Thursday, January 31, 2008

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Well, honestly the more books I read by this author the less impressed I am. I just don't get why it was a Newberry book???

This was an unusual book, like most of the books he writes. It just didn't quite get deep enough to really grab you and teach you something...I guess a good word for this book is "shallow".

Skip it...
Healing book

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark

This was a bit different and mysterious. Also a tiny bit dry. It also received a John Newberry Medal. I don't know much about the ancient Indian people of Peru so it was interesting to have a little bit of history. I don't know if it is true or not. They worship the sun. It makes sense in the story, the sun gives life, light and grows the food...
The story is about a little boy. He is a Llama shepherd. He doesn't know what he wants in his life and feels something is missing. He goes on a little quest. He finds his answer and comes home. It took a whole book for that to happen and there are a bunch of riddles about the boys life spun all around the didn't really make all that much sense but it was a nice little story. I was confused about he time period but I found out later that is part of the whole plot...
Whole book

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rules by cynthia lord

Newberry Honor was cute. I cried in one part but it wasn't a sad book. The little girl makes friends with a boy in a wheelchair. They discover that they have a lot in common and can communicate. He has a word book that he points too and she is an artist. She sees that he needs better words and more color so she makes really cool words for his book with pictures too. Like: Awesome, Gross and Run...
She also has a very autistic brother. She is always trying to teach him what he should do and what he shouldn't not put toys in the fish tank and not to take off his clothes in public...
Anyway it is a cute book and I like the way the author uses the play on the rules...the girl discovers rules for herself. In life her friendships aren't always what she dreams they will be...she really finds her true self in ways she can't imagine...
Whole Book

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Joseph Smith the prophet by Trueman G. Madsen

And you were beginning to think I didn't read anything but Fiction. This was such a good book. I haven't read anything in a long time about Joseph Smith Jr. besides the stuff at church, just a quote here and a quote there. NOW this years manual for RS/Prsthd is The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church Joseph Smith! It is huge and will last two years...who wants to pack the book around for two years? Okay that is different story...if I didn't bring so much stuff for the baby and the kids and my calling then that book would be no big deal but it adds like 2 lbs to my scripture bag.

Truman G. Madsen has such a way of sharing his knowledge...he took history, which sometimes I find to be dry and boring but not useless, and he added the little details and blurbs from journal entries of actual people that were there with Joesph Smith. It added color to the retelling of brother Joseph's life. Plus his spiritual insights were amazing. He really looked deeper then just the surface of this man's incredible life. He tried to present ten characterizations of the prophets that are typical in Judeo-Christian literature.

Joseph Smith was a mighty prophet of God, in the latter days. His life was part of a bigger plan. He had a divine destiny to restore Christ's church here on the Earth. Building temples and receiving the keys to the priesthood alone is a huge feat but he also translated the Book of Mormon, received revelation, did missionary work, performed miracles with the power of God, had a family, faught off the adversary at every turn, was persecuted, tared and feathered, and one of the highlights...he saw God the father and his son Jesus Christ in the living flesh. It is awesome that he did all this and more in 38 years. He wasn't much older then me!

Whole Book. It was really worth my time to read it. If you would like to borrow my copy let me know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Aesop's Fables retold by Ann McGovern

Did you know that Aesop was a slave that lived in Greece over 3,000 years ago? Some have said he helped his master with wisdom and since this was admired most by his master he set him free. He also became the honored guest at many kings throughout his life.
Aesop's fables have become a part of our daily language and how we express ourselves. My favorite is "don't count your chicken's before they hatch."
Aesop never wrote any of these stories down. He told them to people who passed them on and 200 yrs. after he died the first collection of fables showed up. There are lots of versions of these tales and they are translated into many languages.
I think I am going to work on these wise words,..."Where force fails, patience will often succeed.". AND " When you try to please everyone, you end up by pleasing no one."

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

Oh so funny! I did not know this book has so much controversy surrounding it until I looked at the comments on Some librarians won't even let it in their libraries....does that make you curious and do you want to read it? Ha! Wait till you hear why...the story starts out with a little girl in a remote CA town Pop. 43 in the dessert. She is listening in on a AA meeting through a whole in the wall. Someone tells a story about how he found his higher power and it involved his dog almost dieing because he got bit by a rattle snake in his....okay here is the controversial word..."scrotum". When I read it I was laughing so hard. I didn't even think it was a bad word or something kids shouldn't hear. I was more concerned about the AA meeting with all the people addicted to things and how children would understand something like that.

Anyway, I thought the book was very thought provoking and I loved the way the little girl is trying to find her "higher power" and working through things in life, like being excepted by her guardian and dealing with the death of her mom. It was written with depth. There is a little boy that likes to get cookies from everyone and have them read him a story. He ends up being a key character. He is only five but deals with hard things in life too in his own child like way. The girl has a survival backpack with the best things for survival in there. She has little containers to catch bugs and she is always restocking her backpack to go with how she is feeling and what she thinks will come next in life. There are lots of special characters in the book that keep you on your toes, like the short cowboy guy that fries everything and the French guardian lady and the bus driver that is mean. Ilike her best friend the boy that ties knots all the time and I bet he will be President when he grows up.

I think it was a great Healing Book. Short read and worth it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Which High School Musical Character Are You?

I can't believe it. I didn't even answer any of the questions with things about Sports. Troy? I wanted to be the cute little music writer girl. She is cool.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Books Read in 2007

Well, I reached my goal to read 55 books this year. I actually ended up reading 65. Of Course now that I look back on the list there were about 7-8 children's chapter books. They count but the number isn't as impressive. What is impressive if the time I wasted on some of these books! Golly! I need to pick more books of deeper substance for 2008, I am living in a fantasy/fiction world!

Overall it was fun and I finished a few series and jumped on a few themes, like Black History/slavery, Women's movements in America and China, Jane Austen!, the The Great Depression and dust bowl area, Middle Eastern conflict (fictional accounts), Dragons, and quite a few classics! I am glad to say that I read mostly WHOLE BOOKS but sad to say that I read a few broken and just plain evil bent books for a book group, yuck.

Hooray! 2007 (favorite books in bold)

1)INKHEART by Cornellia Funke
2)The Anybodies by N.E. Bode
3)The Grim Grotto #11 by Lemony Snicket
4)The Dragons of Blueland by Ruth Stiles Gannett
5)Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
6)Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers by Jean Fritz
7)Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
8)Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
9)A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
10)Northanger Abby by Jane Austin
11)Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
12)Emma by Jane Austin
13)Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
14)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
15)Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
16)My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
17)Ultra Marathon Confessions of an all-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes
18)Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry
19)Because of Winn Dixie
20)The Sign of the Beaver
21)The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
22)Little Britches by Ralph Moody
23)Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
24)Onion Tears by Diana Kidd
25)Silent to the Bone by e.l.konigsburg
26)The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
27)Freedom Walkers The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman
28)The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
29)A Cricket in Time Square by George Selden
30)Special Men A LRP's Recollections by Dennis Foley
31)The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice
32)A Final Farewell by Patricia Wiles
33)Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
34)The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
35)The Virginian A Horesman of the Plains by Owen Wister
36)The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes by James L. Ferrell
37)Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator by Augusta Stevenson
38)Four Perfect Pebbles a Holocaust Story by Lisa Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan
39)Beauty by Robin McKinley
40)Dyslexia by Paula Wiltshire
41)Incident at Hawk's Hill - A Novel by Allan W. Eckert
42)Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
43)Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
44)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Rk Rowling
45)Mansfield Park by Jane Austin
46)Dragonsong by Anne McCafferey
47)Under the Same Stars by Dean Hughes
48)Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey
49)Eight Cousins by Alcott
50)Gap Creek The Story of a Marriage by Robert Morgan
51)Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater
52)The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
53)a Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
54)The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
55)The 13th Tale by Diane Sutterfield
56)The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
57)Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
58)A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
59)Crime Files: for-Minute Forensic Mysteries by Jeremy Brown
60)The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
61)Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey
62)Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

63)Your Mother Was A Person: A Work In Progress by Louis M. Palmer
64)Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
65)The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter

This is the 2006 completed book list back in Jan. blog, just in case you are wondering what I read last year compared to this year.

Your Mother Was A Person: A Work In Progress by Louis M. Palmer

I love this book more then any other book I read all year! I don't know if maybe I'm a bit partial because I know the author but maybe that just made it all the more well rounded when I could hear the person reading it in their own voice as I read it.

This book was written by a friend in my book group in Castro Valley, CA. She is getting on in years and actually is almost the oldest person I know but she earned every wrinkle on her beautiful smiling face! She is a grandmother now and wanted to share some of her childhood memories with her own children and grandchildren. She took a community college writing class a few years back and had quite a collection of stories. One time at our book group she shared a few with us. They were some of the funniest and best stories I had heard in a long time. Everyone started to give her advice on how she could get them published. She kind of just humbly blushed and didn't pay any attention...but one of my Friends just didn't give up the idea. She and her daughter convinced her to give it a try. They worked long and hard to organize and make the cover and all the other things you need to do to get a book published, which I can't even imagine. Then just before Christmas they announced it was really going to happen and we could all pre-order our books. There is even a website:

I had to wait till after Christmas to get my copy because I was out of town, when I got back I was so glad when my friend called and said I could pick it up. I did right away and didn't put it down until I had read the whole thing!

I love it!!!!! I learned that you can't judge people from what you see now. Everyone has gone through so much and people you think you know actually have very interesting pasts and experiences that help make them who they are today. I loved the stories told from a child's innocent perspective. Like the movie star glasses and the doll that was so ugly, I loved the funny car stories as different people learned to drive. I think the saddest yet insightful story was one told later after surgery and how the drugs played tricks on the mind. The poems are refreshing and fun to read. I also liked the historical perspectives and information on the area in Southern Utah where most of the stories took place.

The book has inspired me to try to write some of my memories before they are gone and can't be shared again.