Sunday, August 2, 2015

Some of the latest and greatest!

My husband went to a professional conference yesterday and was gone all day.  It was kind of an overcast day and here in South Florida, what that means is it's hot and it might rain.  When you walk outside you have the immediate impression that you might have trouble breathing because the air so thick.  In other words, I didn't need a lot of encouragement to stay inside!  So I read.  A LOT.  Here are some reviews of what I read.

The first one and probably my favorite of these three, is called "Listen to the Moon" by Michael Morpurgo.  If you live in America, you might know Michael Mopurgo from his book called "War Horse" which was turned into a movie and then a play.  I was surprised yesterday when I was looking for some back story on this book that Michael Muprugo is a VERY prolific writer (although apparently, a lot of it hasn't made it across the pond), so I'm looking forward to read some of his other work.  Anyway, this one is terrific.  It says at the beginning that the book is based on his grandmother's story (and that's why I was doing some research, I wanted to know if it was true).  "Listen to the Moon" is about a family who lives on Scilly Island which is off the coast of England, in 1915.  The dad and the son go out fishing one morning and go to an island where they have had in the past, good luck finding mackerel, which the mom loves.  As they approach the island (which is a little creepy) they hear crying.  They go ashore and find a little girl there who is quite sick, malnourished, coughing, and has an ankle injury.  She is wrapped in a blanket which says "Wilhelm" and has a teddy bear.  She only says one thing "Lucy".  The family takes her in and takes care of her and even as she seems to gather strength and health,  she can respond to conversation, but she doesn't speak.  People of the village start to think that Lucy came from Germany and since the Lusitania was recently sunk by the Germans, they aren't particularly nice to her.  It's a really great story about kindness and faith and family and how people treat each other during times of war and times of peace.  I loved it.

The second one is a fairy tale adaptation of sorts.  It's called "Shadows of Sherwood" by Kekla Magoon.  It's combination of dystopian future and Robin Hood.  I thought it was terrific.  The main character, Robyn, is 12 and she likes sneaking out at night to steal parts to make things.  One night, she sneaks out and when she comes back, something terrible has happened to her parents.  She takes a few supplies and tries to start figuring things out.  She gets arrested, makes some friends and starts a campaign against the powers that be.  I loved her character who is independent and charismatic and kind to her friends.  I really liked the technology components as well as the natural components.  I liked this one a lot.  

The last one is actually a grown up book but I think it would be completely ok for high school kids, if they were interested.  It's called "the Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" by Katarina Bivald.  It was originally published in Swedish and this is an English translation.  It's about a young woman named Sara who loves to read.  She's had a job in a book store in Sweden but when the book shop closes, she doesn't really know what to do next.  She has been communicating with a woman named Amy in America (Iowa) about books and when Amy invites her to come to Broken Wheel, it seems like a good opportunity.  Except that when Sara arrives, she finds out that Amy has died (in fact, they are having her funeral as Sara arrives).  Everyone agrees that Amy would have wanted her to stay, so she moves into Amy's house.  The town of Broken Wheel is pretty much abandoned... the local industry has moved away and so what's left is a few people with small businesses.  The people of Broken Wheel are very kind to Sara and so to repay them, she decides to take Amy's gigantic book collection and turn it into a bookstore.  It has some fairly predictable romance elements but enough surprises to make it worth reading.  It also has a million text references that are a lot of fun.  I liked this one a lot too. 

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