fence. I liked the background info. I learned about Northern Ireland and the fighting between the Protestants and Catholics - I guess I wasn't aware to what extreme people would go. Liam, the twelve year old main character, witnesses his parents' murder and now is the murderer's next target. The book is a constant, tense, trying-to-get-away on Liam's part from The Mole, the man trying to kill him. I thought it was very intense - and it wasn't something I wanted to read right before bed!! What I didn't like is that it seemed that all he did was run, he could never seem to elude The Mole, and that seemed not-so-believable to me. If you are looking for a fast-paced novel, this may be it, but don't expect any shocking turn-of-events.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

Here is another junior high book that I just loved! Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of A Tree by Lauren Tarshis was a wonderful story of seventh grader, Emma Jean Lazarus. This story made me fall in love with eccentric Emma Jean - life has dealt her some ugly blows - and you can almost understand why she seems a bit unable to enjoy life like most young teens. She is also determined to help others - at any cost - and she is coming to learn that sometimes her "helping" can actually cause some even worse situations. This book would make a wonderful read aloud for upper elementary or early Junior High ages - I am sure they would see some similarities in the social structure at their own school! THEN we can only hope that Tarshis has another great novel on the way!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Big Chickens

Ok - here's one for your favorite worrier:
Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski is truly the book to help kids face their fears. These three chickens are REALLY chickens - everything scares them. But everything they encounter seems to work out fine - they are slowly learning that maybe they don't need to worry....UNTIL they hear a strange noise in the cave. Once they face that "big noise" you read, "We have chicken power. We have chicken brains. We have chicken guts." I love it!! Fears or no fears, it's a winner!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

If Mom Had Three Arms

If Mom Had Three Arms by Karen Kaufman is a great book!! Who wouldn't want a mom with 3, 4 or even 5 arms!?!?!? (Hey, who, as a mom, wouldn't want 3, 4, or 5 arms!!!) This great counting book imagines what Mom could do with multiple arms! It's a fun read - sure to bring smiles and laughter!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Princess Pigsty

Chloe and I sat and read this today - I LOVED it!!! Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke. It was a little long for Chloe (age 2.5) but she still thought the pictures were great and when we were done she said, "That princess was dirty!" So there you go - a great story about a princess that doesn't want to be a princess and she gets dirty!!! But really - it's SO much better than that - even my 12 year old had a chuckle or two!!!

The Knitting Circle

Ann Hood's, The Knitting Circle, kept me intrigued to the very end. I found myself laughing, but more, crying often. The struggles that these women (and men) face are life's common struggles that many of us have faced. They find solace in each other AND knitting. I thought the whole premise of the story was wonderful - I love the idea of a knitting group that takes your focus off of your problems and onto a project - and yet where people can be together and help each other as well. Makes me want to take up knitting!! My main problem with the novel, and why I'd have a hard time recommending it??? Each of the women, when sharing their story, have sexual scenes - not graphic, but still there. Another issue I have?? One of the women and the man are homosexual - that just doesn't interest me and I'd rather not read about it. SO wish I could wholeheartedly recommend this one, I did enjoy it taken as a whole.

**A better book on knitting as therapy - and a wonderful story (geared to teens - but I loved it!!) is What I Call Life by Jill Wolfson. That one is worth checking out!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

May is Get Caught Reading Month

May is Get Caught Reading Month - How will you celebrate??? I think I will surprise my kids and whenever I catch them reading, of their own accord, during this month ~ I will surprise them with something small - Post your ideas too - I can always use a new idea or two!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another Author to Brag About

While at one of my conferences in these past few weeks, I had the opportunity to hear Steven Layne speak. This author, professor, father is not only a dynamic speaker that will bring you to tears in one minute and laughter the next, but he is a fabulous writer as well. I, of course, purchased a couple of his books and we have not put them down since I brought them home. They are wonderful. Let me show you some of my favorites:

This one will touch the Mom's out there.
Adoption families from any country - this one is GREAT!!
Hilarious!!! Pesky siblings, anyway!!
My Favorite!!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Burger Boy

A book after my own heart (in case you didn't know - I LOVE McDonald's!!!) it's Burger Boy by Alan Durant , illustrated by Mei Matsuoka. All Becky (oops, I mean Benny!!!) liked to eat was burgers ~ day after day. His mom warns him that if he continues to eat only burgers one day he'll turn into one - AND she was right!! So now he's a burger and animals, people, you name it, want to eat him. His mom saves him, he turns back into a boy and vows NEVER to eat another burger - and he doesn't - all he eats now are vegetables. So his mother warns him again, if you keep eating only vegetables then you may turn into a.......
I can't spoil it - you'll have to read it!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mother Goose Day

Semicolon did a wonderful post on Mother Goose Day - She's so smart - I didn't even know there was such a day!!! (She posts some great titles and links.) But what a great day to celebrate - we need more nursery rhymes in our days ~ they are NOT a thing of the past. Studies have even shown that they help our little ones with reading skills - imagine that!!! So, grab a good nursery rhyme book and share it with your little goose today!!! (or if you want another Mother Goose selection - I did a post awhile back now on a fun find!!)

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