Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Children's corner

Here are a few fun reads that we check out of the Library this week:

Maybe A Bear Ate It
by Robie Harris

This was a cute story.

Took the kids to the doctor's on Friday for their annual check ups and the doctor used this book to test my sons speaking skills. My husband was a little confused when my son announced that we had this book at home but later realized it was one of the books we borrowed from the library a few days earlier. I thought that was a strange coincidence.

Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car
by Eileen Christelow

My son loved this book. So much, that I am probable going to have to borrow the rest of her five little monkey stories from the library someday soon.

A New House For Mouse
by Petr Horacek

I liked this book. I liked the pictures and though the story was entertaining.

Monday, March 28, 2011

If I Stay

If I Stay
by Gale Forman

I heard about this book over 6 months ago. At the time a had a new baby to take care of and case of, what I'll call, postpartum anxiety about death. I was not feeling up to watching anything sad and most definitely was not prepared to read a book that involved the dying.

A couple weeks ago I decided that I was ready to read this book and I have to say that I found this story strangely comforting. Strange because the story is so tragic, but comforting because of how Mia makes her choice to Stay alive or go. I found it very easy to understand why the decision to stay would be so hard and it was interesting to watch the people around her influence her decision. I found the story so  fascinating that I finished it in one day. I really wanted to know what her finally decision would be. It was a very interesting read.

If I have anything bad to say about this book it would be that there was a little too much bad language and there was one scene involving Mia and her boyfriend that I found to be inappropriate for teen fiction. It is unfortunate that so many teen novels contain these references.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Only Alien on the Planet

The Only Alien on the Planet
by Kristen Randle

"... Never, never make the mistake of thinking you're the only alien on the planet." (page 4)

Thank you Kristy, for introducing me to this gem of a book!

What a beautiful, emotional and thought provoking book. I really loved this story.

Don't we all at some point feel like an alien, an outcast or just different from those around us? I loved the way this book handled the concept of what makes us normal.

But this is much more then a book about being normal or different. This is a book about creating relationships, stepping outside of comfort zones, and changing lives.

At one point in the story, the main character Ginny says, "The thing about me is - essentially, I'm a coward.  I am. I can't stand weird stuff, anything that's not normal- mental illness and death and hospitals and pain  and suffering and scary movies and people who need you and going into the basement alone at night."

Isn't that a feeling we all feel when we are forced to face the unknown or unfamiliar? I could really relate to the way she feels and I found her change from reluctant acquaintance to friend compelling.

 I couldn't stop reading it. This heartfelt story really shows the important influence of  friends and family. (Not always a good thing. ) How it shapes who we are and who we become. It also shows how the smallest act can change a life forever.

This is a must read for everyone!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Steven Kellogg

Here are a couple books I really enjoyed when I was a kid.

They are very fun reads with great pictures to go with. I love how the pictures really add to the story.

This first one is both written by and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.  The second one is illustrated by Steven Kellogg and written by Trinka Hakes Noble.

The Mysterious Tadpole
by Steven Kellogg

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
by Trinka Hakes Noble

If you haven't read these to your kids yet, get to the library! They are great.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


My eldest is having a hard time with the concept of sharing recently. Ever since his baby brother became mobile  he has struggled with sharing. He doesn't want his little brother playing with his trains, or his cars and just about anything else in the room. He guards his toys, he pushes and kicks his brother, he cries and throws tantrums. It is so much fun.

Anyway, we checked this book out from the library and thought it was a great little story about sharing and making friends. The colors are pretty and the pictures were cute.

Maybe if I read this story to him enough he will get the idea?

The Rainbow Fish
By Marcus Pfister

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
by E. Lockhart

This was a fun, entertaining story.  I liked the style E. Lockhart uses to tell the story, like she is laying out the facts that lead to Frankie's downfall. The setting of a boarding school for rich kids was interesting to me, probably because I don't have any experience with that type of atmosphere.

Frankie is funny, clever and full of ambition. I enjoyed her sense of humor and reading about the pranks she instigates. Her view of the world is definitely different then mine but it is always interesting to try  understanding why people do the things they do, or think the way they do.

The one thing I could not understand was her driving need to become a part of her boyfriend's secret society. Not because she thought the things they did were fun but because being a girl made her excluded. At one point she even admits that their parties are boring but she still becomes obsess with breaking into their secret society. I  understand not wanting to be know just as Matthew's boyfriend and not wanting to be defined by her gender but I don't think that means changing the things you like to reflect what the boys like. There are better ways to achieve that goal. Just a thought.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Mortal Instruments

City of Ashes and City of Glass
by Cassandra Clare

I'm not sure if I can put into words just how much I enjoyed these books but I will try.

This was a great series. Each book was as good as it's predecessor. Where one book left of the next one began, drawing me right back into the heart of the story. The pacing was great and I was enthralled by the story.

I love fantasies and I really liked the supernatural aspect of this story. It was a unique story, unlike any other book I have read before.

The characters were intriguing and I felt myself becoming attached to certain people and repulsed by others. Almost like I could sense who was going to be good and who was going to be bad. I really think that is a sign of a good author.

I also thought that the message of the story was good. Not judging others based on their background. Of course in the book it is in reference to downworlders (vampires, werewolves, etc.) but I think it can just as easily be applied races or cultures.

I also really liked it's message about what makes a family. Jace, who was raised but friends of his father, struggles with figuring out who he is and who his true family is. It really illustrates how important the good influence of the people around you are.

There have been a few young adult series that I have loved and enjoyed every minuted of. The type of books that I can not put down, that I get absorbed into every page. This was one of those series.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wait Till Helen Comes

Wait Till Helen Comes
by Mary Downing Hahn

Do you remember the first book you read as a child that opened your eyes to a whole new world of stories?

This first books that I truly remember doing that for me was The BFG, by Roald Dahl.

The second book that got me interested in an entire new set of books was Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn.

I can't remember how old I was when I first read this book. I guess my memory isn't that great but I was probable in 4th or 5th grade. Every year the school library had a book sale and I remember seeing this book displayed on one of the tables. It caught my interest so I decided to buy it.

Thus began my interest in Ghost stories. This book still remains one of my favorite ghost stories. It is spooky, mysterious and suspenseful. It has been years ( I wont say how many) since I read this book and I can still vividly remember the scariest moment in the story. I loved every minute of this book. It contains everything a great Ghost story should have.

After reading this book I couldn't stop reading Ghost stories. I read more of Mary Downing Hahn's, I read R. L. Stine Fear Street novels,  I read Christopher Pike, I read Betty Ren Wright's Stories. Really anything I could find.

What kinds of books did you enjoy reading when you were a kid?