Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: The War I Finally Won

The War I Finally Won The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While this is a good sequel to The War that Saved My Life, it was a bit less gripping for me. Ada's continued anxiety about her relationship to her mother and her difficulties in coming to terms with everyone got just a tad tedious for me after a while. And, sadly, I am not a horse person, so that part didn't move me either. Nevertheless, it is a good book, both about family relationships and about WWII. The characters are interesting an, for the most part, well developed. And, it doesn't shy away from the truth about relationships.

I still am thinking that Susan's relationship with Becky hints at a lesbian relationship, but it is never explicitly stated as such - just that they were good friends. In that era, my guess is that they would have described it as such.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: My Brigadista Year

My Brigadista Year My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent read and good view of history. I grew up during the Cuban missile crisis and it is interesting to me to see the other side of the story. This story does not focus on that, but there is a good timeline at the end of the book that goes into a bit more detail about the actual historical events. The focus of this story is the literacy campaign - and the methods used for its success. It is also a coming of age story, which seems to be a favorite theme for me.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Goodbye, Mr Hitler

Goodbye, Mr Hitler Goodbye, Mr Hitler by Jackie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a powerful ending to the trilogy. It doesn't shy away from including some of the horrors of the Nazi regime, so it may be too much for younger and more sensitive teens. I have a slight issue with some of the resolution, which seemed a bit far fetched to me, but overall, the book has, as I said, a powerful impact.

(view spoiler)

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals

Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very enjoyable light science book. The pictures of all of the pink animals are very engaging. It is a bit discouraging that so many of the animals are struggling with environmental challenges, but I am glad it is pointed out and not glossed over.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review: Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by Cheryl Bardoe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I were still teaching, I would add this to my collection of picture books for older students. It is a good introduction to the scientific method, as well as a very interesting introduction to how science was done years ago. An enjoyable and interesting read.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up by Julia Eccleshare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This isn't a book you actually read cover to cover; it is a reference book. That said, I have enjoyed looking through it and I am pleased that I have actually read a good portion of the books listed. Yes, there are some books that I would have love to have had included that aren't and some books I wouldn't have listed that are, but it is a good resource. I especially enjoy reading the books for the older children, so now I have an even longer To Be Read list.

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