Friday, October 27, 2006

The Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen

This was a good book. Not for little kids but 12 and up could handle it. The FROG is a sailboat. The story is about a boy named David. The sailboat belongs to his uncle. His uncle dies and his last request was that the David scatter his ashes out to sea where you can see no land. Also he leaves the sailboat to the boy.
Well, David has a wild adventure after being surprised by a storm. He survives and keeps his head. He is hungry and thirsty but eventually starts on his way back to the cost of CA. He gets to see beautiful wondrous things in the Ocean, whales, dolphins, glow fish...
He also has a lot of time to think about his uncles death and come to terms with the whole sad thing. They had been really good friends and he misses him so much.
This was a good WHOLE BOOK.

I also read a funny book right before this called Molly McGinty Has A Really Good Day. Also by Paulsen. This book was just silly. That is all I can say.

Here is a website that has all of Gary Paulsen's books.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ivon passes the 100 book goal for the year!

This is Ivon's 2006 completed books list. We started keeping track around May, before that he read almost all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series and other books we just couldn't remember if they were this year or last we didn't include them. All the books are chapter books ranging from 100 to 680 pages long. Thin to whopping thick books! GREAT JOB KID!!!!!!

(My Side of the Mountain)
Far side of the mountain
Frightful's mountain
Chocolate Fever
Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
Boys Who Became Prophets by Robinson

Star Wars Jedi Apprentice:
The Hidden Past
Star Wars Adventure:
A New hope
Star Wars Junior Jedi Knights:
Anakin's quest
Vadaer's Fortress
The Golden Globe

Box Car Children:
The Boxcar children #1
The Mystery of the Midnight dog #81
The Mystery of the empty safe #75
The Mystery of the queen's Jewels Special #11
Mike's Mystery #5
The Mystery of the stolen sword
The Mystery on Ice special #1
The hockey mystery #80
The Pet Shop Mystery special #7
The midnight mystery #95
The Disappearing Friend Mystery
The Candy factory mystery
The Mystery at Camp Seagull
The Mystery of the Back Raven
The Screech Owl Mystery
The Mystery cruise
The old motel mystery
Bus Station Mystery
The gymnastics mystery
The Mystery of the pirate's map
the mystery of the spider's clue
The Great Bicycle Race Mystery
The windy city Special #10
The guide dog #53
the Honeybee Special #15
The Blue Bay Mystery #6
The Mystery Ranch #4
The mystery at the ballpark Special #4
The Mystery behind the wall #17
The Bicycle Mystery #15
The Tree house mystery #14
The woodshed mystery #7
The ice cream mystery #94
The sword of the silver knight #103
The growling bear mystery #61
The Mystery in the sand #16
The Mystery at the crooked house #79
The Cereal box mystery #65
The home run mystery Special #14
The Mystery of the hunted boxcar #100

A Jigsaw Jones Mystery:
The case of the Great sled Race
The case of the spooky sleepover
The Case of the Ghostwriter
The case of the food fight
The Case of the Snowboarding Superstar
The Case of the Double Trouble Detectives
The Case of the vanishing Painting
the Case of the perfect prank
The case of the glow in the dark ghost

A to Z Mysteries:
The Absent Author
The Empty Envelope
The gooses Gold
The Bald Bandit
The Absent Author
The Haunted Hotel
The Yellow Yacht
The Talking T. Rex
The falcons feathers

The Secrets of Droon:
The Sleeping Giant of Goll
Into the Land of the Lost
Under the Serpent Sea
Franny K Stein Mad Scientist:
Attack of the 50 ft. cupid
The Invisible Fran

The Message
The Mutation
The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
The Predator
The andalite chronicles

Jackie Chan Adventures:
Jackie chan super special day of the dragon
A New Enemy
Sign of the Ox
Enter the Viper #4
The Dark Hand #1
The Power of the Rat #8
Shenu Escapes #5
Revenge of the Dark Hand #7
The strongest evil#12
The Jade monkey #11

Cam Jansen:
Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown
Cam Jansen and the mystery of the Monster movie
Flat Stanley
A mouse Called Wolf
Henry and Mudge and the long weekend

Encylopedia Brown:
Case of the secret pitch
Horrible Harry and the locked closet

togepi springs into action
pikachu in love

Magic Tree House:
Dinosaurs before dark #1
Knight at dawn #2
Mummies in the Morning #3
Pirates past noon #4
Night of the Ninjas #5
Tonight on the Titanic #17
Viking ships at sunrise #15
Stage fright on a summer night#25
Stanley Flat Again!

The Hardy Boys:
The secret of the pirates hill #36

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

Great book! Great Adventure! There are these two princesses, they are sisters. They are opposite, one brave one afraid. The one that wants to go on adventures and slay dragons ends up getting sick. The timid sister has to pretty much slay dragons and find the cure before she dies. Not a predictable happily ever after ending. Very creative and full of adventures and even love.

The author, Gail Carson Levine also wrote Ella Enchanted one of my favorites, the book NOT the movie.

This book is a WHOLE BOOK. Great for 9-10yr. old girls, I don't think my son would want to read it. I loved it!

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara

This was a wonderful Classic, a Whole Book.
It is a story about a 10 year old boy that hasn't learned to be responsible yet. He lives on a horse ranch with his family in Wyoming. He loves to day dream. He is always breaking things on accident and forgetting things. His dad doesn't know what to do with him but is very disappointed. His brother on the other hand is a few years older and perfect. So of course they keep comparing Ken, the younger boy to Howard, his older brother.

Ken wants a colt of his own more then anything. He finally gets to pick one after his mom stands up for him to his dad. His dad is a serious Captain from the Army or something. He is strict and always gives the first and last word. Ken picks a wild mare born from bad blood. Her mother, Rocket, was a very fast horse but was never ever truly broken in. They called her condition, "loco". This means insane and useless. She would run right through wire fences and crash through wooden fences and they could never keep her in a pen long enough to train her. She didn't even care about the injuries from escaping. Her blood was bad and eventually every horse on the ranch was rid of so the bad blood line would be stopped.

Flicka was the only horse allowed to live because she belonged to the boy. They didn't know if she was crazy like her mom or not. She also had the blood from her dad, Banner. He was a good brave and smart Stallion.
So eventually from caring for the horse the boy learns all kinds of important lessons of responsibility and he grows up. Flicka, which means little girl, eventually becomes very sick with an infection from a cut on her leg when she ran through a fence. They are going to shoot her instead of have her suffer but the boy saves her life by sitting all night with her in a river. He then becomes very sick and spends the rest of the book close to death with everyone talking about him...

There is also a scary mountain lion in the book! There are also quite a few guns mentioned. They are a necessity on the farm. The two boys always have their 22's with them and shoot rabbits for supper weekly. The big rifle is the Winchester which the dad keeps in his truck and on hand for shooting sick horses and wild animals. The Express rifle finally gets the mountain lion in the end. And the mom sometimes has the revolver just in case she meets some wild animal while walking around on the ranch.

I read this book because Oct. 20th the 2006 version of the movie is being released. That is this week! Only the movie this time around will have Alison Lohman, a college girl, as the main character. She will of course have a boy friend, be stubborn, tom-boyish, ride horses like the other wranglers and want to keep Flicka even though her father forbids it. So even though the story is changed it has a lot of similarities to the original book and looks like a good flick...Tim McGraw, the country western singer, will be staring as her dad. Also the theme song is sung by him - My Little Girl.

I found out this book is actually a trilogy. This explains the abrupt end and leaving you hanging feeling on the last page. This book also was a TV series shown on Saturday mornings back in the olden days. It also has had a few movies already made based on the book, all with the main character Ken played by a boy. The trilogy books have also had movies made. It would be fun to track these down and watch them with the kids. I wonder if they are in black and white or color?

I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves horses! If anyone sees the movie this week let me know if you like it! I will have to wait till it comes out on DVD because it isn't my Birthday :(

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Boy That Owned the School by Gary Paulsen

Okay, finally I have found a book by Gary P. that doesn't even come close to his other wonderful books. This book stinks. So I don't even want to spend time on writing about it. All his other books were deep and had something to do with nature and this book was I guess his attempt to write about something else. Well, he failed in writing anything good. So that is that...on to something better.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dogsong by Gary Paulsen

Another one? You might think I am going a little crazy with Paulsen's books...well he is a really good young adult author and I just can't get enough!

This was a very intriguing book. It is a Newberry Honor book for 2000.
It is a book about an Eskimo. Not the fake Eskimos you watched on cartoons as a kid but a real Eskimo from the old days. It is about traditions, and about a boy becoming a man. This book was completely unpredictable. It helped me appreciate the coldness of Alaska and the brave people that live there in extreme conditions yet are so happy to be blessed by the land, the ice the animals and the wind and sea.

There was an old Eskimo shaman Oogruk and he helps a boy Russel Suskitt take a dog team and sled to escape the modern way of his village and return to the old ways. It is a book of self-discovery and adventure. There is poetry in this book and a song, the boy becomes the song.

I like winter/snow camping but that is nothing compared to what the boy in the story does. 40 below most of the time and yet it is a way of life.

This is a HEALING book.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory Robinson

My son received this book as a gift from a dear Aunt when he was baptized last year. It was lost in the move and smelled of smoke. After airing out for half a year it doesn't smell too bad and we of course had to chuck the book cover. He read it all the way through really quickly and kept saying, "Mom you have got to read this book!"
When he finished it I asked him which latter-day prophet was his favorite. He thought for a long time and then started reading the book over again. This time a bit slower and taking in more details. His favorite prophet is Ezra Taft Benson.

When he was finally finished, I started reading it. I read it in about 2 1/2 hours. It was really good. It is also historically correct. The author had a primary class and they wanted to be able to relate to the scripture stories. They loved it when she shared about the prophets when they were children. It really brought them to life as a real person. She decided to research all of the prophets and compile the book especially for the children in her Sunday School class to read. She also wanted to include the girls not only the boys in the class so she made sure there were things about the prophets sisters and mothers, not only about the prophets or their dads.

I think Howard W. Hunter will always be my favorite prophet. I saw him in person when I was at the MTC in Utah right before leaving on my mission to Germany. I know he is a prophet called of God. I know that the gospel is restored in the our day and the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I know this without a doubt. After reading this book my testimony of all the prophets has only increased.

I think the most curious thing I got out of the book was the realization that the advisory didn't want these young people to grow up and be prophets. Wilford Woodruff had so many accidents, broke so many bones and barely survived childhood. It is a miracle that he ever grew up to adulthood because he was so close to death so many times. He could have easily died and then who would have been the prophet in 1889? That reminds me of the scripture, something like many are called but few are chosen. Are there lots of children living right now chosen and because of the choices they make they don't reach their full potential and another has to step forward to fill that place? Each one of these boys mother's and father's had such an important part in preparing these young boys for great things. What if the mom chose to be a lazy drunk or just gave up? Would they have still been able to learn the things that prepared them to be a leader in the latter-days? Many of the prophets lost their mom's or dad early in life. The spouse left could have given up and all the children sent to an orphanage or something...would that child still be prepared for serving as a prophet of God later on?

I think our lives are all intertwined. There are children all around us that are chosen for great things and they need us to help. We are chosen to help them or to be in the right place at the right time to help them learn something or feel the spirit or gain a testimony of some gospel point. If we aren't there will it have to be someone else to help or prepare them? It all comes to choices, choosing right or wrong...setting a good example and doing the best we can do.

I like the new apostle Elder Bednar. He was an ordinary boy growing up not too far from where I grew up, San Leandro. He played football...what made him so different then the other boys around here? Anyway...these things and other things are interesting to ponder. I'm sure God has it all worked out. I just don't know if I am really doing my part to the fullest I many of those little children in my Sunbeam class are going to need to be prepared for wonderful things in life? All of them! They are all Heavenly Father's children. We are all living in the best of times, the latter-days...preparing for when Jesus will come again.

Anyway, if you get a hold of this book, read it. It was really worth it for me and my son!
I would say it was definitely a WHOLE BOOK.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How To Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward

This was a very sad book. A little girl, five years old was kidnapped. Her family couldn't get their lives back together. They didn't have it together in the first place but now it really comes apart. They are all alcoholics.

The mom and oldest sister never gave up that she was still alive. The father dies, drinks himself to death. One sister blames herself so much after she gets married she tries to find closure. She is seeing a psychologist and hires a lawyer to declare her little sister dead. The oldest sister finally comes to a point in her life where she needs to do something besides just sit around and miss her sister. She was working as a waitress in a bar after she passed up a full ride to Juilliard school to play piano. So after loosing her job and her mom dies she goes on a long trip to find her in Montana. It is a wonderful story of a family pulling itself back together and learning to love again.

The book was very clever in the way it was written. There were these mysterious letters written by someone named Agnes in between the chapters about the family. And this old boy friend of the mom's kept coming up in the book. He had lost his daughter when she was swept out to sea from a beach. So you can guess what might happen. Psycho old boy friend, dead daughter, kidnapped daughter, mysterious person named Agnes, lots of drinking and disfunctional families, and a search for the lost sister = ???

The book ends happy. Yet the book ends abruptly...Which I didn't like. I kept turning the pages for more but it was simply over, THE END!

This was a BROKEN AND HEALING Book. I do not recommend it to anyone that is looking for something uplifting to read. It was a very well written book and I couldn't put it down. The story captivated the reader and you just had to know what happened next. It took 6 hours to read. I started it in the morning on Monday and took a break for life then finished it before bed that night. I read it for a book group which was Tuesday, the next day.

I'm glad I read it. I learned a lot about the world that I don't usually spend anytime thinking about. Alcoholism is an ugly vice. I really like living in my bubble. I don't think I will EVER embrace this lifestyle but it is nice to be aware of it. Drinking and swearing and sleeping around is wrong. It will always be, no matter how much the "world" embraces it, it is still wrong. There are also sick people in the world that take children that are not theirs and brainwash them never thinking about the consequences of their actions or the way it will affect other people, changing so many lives forever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Winter Room by Gary Poulsen

I know I know!!! Another book by Gary....He is really truly a great writer! So I came across this little book by him called the Winter Room so I checked it out. It sat in the library box here at home for about a month...Finally I picked it up and read it. Took probably 3 hours...Which I didn't use all at once....
It was about a little family living on a farm and the written from the youngest boys perspective. The mom and dad and two uncles were from Norway. During the winter the one uncle would tell stories about the old country. There were lots of logging stories, Viking stories and a love story. (very innocent and sad story about a girl that died). The book also described how hard it was working on the farm and how the boy hated the slaughtering of the animals in the fall. (yucky details but puts it in perspective because this was the cycle of life on the farm to survive.)
I would say this was a WHOLE BOOK. I enjoyed the short read and the country I never really think about...Norway. Interesting.