Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Onion Tears by Diana Kidd

A little Vietnamese girl called Nam-Huaong tries to adjust to her new home in Australia but she misses her parents and grandfather so much. She tries ignore the other children at school but that just backfires and they start teasing her and being really mean. She refused to talk at first but finally she can't hold it in anymore after making friends with her sick teacher. They become really good friends.

The book is really good because it shows the perspective of the little girl in a new country with so many new things around her and not very many people understanding her. She writes pretend letters to a little yellow canary and we get to see what she is really thinking and feeling. Eventually the story turns around and the little girl learns to make friends, trust and love again.

Whole Book

Monday, May 21, 2007

Silent to the Bone by e.l.konigsburg

This was a very suspenseful book and I couldn't hardly put it down because I just had to know what was going to happen next. The book starts out with a 911 call. A baby is in a coma and a 13 yr. old boy is blamed. He is put in a juvenile behavioral center. He can't speak, can't defend himself, and doesn't know what to do. Luckily he has a best friend that is able to communicate with him. He helps solve the crime and finds out what really happened.

The book is a New York Times Bestseller and written by a Newbery award winning author. It has a bunch of psychology to justify and figure out the boy and why things ended up as they did. I wouldn't recommend this book for kids under the age of 12 because there were some adult themes in it. It has a lot of feeling in the story and a wonderful duplication of what friends are really like. They stick with you through thick and thin.

Whole Book/Healing Book

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

Memoirs of a Girlhood Amoung Ghosts.
This book was recommended by a sister in law that had read it for a book group. It talks about what it was like to grow up as a female in Chinese-American culture. It is in the nonfiction/literature section. The book is a bit choppy or maybe that is how it is supposed to me. It doesn't really read like a novel because it isn't, I think it is almost like a poem but nothing rhymns.

I am so glad I am not Chinese. There is a good reason why not too, I would never be able to survive the past like they have too. I wouldn't be strong enough to endure what their ansestors have been through. I couldn't process the complex language or the traditions. It is amazing to me to be Chinese.

This book is a bit strange in parts and very disturbing. I feel sorry for the girl telling it. She was so confussed by her mom and culture. She had a hard time fitting in with the new culture of America yet still hang on to the old traditions that were still part of her family. Her mother was really confussed but did the best she knew how to do in a new land. They owned a laundry mat and worked hard. She usually scared the girl with stories to teach things to her. Girls were garbage and worthless in China but now they could be and do anything, they were intellegent and able to go to school. This was hard for some parents stuck in the old ways to understand and except. Yet life goes on and new generations were born and raised in America, the old was being forgotton and swept under the rug.

Broken Book

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Penguins are pretty in pink!

My daughter is 5. She had a Birthday Party today. She thinks she is the most important person in the world. She is.
Of course she got everything she could remember ever wanting but sadly the horse for our backyard didn't happen.
She loves penguins and pink so the party was mostly pink and the cake was a penguin.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Freedom Walkers The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman

In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white man. This event prompted the Montgomery bus boycott that eventually helped end segregation on buses...this wasn't the end of the story...

I loved this book, it took the history of that era and brought it to life...connecting it together with quotes from key people who were brave and smart and didn't become weary of the task at hand. I loved this quote from an older lady, Mother Pollard, she said, "My feets is tired, but my soul is rested." She walked to work every day during the boycott.

We only ever hear about Martin Luther King Jr., he did remarkable things in keeping the protests non-violent and rallying everyone to the same cause united together but there were also so many people that helped make it all happen. There were lawyers, there were citizens there were church going baptist, preachers and people to loan their cars to others so they wouldn't have to ride the bus to get to work. It took a whole city and more to come together for the long haul. AND they did it! Bus segregation laws were unconstitutional and this had to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court...kind of mind boggling for me.

I loved the pictures in this book, they brought the history that happened before I was born to life for me.

History Classic, Whole book.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

(yeah that is the authors real name)

"Honeybees depend not only on physical contact with the colony but also require its social companionship and support. Isolate a honeybee from her sisters and she will soon die."
-The Queen Must Die And Other Affairs Of The Bees And Men

This was a great book! This is a book about a girl that finds a new family or sisterhood somewhere unexpected and goes on a journey of healing. The book also introduces a new thing to me...a Black Madonna. hmmm!

A young girl accidentally kills her mother when she was 4 yrs. old and then has to live with her really mean father. Of course she runs away and finds a new "mom". The story unravels so nicely and throughout the book life is compared to a beehive. The girl is so lonely but she finds love from so many people, all are black which she doesn't seem to mind although all around her people think that is strange. She also starts to understand about the world around her and sees it in a new way. The story takes place right around the time the Civil Rights Act is passed and Black and White families are mixed in society, going to the same theaters and sitting next to each other, registering to vote and attending the same schools, no more segregation. South Carolina is a hard place to be during this time. Many people are still living in the past and can't get over prejudices. Even the police are sometimes bad.

The Story mainly focused on mothers and the women who become our true mothers. Love is so remarkable. The girl finds herself and learns to live again. This was such a great Healing book. I would read it again someday and probably get a bunch more out of it that I missed this time. I think Bees are really amazing creatures and we could learn a lot from them.