Friday, August 17, 2018

Some Nonfiction Reading

In the last two days I have received many books to review for MSBA.  In the boxes were several short nonfiction titles so I am doing a bulk read and review...

Sacrilege I know but I am not a big fan of Lewis Carroll.  This book was interesting - especially the use of his made up words in the book and then defined and indexed to show which of his books the word came from.  

Nice introduction to the Children's March - gorgeous illustrations.

Another Titanic book.  Good for collections with younger students but nothing new here.

My students love haunted and scary stories.  This one disappointed me though.  The narrative seemed disjointed and there just wasn't enough detail to make it frightening.

Who knew?  Interesting information and accessible text.

This book was all about the efforts to reintroduce pandas into the wild.  Gorgeous photographs - and who doesn't want to see humans dressed as pandas hanging out with baby pandas.

What Would She Do?

25 women are highlighted in this book.  It is very similar to other books - many published in 2016.  There is a one page blurb about the life, a quote, a q&a with what she might do in a certain situation.  I did like the q&a which was different but it needs to be remembered that the women were not actually asked (most being dead - sorry) so it is conjecture what they would do in certain situations.  I did like the inclusion of a variety of women.


A favorite book of mine is Mila 18 by Leon Uris which tells of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.  Because of that book I knew this book would intrigue me and it did.

Chaya has become a courier for the resistance.  Her younger sister was taken, her brother has disappeared, and her parents have given up but she refuses to give in.  Instead she smuggles weapons and food into the ghetto and tries to get people out or at least warn them about what is happening.

After her resistance cell is discovered Chaya meets up with another member who also escaped, Elizabeth, and together they make their way to Warsaw to make their final stand.

This was very good.  There was a good friendship that developed between Chaya and Elizabeth.  There were some surprises and lots of action plus a good deal of history.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Mortification of Fovea Munson

Fovea's parent are scientists - specifically the work with cadavers.  As a result her classmates, including her former best friend, call her Igor.  Now, to make matters worse her parent's secretary has left unexpectedly and she needs to fill in during the summer.  But it all gets really crazy when she finds three talking heads (literally) and finds out that there is another one that is missing.

I am really not the audience for this - I found it more bizarre than funny.  I will be curious how my students react.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Boots on the Ground

I was born during the Vietnam War.  My father and father in law were both exempted for physical reasons or I might not even be here, my husband might not be here.  I have vague recollections of news but not much else.  We did not talk about or study Vietnam in school.  It was too recent, too raw.

I appreciated this book.  The honesty, the variety of viewpoints, the background, and the healing.  We still have a long way to go - especially with how our veterans are taken care of but this was a worthy text.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Front Desk

Based on the author's real experiences this book tells of an immigrant family's struggle to get off the roller coaster.  They manage a hotel but are taken advantage of by the owner.  Through it all though Mia refuses to give up.  Through persistence, letter writing, and friendship she overcomes many hurdles including eventually helping her parents buy the motel.

This was the quickest I have read a book in awhile (okay I read Strongheart very quickly too).  It was very good and will open up an avenue for many conversations.

The House in Polar Wood

Every town has them - the 3 shades Death, Memory, and Passion and a Summoner who balances them out.  But in the town where Felix, Lee, and Gretchen live things have gone terribly wrong.  There has been a mysterious death of the apprentice to Passion, there has been meddling by Passion that resulted in an unfair agreement between the apprentices of Death and Memory forcing the married apprentices to never see each other and also keep them from seeing one of their children.

But, Felix, Lee, and Gretchen want to "rite" the wrongs.  Deliciously creepy and creative and also touching on cause and effect - I really enjoyed it.  Of course I personally appreciated where Gretchen was worried about her spleen exploding - I feel your pain girl.