Tag archives for Family
BOOK NAME: I, Q: Book One, Independence Hall
AUTHOR: Roland Smith
What if your parents were major rock stars, had a contract signed, and were traversing the entire country performing on a tour? And what if you found out that your stepsister’s mom was a secret service agent, and you also noticed some weird creeps stalking after you? These questions are what stepsiblings Q (Quest) and Angela must come face to face with in the start of a thrilling series by Roland Smith.
Q and Angela’s parents are pop stars, and the entire family is now on a tour performing across the U.S. It seems as if nothing strange could ever occur as the family heads from city to city on a mega RV. Everything, however, changes when an old roadie (people who set up equipment during a stage performance) named Boone spontaneously appears and decides to become the family’s driver. To top that off, Angela begins to harbor strange feelings that someone is following them. That’s when Q discovers that his stepsister’s deceased mother was a former Secret Service operative who was killed by foreign terrorists. Before long, Q and Angela manage to get involved in the secretive, deadly world of intelligence and espionage, as they must encounter and deal with Israeli Mossad agents, private intelligence agencies, and the conspiracy surrounding Angela’s mother’s death. Can Q and Angela uncover the truth behind the death and reveal who the actual villains are?
IQ Book 1: Independence Hall is one of the best modern day thrillers I have ever read. Roland Smith, who is usually an expert author when it comes to nature and animals, finally takes his renowned writing career and steers it into the genre of action/thrillers. The great thing about this book is that instead of featuring just adult characters, Roland Smith is able to include characters who are young adults. As a result, this allows young readers to connect with the main characters, mainly Q and Angela, and therefore, enjoy an amazing reading experience. When Smith writes other novels, he usually enables them to bring forth an excellent plot and at the same time, enlighten readers about the phenomena of science, nature, and biology. Another laudable feature of this book is that Smith decides to put aside scientific topics and brings politics into the mix. IQ Book 1 takes a dive into the world of intelligence and counter-terrorism, political situations affecting the world today, and the hectic lifestyle of renowned rock stars. The cast of the book is a unique one filled with a variety of intriguing, interesting, and even comedic characters. Interesting characters in this book included Q (the main character), who is adept at magician skills and devouring hamburgers in three bites; Angela, whose intelligence, instinct, and coolness allow her to overcome any situation; Boone, the book guru who owns a book collection that would have made the Library of Congress seem like a simple shelf; and Israeli agent Eben, who always seems to daunt the audience with his relentless determination to accomplish a mission. The plot and humor are what certainly define the book, as readers will be hooked onto the plot and laugh at the numerous moments of humor found in abundance throughout the book. The plot, though, may seem a bit too intricate and complicated to understand at first (that’s why I had to read it more than once), but this is a Roland Smith book that you do not want to miss out on!
This book is definitely interesting for any reader out there who’s got nothing on their desk to read. On a scale of 1-10, I’d grant this book a 10.
BOOK NAME: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie
AUTHOR: David Lubar
Scott Hudson is just starting high school, and already the troubles are beginning. His bus driver is an
obnoxious grouch of a man. The school’s Spanish teacher can’t speak a word of English, and seems to
believe her students can comprehend her. The seniors are attempting to make Scott’s life as miserable
as possible with their egregious pranks. Julia, a girl Scott was acquainted with in kindergarten, is now a stunning teenage “goddess”. She has become so gorgeous; she now seems far out of Scott’s league. The list of difficulties expands with each passing day. At least Scott has his longtime buddies, Kyle, Patrick, and Mitch, to help him survive.
The news Scott’s parents reveal, however, could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Scott is
going to be an older brother. How is THAT going to work? He’s always been the younger brother, and
his older sibling Bobby has some dark predictions of how a baby can throw its sibling’s life into chaos.
That’s horrible news for Scott.
The baby isn’t due to arrive for a while, and Scott has more current issues to face. Will he ever
understand the Spanish teacher? Will the cruel gangs of seniors grind him into dust before the end of
the year? How can he possibly win Julia’s heart when she doesn’t even notice him? What catastrophes
await him as the year drags on?
This is a phenomenal book, beyond phenomenal in fact! I couldn’t put it down! It is absolutely hilarious! It is filled with sarcasm, witty jokes, comical situations, irony, and just about every other type of humor imaginable. The story is not too shabby, either! The humorous aspect prevents it from ever becoming dull. The ending has some unexpected twists, and is quite a heartwarming close to the story. I won’t spoil it though! You’ll just have to read this incredible book and find out what happens.
Hi guys! We ended our unforgettable five months in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and started our family Christmas in Michigan with a bang. We did sooo many fun things while we were home. We went sledding on our Zipfy sleds and had a few wipe outs, too. The next day we went to the movies and saw Parental Guidance which was really funny. On Christmas Eve there was a huge snowstorm, so we had to build a snowman and snow angels. We named our snowman Frosty.
We have a tradition twice a year in the summer and at Christmas to see my dad’s family at an old lodge. In the winter they have an awesome toboggan track. This year the track was covered in ice and we reached a speed of 38 mph. Yet another fantastic day we had a family bowling night, and of course I won.
One of the highlights of this holiday season was a fascinating evening at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. They have one of the most powerful telescopes ever in their brand new observatory.
On Christmas morning we decided to stay in our pajamas all day and play with our new gifts. My favorite was my iPhone and Everest’s favorite was his microscope and remote control rat.
What did you get for Christmas? What was your favorite gift? What holiday do you celebrate? When we went to Christmas mass there were stories told about the River Jordan and the Red Sea, and it was amazing to think that we were there just days ago. We had a wonderful time in Jordan, the memories that will stay with me forever. For the rest of our stay at home we saw some of our friends, spent time with my grandparents, did A LOT of school, and started preparing for our amazing trip to Africa… ROAR!
BOOK NAME: Mockingbird
AUTHOR: Kathryn Erskine
When Caitlin Smith, a 10 year old girl who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, experiences the tragedy of her brother Devon being murdered in a middle school shooting, she is desperate to find closure. Yet as she looks for closure, she realizes that this is not something simple to grasp. Her father, a widower, is still in terrible depression and grief over the loss of his son. Although Mrs. Brook, the school counselor, has sessions with Caitlin and tries to help her through this tough time, Caitlin still feels like no one understands her.
Before his tragic death, Devon was an eagle scout. He was working on making a chest as part of this position. The chest remains unfinished in the living room of the Smith home, and Caitlin’s father even puts a sheet over it. Caitlin tries to convince her father to finish the chest, yet he is still not ready.
In school, Caitlin has trouble with friends. No one wants to befriend her because of her syndrome and because they do not want to create an awkward situation after the loss of her brother. Caitlin doesn’t think she will ever find a friend, until she meets Michael, the son of the principal of Devon’s middle school, who had also been killed in the shooting. Could Michael be her first friend?
Throughout the book, Caitlin tries to deal with the troubles of her life. She works hard to adapt to life without her brother. Towards the end, Caitlin begins to understand what finding closure is all about.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a little tough, so I would recommend it to anyone ages 10 and up. Caitlin’s story is inspiring. I learned so much from the way she deals with the challenges in her life.
BOOK NAME: Wild Things
AUTHOR: Clay Carmichael
Sometimes you feel like you can trust no one. 11 year old Zoe doesn’t feel like that just sometimes, but all the time! Her Dad left her at an early age and her irresponsible mother died. With both parents gone, Zoe is left to go to different relatives, staying for short amounts of time until they discard of her like a used tissue. Usually they will pretend to care about her until they ship her off to the next relative. So naturally Zoe thinks it will be the same routine when she is placed with a little known relative named Uncle Henry. However, she is surprised to find that Uncle Henry won’t give up on her and that they share many things in common. Both stubborn and hotheaded, they can sometimes clash but they also share broken hearts. Unknowingly, they start to pick up each other’s pieces and start to create a loving home.
Along the way, Zoe meets many other interesting characters including a wild cat, a white deer, and a mysterious boy. Zoe’s curiosity and wild spirit lead her to finding the identity of the boy, and she uncovers the truth about a local lie. This book had a spirit of its own and I loved reading each wondrous page. I was amazed at the depth of the characters and how I was able to connect with each of them. I also thought it was interesting how the author added narration from the cat’s perspective. If you like adventure and humor books, I highly recommend this. It’s a great book for all ages. I look forward to reading this author’s future works.
BOOK NAME: Moon Over Manifest
AUTHOR: Clare Vanderpool
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is one girl’s journey to learn more about her father’s
In the summer of 1936, twelve year old Abilene is sent by Gideon, her father, to Manifest,
Kansas, his hometown. Here, in a room, Abilene discovers a cigar box filled with letters, a fishing lure,
doll, cork, and skeleton key. Her mind is stuck as to whether these mementos belong to her father.
While on her quest to learn more about her father’s childhood days, she enters Miss Sadie’s divining
parlor, the Path to Perdition. Miss Sadie tells her the adventurous, yet tragic story of two boys, Ned and
Jinx, from 1918 Manifest. Still, there is no mention of Gideon. Abilene tries to make connections
between the stories and the mementos. Where is Gideon’s place in this story? Read the book to find out.
This 2011 Newbery Medal Winner is an all-star read for middle school kids. Readers will get
involved with Abilene’s adventure, and they, too, will wonder who Gideon was when he was a boy. Also,
at the end so many mysteries come together that the reader will be amazed with the contemplative
mind of the author. The author sets up the plot wonderfully by incorporating newspaper articles and
written letters. Page after page, stories, connections, and wonders build on, making the reader want to
keep reading this book.
BOOK NAME: So B. It
AUTHOR: Sarah Weeks
So B. It, by Sarah Weeks, is a touching, humorous, rather sad but all around great story that
would be a great summer reading choice. I first read this book a couple of years ago as an assignment
for English class, but it’s so good I’ve read it numerous times over the past few years for fun as well.
This novel is told from the perspective of 12 year old Heidi It, a good natured girl who lives with
her mentally disabled mother in Reno, Nevada. Bernadette, their caring but rather vertically challenged
neighbor who’s agoraphobic (basically, she’s afraid to go outside the house) looks after Heidi and is like
a second mother to her; even so Heidi has to take on many responsibilities to provide for the household
and take care of her mom.
However, when a strange word,”Soof”, a word that has often appeared in her mother’s limited
vocabulary begins to make her wonder about her mother’s history, Heidi sets out on a journey to
discover her mother’s unknown past and hopefully her mom’s parents. Along the way, Heidi runs into
many different people and gets caught in a variety of memorable situations, each one teaching her
lessons about life and bringing her closer to finding out who her mother is and where she came from.
Near the end of the book, something tragic occurs, and Heidi realizes that not only has she learned a lot
about her mom, but she has learned a lot about herself too.
This novel is very well written and a really sweet story. Although it is a little sad, it’s definitely
not a depressing or gloomy book and has many funny and lighthearted moments. I would recommend
this book to both guys and girls and though I think older tweens would enjoy it most, this novel has a
broad age range and I know young tweens and teenagers will like it as well. So, if you’re looking for a
really good book that is humorous and colorful but also touching and mysterious, then So B. It is the
book for you!
Want another opinion? Read Jordan’s review!
BOOK NAME: The Glory Field
AUTHOR: Walter Dean Myers
The Glory Field, a realistic historical fiction book by Walter Dean Myers, is a story of many generations of an African-American family. It shows that struggle can often lead to success.
In 1753, Muhammad Bilal is captured from Africa, put on a slave ship, and brought to a plantation in Curry, South Carolina. During the 1860′s, some of his descendants secretly run away and go off to fight for the Unions in the Civil War. Soon after in 1900, the descendants of this African-American Lewis family are free and work on the small plot of land that they own. Luvenia Lewis accomplishes her goals to succeed in a segregated country in the 1930′s. Soon after, in 1964, Tommy Lewis shows his inner courage by helping in the fight for equality. Malcolm Lewis is born in the modern equal world, but struggles to get his cousin off drugs. The whole family sticks together with family reunions in their original land on Curry–the Glory Field.
This book is well written and others should read it. The author ties in all of the important historical times for African-Americans helping me get a deeper understanding. For example, the 1860′s describes slavery and the Civil War, and the 1930′s section develops on the idea of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to the North. The characters change in some of the sections, but this is not confusing, because there is a timeline in the beginning to show the relationships between the characters.
BOOK NAME: R My Name is Rachel
AUTHOR: Patricia Reilly Giff
In 1936, the Depression affects almost everyone. This was a time when jobs were scarce and many people suddenly found themselves poor. Twelve-year-old Rachel and her family are no exception. Pop lost his job in the city and the bills are piling up at home. It seems like there is no longer a way for them to afford to keep their home. So, Pop finds out that a bank job is available out in the countryside and Rachel is scared of this change. The city is all she knows. Miss Mitzi, a neighbor and best friend of Rachel, would have to be left behind. Rachel sees Miss Mitizi as a kind of mother to her because her mother died when she was young. She secretly hopes that Ms. Mitzi will marry her father.
When she sees their new country home with the run down barn and half weather-proofed house, Rachel yearns for Ms. Mitzi to bring some new life to the land. But not everything is terrible as Rachel finds hidden treasures throughout the home. She loves the drawings hidden around and wonders who drew them. But things turn from bad to worse when Pop finds out that the job he was promised is not available and now they are stuck. Pop then finds a new government project to build a bridge. This is great news, but he would have to go away and leave his three children by themselves. Even though Rachel is only twelve years old, she is in charge of the family and feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. It is even more desperate when she finds out her little sister lost the only money Pop left them.
What a story! This book is all about strength and finding beauty everywhere you look. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Great Depression or historical fiction. You will be amazed at how desperate situations sometimes bring out the strength in you.
We could see the Rocky Mountains from the window of our airplane as we arrived in Denver. We spent two great days exploring the city and then we went to the town of Golden for my cousin Ryan’s wedding. On the way we saw the Continental Divide, the line that divides the flow of water between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.
We had an awesome time seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins. The wedding was at a beautiful cathedral and the reception was super exciting. We danced until midnight (well most of us did.)
BOOK NAME: Oogy
AUTHOR: Larry Levin
Oogy, by Larry Levin, is a true book about the author’s special dog. The moral of this story is that
be it animal or person, looks don’t account for love.
Oogy, a bait dog used in dog fights, loses his ear and suffers life threatening injuries in one of
the fights. He is brought to an animal hospital and is surgically treated even though his chances of
survival are very minimal. However, Oogy slowly recovers, and is adopted by Larry Levin and his family.
They love having Oogy as a pet. Passersby fear Oogy because of his distorted face, but after seeing his
playful self, they fall in love with him. For the Levin family, Oogy becomes the fifth member of the family
because he needs more care and because he is very affectionate. The Levin family and Oogy have a
loving and protective mutual relationship.
I would recommend Oogy for kids of all ages. The author really brings out his dog, Oogy, as a
symbol of hope. I like how the part about the surgery process is very descriptive, yet not gruesome and
disgusting. Also, there are many pictures at the end of the book, which help readers visualize and
connect to the different scenes. Oogy is an interesting book in which readers will experience the
different emotions and feel pity, happiness, joy, and comfort. This book really brings out the
phrase “dogs are a man’s best friend”.
BOOK NAME: How To Survive Anything
AUTHOR: Rachel Buchholz
How To Survive Anything is a unique book that conquers not only day to day
problems (think middle school), but also problems you wouldn’t want to encounter every
day (think volcanic eruptions). This handbook provides information on how to survive
anything in a compact, fun filled style. You’ll find it chock full of interesting facts and
hilarious illustrations that never fail to impress. This book is handy and could possibly
save your life, or your social life at least. It contains real advice on how to handle
perilous situations such as shark attack, lighting, falling through ice, or maybe the most
dangerous of all, embarrassing parents. The book is split into different categories so
you can find what you need almost instantly.
Another bonus is that it also contains fun quizzes to see if you could really
survive anything including one of my favorites, popularity contests. It is rare to find
something so fun and educational in the same book. I was astonished to find myself
laughing and learning at the same time. This book is now my go to for everything, but
hopefully I won’t have to use it when I’m adrift at sea. The most fickle reader will love
this sure-to-please book. This is a book for all ages to enjoy and share and would
make a great gift. I recommend it for anyone who wants a change of pace or if you’re a
magnet for trouble.
BOOK NAME: Skipping Christmas
AUTHOR: John Grisham
If you had the chance to skip Christmas, would you? Sure, it would mean not having to go to your siblings’ boring Christmas pageant, not getting sick on candy canes and fruit cake, and not having to pretend you’re thankful for the wacky presents your relatives send you, but wouldn’t you miss the Christmas tree? And the decorations and carolers? And not to mention, what would your family and friends think of you?
These are the types of questions Luther and Nora Krank are faced with when they suddenly decide to forgo the holidays in the novel, Skipping Christmas. With their only daughter leaving for a year to go teach children English in Peru, the Kranks are feeling pretty gloomy and don’t know if they are up to celebrating Christmas. In fact, Luther, who has never liked the holiday because of the all the stress and chaos it brings, proposes the plan of skipping altogether and going on a luxurious cruise instead. Although the idea at first seems crazy and Nora immediately vetoes it, the couple eventually comes around and they excitedly book their tickets for a Caribbean cruise, starting on Christmas day.
At first, Luther and Nora’s attempt to forgo everything that has to do with Christmas goes very smoothly and they begin to think that skipping the holidays will be easy. However, as they continue to refuse invitations to Christmas parties, turn down charities asking for donations to help give underprivileged kids presents, and go as far as to not decorate their house with Christmas lights, ultimately causing their neighborhood to lose the annual holiday decorations contest, they soon begin to be met with distaste from their neighbors. As the book goes on, that distaste grows into a full-fledged “war” between the neighborhood and the Kranks, the matter being over whether or not Luther and Nora are going to celebrate Christmas.
This novel is very amusing and will have you constantly laughing as you read it. I recommend it to preteens and young teenagers because it does contain some bad language (Luther utters the occasional swear word) and was originally aimed for an adult audience. Other than that, this book is very funny and entertaining and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
BOOK NAME: Liberty Porter, First Daughter, New Girl in Town
AUTHOR: Julia DeVillers
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the First Daughter of the United States? If so, Liberty Porter, First Daughter, New Girl in Town, by Julia DeVillers would be the perfect book for you as it tells the experiences of Liberty Porter, the new, imaginary First Daughter.
Liberty Porter, a fourth grader, has just moved into the White House, for her father has been elected President of the United States. She has been eagerly exploring her new home and already discovered her two favorite areas–the chocolate shop and the movie theater. Then, the first day of school arrives and Liberty is not sure what to expect. She enjoys meeting many new people but feels awkward as everybody whispers, asks her for autographs, and treats her like a celebrity. But, as the days pass on, she realizes that some people want to be friends with her just because of her high status, while others are friendly to her because of her personality. Soon, Liberty learns how to find who her true friends are.
This is a fun read for younger kids. It shows how life as the first daughter can be glorious yet challenging. In fact, a Secret Service Agent follows her everywhere–even to school! I came across some interesting facts about former presidents such as President Kennedy’s son getting stuck in a mud fountain and President George H.W. Bush hating broccoli. Also, I liked how Liberty sportingly handles the situation when her classmates tease her by coming up with rhyming names for her like Liberty Porter, Bus Boarder, and Liberty Porter, Worst Sporter.
T’was Christmas Day and all through the house all the creatures were stirring, even a mouse. For Christmas I got a kindle fire and a lot of pretty clothes. Everest got a spy set, a remote controlled car that is insanely fast, a life size stuffed tiger, and a lot of logos. We spent the day lounging around the house and playing with our new toys. We had a delicious family dinner that night. Everyone obviously over ate but it was the perfect way to end a wonderful Christmas.
That next morning we left for the Potawatomi Lodge, our home away from home. I have been going there since I was born. My parents have shared a family reunion there for the past 30 years. During the winter they have a toboggan run (it is kind of like a sled going down an steep icy hill). It was super fun and super fast.
I love spending time with my family, especially because we only get to see them two times a year. We spend hours sitting by the fire, play card games, and building snowmen. This year my eleven year old cousin Kayla and her sister came and we got to hang out together.
After three great days we went back to grandma and grandpa’s to ring in the New Year. We went to an exciting hockey game with Olivia (my friend who helped me raise money for the orphans in Nepal). Her older brother JD is an amazing player. We also went to an arcade with my aunts and uncles and won 2666 tickets!!! Last time I played at an arcade in Santa Barbara I won enough tickets for a lava lamp. Have you ever won so many tickets?
A few days later Uncle BJ came to Michigan and shared dinner with us and played at the park.
On our last night we went to a Mavericks Pistons basketball game that was awesome! The Mavericks won and we got free shirts, pizza and lottery tickets. Our holiday season was awesome, but I am super excited for South America!
BOOK NAME: Penny From Heaven
AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Holm
Twelve year old Penny Falucci doesn’t have a father, but she doesn’t mind because she has more than enough of the rest of her crazy, wacky family to fill her time. In fact, sometimes she feels like she has too much love to know what to do with it all. Penny is sick of her mom being overprotective, so to pass the time she usually gets into trouble with her cousin, Frankie. And when Penny has a question, she just goes to her Uncle Dominic who lives in a car and is full of strange wisdom. But living in the 1950s is no easy task when Penny’s mother won’t let her go to the movies or the pool because of the polio scare. Penny feels like she has a lot of responsibilities, especially when her dog, Scarlett O’Hara, thinks the world is her bathroom.
The summer is passing by at a leisurely pace when a tragic event occurs; her mom is dating again! But not just with anyone, she is dating the milkman! How embarrassing is that? This book is one filled with wonderful wackiness, with Penny just riding through her very different life. I loved this book because it was a very light, comforting read all about family and how Penny fits in. I love all the quirky characters that make up Penny’s colorful family with their individual traits. Look for it next time you go to the bookstore or library.
Now that we are back in the USA things are a little bit different. Even though I miss the craziness of Asia, it is still nice to have people stop when you cross the street. The day we arrived was my grandma’s birthday so that night we had a little party with all the family. The very next day we meet with our close friends the Dahls from Seattle. We played with them at the park and went sledding down a turf hill on cardboard boxes.
Michigan is a lot colder than what I am used to in Santa Barbara, but most of the time the cold is fun especially when it is snowing. We went and did lots of fun things while we were back. We went bowling, and it was really fun! I actually got second place.
I baked cookies with my Aunt, and we met up with our friends, the Katz family, in the small town of Birmingham near where my grandparents live. The little white lights in the town were beautiful; it felt so much like Christmas. Finally on Christmas Eve we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for a family party. When we got home we put out the milk, cookies and even some carrots for Santa and the reindeer.
BOOK NAME: Christmas in Williamsburg
AUTHOR: K.M. Kostyal
When I say the word Christmas, what comes to mind? Things like Christmas trees, mistletoe, and the smell of cookies baking are probably just a few. While imagining this, have you ever stopped to think about where Christmas and the traditions associated with it came from? Most of these traditions are recent and come from many different counties. Many of them were brought by some of our earliest European settlers in Williamsburg and others were originated in America when they came here.
For example, a man from Germany introduced the Christmas tree to Williamsburg and it stuck as an annual tradition (hard to imagine Christmas without it). Today you think of the family sitting around the tree with presents for the kids underneath. But back in colonial times this holiday was not geared for the family, but was mostly a festive holiday party primarily for adults. Many people in colonial times got married during this holiday season because it was the only time the entire family was gathered. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were married during Christmas.
This book describes American Christmas history and traditions from the past and present. It also gives instructions on how to mimic these traditions so that you may enjoy them at home. I followed the craft instructions for the paper chains and as I decorated our tree with my handmade crafts, I felt like it really made this Christmas special by reminding me where our traditions came from. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to put some of the old Williamsburg traditions into their own Christmas. Have fun doing this with your family and have a very Merry Christmas.
You may have noticed that if you see someone yawn, you feel an urge to yawn yourself. This is called contagious yawning. But a new study shows that rates of contagious yawning are higher near relatives, followed by close friends. The study suggests that yawning may be a way to empathize with others by showing you are feeling the same way they are feeling.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic
BOOK NAME: Wait Till Helen Comes
AUTHOR: Mary Downing Hahn
If you like creepy ghost stories that gives you chills, then this is the book for you! In this saga, we meet Molly, a 12 year old girl who is annoyed with her 5 year old bratty stepsister, Heather. Scary things begin to happen when Molly’s family moves to an old church. It’s really, really old since it was made in the 1700s. Like any old church, it has a graveyard right next door. One of the graves belongs to a girl named Helen. Heather “befriends” the dead girl Helen through her ghost. Heather is lonely since she hates the new members of her step-family. She is hoping that Helen will come and scare her new family away.
Heather often says “Just wait ’till Helen comes. She will make you all sorry for what you’ve done to me”. Heather visits Helen’s grave almost every night to plot her revenge. She offers up wildflowers to the gravesite.
On the property is a pond too. It is near the site of Helen’s old house which had burned down and is now in ruins. Children have drowned in this pond and Molly believes that Helen lures children to this pond and drowns them. She fears for Heather because she thinks the same fate may await her. “A few children have drowned in the pond by mysterious causes. It is not a good place for children to play” the caretaker of the property warns Molly and her brother, Michael. Spooky stuff, huh?
I don’t want to give away the ending, but anyone who loves ghost stories should pick this one up. I think you’ll soon make friends with Helen too.
BOOK NAME: A Whole Nother Story
AUTHOR: Dr. Cuthbert Soup
I sensed this was going to be a different kind of book when I found out that the Cheeseman family included a balding dog and a sock puppet named Steve. Actually, it sounded like my kind of family! To make matters more intriguing, this particular family is on the run from top-secret agents, international spies, and one chimpanzee.
Mr. Cheeseman is an inventor and all the people chasing him want one thing, his greatest creation, a time machine! His family includes three children. They are nice kids, but have no friends. Why is that? The problem is that they never stay in one place for very long. They are always on the go because their father is afraid that those chasing them will use his invention for evil purposes. And he is correct!
Sometimes the kids have to get creative to keep themselves occupied. For example, the youngest child, Crandall, created his own best friend, Steve the sock puppet. The reason Crandall holds onto the puppet so dearly is because it was a gift from his mother. She passed away from a mysterious illness and so he takes comfort in her gift. Steve was a “snarky” looking puppet and “never missed an opportunity to comment on anything and everything in his annoyingly squeaky voice, which sounded not unlike a dolphin with laryngitis, if you can imagine such horrible squeaking.”
This book is full of these kinds of witty descriptions that had me chuckling throughout it. I don’t want to give away their adventures, but Dr. Cuthbert Soup does make an appearance as the head of the National Center for Unsolicited Advice. After reading this book, I’m definitely ready for some more Soup!
BOOK NAME: All Shook Up
AUTHOR: Shelley Pearsall
After his grandmother is in the hospital and is in need of the care of Josh’s mother, he finds he has to stay with his father for a few months. When he meets his father at the airport, he is surprised to see the sudden change in his father’s appearance and attitude. Elvis Presley. Elvis hair, Elvis clothes, Elvis voice. Not only does his dad LOOK like Elvis Presley, but his job is to impersonate Elvis! Dreading the stay with his father, Josh gets mad and it shows in his every move.
When Josh goes to a new school and becomes popular, he decides it’s not too bad living there. Until his father plans to be impersonating Elvis at his school concert. Josh makes up a plan. A plan to save him the embarrassment and get him back to being the popular guy he originally was.
All Shook Up was an okay book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have with the other books I’ve reviewed, but it wasn’t a bad book in general. I have always loved Elvis Presley so the fact that Josh’s dad was an Elvis Presley impersonator thrilled me. I laughed at the quotes the author put in between the chapters. The quotes tickled my funny-bone and sent me into a fit of overwhelming giggles.
I’d suggest this to anyone of any age, but I must say this book revolves around the divorced issue of the family and although the problem isn’t resolved–it contains a lot on how Josh feels. Overall, it’s a great book for anyone who is interested!
BOOK NAME: The Mother-Daughter Book Club
AUTHOR: Heather Vogel Frederick
Welcome to the book club meeting!
This week we finished reading The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for this book, as well as the others this year. This will be the last meeting of the Book of the Month club.
If you have finished the book, click “See More” to go to the book club meeting.
If you haven’t gotten that far yet, stop here!
BOOK NAME: The Mother-Daughter Book Club
AUTHOR: Heather Vogel Frederick
Welcome to today’s book club meeting!
This week we read the Spring section of The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. The girls had a lot of new experiences during this season. Let’s head over to the meeting and talk about them!
If you have read through Spring, click “See More” to go to the book club meeting.
If you haven’t gotten that far yet, stop here!
BOOK NAME: The Mother-Daughter Book Club
AUTHOR: Heather Vogel Frederick
Welcome to today’s book club meeting!
This week we read the Winter section of The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. It has been freezing cold here at DogEared headquarters, so we think that it was VERY appropriate to read that section this week!
If you have read through Winter, click “See More” to go to the book club meeting.
If you haven’t gotten that far, or if you’re still looking for a copy, stop here!