Tag archives for Family
BOOK NAME: The Mother-Daughter Book Club
AUTHOR: Heather Vogel Frederick
Welcome to today’s book club meeting!
This week we read the Fall section of The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick.
If you have read through Fall, 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!
BOOK NAME: The Mother-Daughter Book Club
AUTHOR: Heather Vogel Frederick
December’s book is The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. It’s the story of four sixth-grade girls who join a book club with their moms. Thanks for suggesting this book, Learn more about this month’s book on the Book of the Month page.
Look for a copy of the book in the local library, or ask your parents to help order it online. We will read the first three chapters of the story for our meeting on Wednesday, December 8. See everyone there!
BOOK NAME: Little House in the Highlands
AUTHOR: Melissa Wiley
Have you read Little House on the Prairie? Even if you haven’t, I’m sure you’re familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American pioneer girl. I discovered that there is another series of books that have been written to tell the story of Laura’s family going back to her great grandmother, Martha Morse. It turns out that the three generations of women before her were also pioneers of sorts.
Martha lived in Scotland in the 1780s. Her family is kind, honest people who own many acres and farms. They live by a lake that Martha thinks is truly magical with hills and valleys. Martha has to share the house with her 4 siblings, mother, father, Mollie the cook, and other servants. She is lucky in that she has a house big enough to fit everyone. The other families in the area live in two room houses; one room for the family and one room for the farm animals!
I love reading this book because Martha reminds me a lot Laura with both of them having such free spirits. Martha is also a girl who loves to run free instead of doing what she it told. I like this book because you learn very much about old Scottish traditions and I adore the fairy tales that Mother reads. You also get insight into how people lived back then such as sleeping in a box bed which sounds a lot like sleeping in a closet! Martha loves life and enjoys the simple things so that even though this was years ago, I learned to respect her. The writing style and vocabulary of this book makes for an easy read. I will definitely add this to my collection of Little House books and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
BOOK NAME: Rocky Road
AUTHOR: Rose Kent
Life choices have always been a struggle for Delilah, bad choices leaving her small family to suffer all the consequences. Later deciding she’d make a good choice for her family, she takes her daughter, Tess, and deaf son, Jordan, to live in New York.
Delilah suffers from a medical illness, making some of her days productive and successful while other days go downhill. After deciding to open an ice cream shop, Tess starts to worry about income and things seem to get worse from there. Soon she feels pressured to be the one that needs to take care of herself and Jordan.
When their life has their ups and downs, Tess tries her best to stay strong. Suddenly, she gets fed up with this sudden heap of responsibility thrown on her and takes a stand. Her opinions rise and she lets Delilah know how things need to be; specifically, how she and Jordan need Delilah to just be a mother to them.
Rocky Road is a book filled with life decisions. I liked how the author included Jordan, a deaf young boy. It added more drama to the book and made this li’l character stand out from the rest; although he obviously didn’t have much to say, he played a big role in the book.
I’d suggest this book to just about any age, everything being easy to understand. The book was overall appropriate with interesting characters. I must say it isn’t a favorite because it lacked one thing–an interesting story line.
BOOK NAME: Tortilla Sun
AUTHOR: Jennifer Cervantes
Tortured by the mystery of her father’s death, Izzy struggles to live without understanding how her father died. When looking through some boxes she found a baseball with the words, “because…magic” written on it. Determined to find out what the missing words are, she asks her mother who offers no information. All her thoughts simmer in her head until she goes to spend the summer with her grandmother. Slowly, her grandmother opens up, sharing information about her father Izzy never knew. After a few days, she feels she is getting to know her father better than she might have if he was still alive. Izzy continues to look for answers and slowly unravels the mysteries.
Almost all the characters in the book had Spanish names so it took a while to catch on to who was who in the storyline. The characters were fairly predictable–each one had a different background story, but the author wove all the stories together so they all related somehow throughout the book.
Honestly, even though the author obviously put time into sharing details of how each of the characters felt, the overall story line was somewhat dull for me. I didn’t really enjoy this book at all, but I think it may have been written for a younger crowd.
BOOK NAME: Elsewhere
AUTHOR: Gabrielle Zevin
Did you ever wonder what happens once you’ve died?
Liz Hall was a was a teenage girl meeting her friend at the mall and she got hit by a taxi. She woke up in a boat in the middle of the ocean. She thought she was in a dream when she finally realized that she was dead! The boat that she was on was taking her to an island called Elsewhere where all dead people were living (or living in the state of “dead”).
She found one of her dead grandmothers who surprisingly was thrity-two but had died at the age of fifty. She soon realized that instead of getting older in Elsewhere, you get younger. Liz still had her WHOLE life in front of her and she gets to turn fourteen again! She would never be able to drive a car or graduate from college but instead she had to go back to preschool! But Liz gets used to her new life. When everybody in Elsewhere turns seven months old again they get sent off down a river and are reborn back on earth.
This story kinda freaked me out at times. Just thinking about reliving and then dying yet still living…(shiver). The author did a great job writing this book because she was so imaginative about how people acted there and what kinds of jobs were needed and also how the people could look back at their family and friends back on earth. It does get confusing and creepy at parts so make sure you are ready to read a more difficult book but it is another book that once you get caught into it, you can’t stop.
BOOK NAME: I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President
AUTHOR: Josh Lieb
Hi, it’s Mairen again and yes, that is a very long title. However, don’t let it deter you from picking up this book. I started to read it a little skeptically, but was drawn in from the first page. The story is about a young boy, Oliver Watson, who has two identities: a less-than-smart overweight boy who loves his parents and an international business magnate who has absolute control over thousands of people. The book follows his double-life as he tries to integrate his evil genius personality and his normal kid personality to try to win a school election. Because he has so much control, he bribes, threatens, and steals his way to be a contender in the competition without anyone knowing what is going on.
The plotline is intriguing and the dialogue and narrative are absolutely hilarious, so much so that I was laughing out loud while reading on a few occasions! That garnered me a couple of weird looks from the bystanders (I was reading in my local library), but I just couldn’t stop laughing! Anyway, this book is amazing. It’s charming yet nerve-racking. We can all relate to Oliver’s yearning for his father’s pride, and these kinds of books are the kinds that will always stick in the reader’s mind, no matter how many other books they read. I would recommend this book to all readers, no matter how young or old.
BOOK NAME: Life As We Knew It
AUTHOR: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Miranda was happy being a senior in high school. She had friends and family that loved her. Mainly what she had was a normal life. All that changed one day when a meteor hit the moon unexpectedly and pushed the moon closer to earth!
The moon controls the tides and it was that night that the waves stared crashing over Florida, New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and other major cities around the world!!! Millions of people started dying. People were going crazy at the grocery store as Miranda and her family stocked up on their food supply. Nobody knew how long this could last! Lightning storms exploded and volcanoes erupted. A loss of electricity and MASSIVE snow storms were causing Miranda and her family to struggle through these harsh times. They hadn’t heard from their dad and they didn’t know if they ever would once the post office closed. Would Miranda and her family live to tell the tale? Or would mankind die off and never be able to survive?
This book was absolutely amazing! I couldn’t put it down. It never got boring because it was so intense in some parts. It really gets you wondering if a meteor really could push the moon closer to earth! It also get really scary in some parts and its sort of depressing too so don’t read this if you are looking for a happy book. There are two sequels to it so I will have to find a chance to read them sometime. It is a great fiction novel!
BOOK NAME: Noonie’s Masterpiece
Noonie Norton always had an odd view of art; she went through phases. Blue phases, purple phases, even polka dot phases! Unlike others, she painted everything as she saw it. Noonie painted for only two reasons: first, Noonie wanted to be like her artistic mother; second, she desperately wanted her father to come back for her from his travels. Noonie believed that if her father was impressed by her art, he’d come back to her! When Noonie’s school had an art contest, she saw it as an opportunity to make her father come for her. Would she win?
At age 10, Noonie is younger than me, but a lot like me. She is different from the other people in her school and doesn’t really care what they think of her. She’s artistic, but nobody seems to care. Her best friend, Reno is a math and science geek who assists her with her art; she bosses him and he willingly obeys her. Even though her family really loves her, they don’t always respect her artistic ways.
This book is one I’d pick up for a quick read, but it wouldn’t make it into my list of favorites. The characters are interesting and each has a weird personality. Every page of this book is illustrated with drawings, by the main character, Noonie Norton. The illustrations are just as amusing as the book itself. It’s great if you are interested in a quick and easy read. Being the author’s first book, I think it was impressive.
BOOK NAME: Turtle in Paradise
AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Holm
Welcome to July’s first book club meeting! We’ve started reading
Jennifer L. Holm’s book Turtle in Paradise. (Holm is also the
author of the Babymouse book series.) The book is about a girl
named Turtle growing up during the Great Depression.
have your copy and you’ve read the first four chapters? Great! Click
Uh-oh. Don’t have your copy yet? Don’t want
to spoil anything? Don’t read any further!
Read the whole post »
BOOK NAME: Adam of the Road
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Janet Gray
Being a minstrel, Adam wanders the streets happily, doing cartwheels and bringing joy upon others. For years, Adam has done nothing but roam the streets with his red spaniel, Nick, and his minstrel father, Roger. When Adam’s father disappears and Nick gets stolen, Adam spends all his days looking for the two dearest things that belong to him. Roger and Nick.
I really enjoyed how the author described the scenery and how someone felt. I’d have to say my favorite character is Adam, the main character. The author just put so much personality into him. In this book, the “bad guy” was the man who stole Nick and I think I enjoyed having some amount of crime and mischief in the book.
Adam of the Road was a book I read for school. It isn’t a book that I’d read out of interest, though. I wouldn’t say that is a good book or a bad book. The reading level was too easy for me and the story seemed to drag. I think that it’d be interesting for a child of a younger age, but not so much for me.
BOOK NAME: The Book Thief
AUTHOR: Markus Zusak
Liesel Maminger is a thief. She has a habit of picking up books and taking them…for good. The Nazi book-burnings are where she is the most successful–she justifies that taking just one book won’t make a big difference. With the help of her accordion-playing foster Papa, Liesel learns to read. She feeds her soul with books and uses them to create a better world for herself and family.
I think the Jew that lives in Liesel’s basement, Max is my favorite character. The love he has for Liesel is just amazing. Max shows his fatherly love for Liesel by doing simple things, such as writing her a short letter, and she does the same in return. I like how Liesel’s foster mother’s personality unfolds; she acts bitter and mean, yet inside she is really kind and loving. One thing I don’t appreciate is how she curses at her daughter. The characters were all so different, but combined all of them made this book more than memorable.
This book was just flat-out amazing. It was well written and the author was incredibly descriptive! I’ve written a review on his other book, I Am The Messenger, and that one was just as superb. This author writes great books for young adults and teens.
Markus Zusak wrote this book from death’s point of view, so at times it was a bit complicated and confusing. Honestly, there were a few parts where I just read a whole page over again to understand it. I strongly suggest teens interested in reading this book to look up a sample page from the first chapter online before purchasing. I had to stop at times and let parts of the book sink in, but I also think that’s why I have truly loved it so much.
BOOK NAME: Flightsend
AUTHOR: Linda Newberry
House hunting first started when Charlie’s mum wanted to move away from all her past and have a new beginning. Charlie seemed to be satisfied with her life, but her mum (Kathy) wasn’t so impressed. For a while, Charlie and Kathy looked through every single house recommendation from the estate agency and compared prices, quality, and even went to see some, only to be left disappointed. After many discouraging visits to different houses Kathy and Charlie seemed to slow down on looking for a house… until Flightsend. A flyer for Flightsend came in the mail one morning and while Charlie was at school, Kathy went to see it and came back reporting perfection. Taking Charlie with her, Kathy went to see the little cabin in the country town once more; they moved there in a matter of a month.
Charlie didn’t know how much her life would change in that little cabin, but it did. Many people entered her life while others left. Charlie also learned the importance of her small family.
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the way this book ended. I wanted to take the last chapter and rewrite it. Other than that, I thought this was a great story. There are some heavier concepts discussed in the end of the book that were a little confusing to me because I can’t really relate to them. This is a book about a girl who lived like any other person in this world. It was realistic and believable – definitely a book I would read again someday.
BOOK NAME: Thunder from the Sea
AUTHOR: Joan Hiatt Harlow
Caution: this book will have you wanting to give your dog a great big bear hug!
Have you ever had the feeling that you didn’t know you needed a dog until you got one? Well, that is how the Murray family felt once they adopted Thunder.
Thunder wasn’t the only one adopted by the Murrays. They first adopted Tom Campbell when he was already 13 years old. Tom and his new dad spent their time fishing, which was quite a change from the farming that Tom was used to.
One day while they were out fishing, a storm came up suddenly. And with it came the miracle dog, Thunder, who is a beautiful Newfoundland canine which is native to the area. Then and there a legacy was born; one of a boy, a dog, and an adventure.
My favorite part of the book is when they need to get across the ice to get to the island doctor, and the ice begins to crack under them. Tom is forced to make rushed decisions that will have a long term effect on both his new dog and family. Fortunately, the Murrays now have Tom and Thunder to help them through this crisis. This is a very heart warming book that will make you love your dog all the more!
BOOK NAME: So B. It
AUTHOR: Sarah Weeks
Heidi’s Mom is not normal. She’s been diagnosed with Down syndrome and can’t talk right. Heidi doesn’t know anything about her mother’s past. They live with a friend named Bernadette who took care of them after Heidi’s mom was caught wandering outside with a baby. Heidi has been living with Bernadette for years now. Bernadette, on the other hand, is afraid to go outside ever since her father died so both Heidi and her mom has to go get the groceries and other chores.
One day Bernadette finds an old camera in the closet with peculiar pictures in it. One of them had her mom at some Christmas event next to a sign that read: Hillside Home. Heidi decided to take a bus all the way to Liberty, New York alone to try to find out the history of her family. The trip takes her about three days to arrive in New York, when she discovers the secret about her family.
I enjoyed reading this book because l liked the story line to it. It did get a little boring at parts though. I took a long time to get started since the first six chapters were from the past rather than present. My favorite part of the book was when Heidi found out that the manager of the Hillside Home was her grandfather and one of the mentally disordered men was her dad. My least favorite part of the book was at the end. I would like to read another one of her books because I like her creativity and the way that she writes.
BOOK NAME: The Book of One Hundred Truths
AUTHOR: Julie Schumacher
Thea spends six weeks every year at her Grandma’s beach house, but this year is different. She spends most of the time there either babysitting her nosy 7-year-old cousin, or writing in the Book of Truths that her mom gave to her. The thing about Theadora Grumman is that she is a liar. Because she’s such a liar, Thea’s mom is making her write a book with 100 true things, like the story that when she was at Three-Mile Creek and her friend almost fell through the ice and died, and the truth that she doesn’t even have very many friends.
Thea’s cousin is always trying to find out what Thea’s writing in her book. She is bugging Thea like crazy, but what is also bugging her is that something is going on with her aunts. They’re acting very secretive and suspicious and they won’t tell anyone what they are up to so it’s up to Thea to find out why.
This was definitely a book I would read over again! I like how the author really made it a fictional mystery and exciting all at the same time. I could never put it down! really hope that the author has other books of hers that I can read. I hope you find it somewhere because you don’t want to miss out on a great read.
BOOK NAME: Ramona Forever
AUTHOR: Beverly Cleary
This is one of the books of the Ramona series. These books follow a girl named Ramona Quimby. She is a third grader who gets into trouble a lot. Not serious trouble, but the fun kind of trouble
This is a story about big changes for Ramona, her family and the Kemps, their neighbors. Ramona’s mom is going to have a baby, she no longer has to go to the babysitter after school and there is going to be a wedding, only no one knows it yet.
Ramona’s mom is going to have another baby and is feeling really tired and needs a little extra help. Her sister, Ramona’s Aunt Bea, is coming to help out. At around the same bout the same time, a new visitor comes to the Ramona’s neighbor’s house. It is their Uncle Hobart. Howie, Ramona’s neighbor, had told her that her Uncle Hobart had a lot of money. But when he drives up in a muddy van, wearing old jeans and a faded T-shirt, Ramona was surprised because she thought Uncle Hobart would arrive in a limousine and be dressed in nice clothes. Anyway, a very strange thing happens. Aunt Bea and Uncle Hobart actually know each other. While they are both living in the same neighborhood, they decide to get married.
On the wedding day, the ring that Aunt Bea is giving Hobart gets lost. Everybody goes crazy looking for it because the wedding can’t go on without it. It’s a lot of fun to follow Ramona as she looks for it. This was the best Ramona book because it has a lot of action and excitement.