Friday, May 30, 2008

Prince Caspian (the book not the movie) by CS Lewis

LOVED it, of course. I remember reading the beginning of this book a few times but I think this was the first time I actually got to the end. I can't wait to see the movie, I wonder how they do the tree people. (don't tell me, I am probably the only one that is waiting for the movie to come out in Redbox.)

I wonder if I would believe in Aslan no matter what, or be a doubter??? I think mice with swords are cool. Do my children hear enough about the Old Testament? Are they familiar with the stories of Jesus, how the world was made and who we can turn to for help in our daily lives? Will they be able to rise to the occasion and face challenges in life with faith and strength from God?


And another thing...

And can anyone guess where this picture was taken? Here are some clues: I didn't take it, I wasn't there, those kids are strange (they take after their father), there is something peculiar about that fountain...and the house behind it...tiny steps will make anyone go crazy if you climb them enough times!

Monday, May 19, 2008

CS Lewis

We listened to The Horse and His Boy and I just finished The Magician's Nephew. Love them! We read them so we could go see the movie Prince Caspian but you can see we didn't read Prince Caspian yet...ummm, that as the whole point. I can't get a hold of this book on CD or tape from the library. Everyone must have had the same as we wait we will read the rest of the Narnia Series. I am not good at waiting...I wanted to see the movie!!!! Of course my son has read it a couple of times and is very disappointed to not see it last weekend right when it came out and waiting is not his forte.

Did anyone else see it? Don't tell me what happens but tell me if it is worth waiting for.

Bool of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

This is one of her new books! She also has another book coming out near the end of the summer! I can't wait! (she wrote Goose Girl and Princess Academy if you can't remember who she is.)

This book is another coming of age story of a young maid and a princess but with a twist. I was surprised that the story was not about the princess but about the servant girl instead. I really liked this book after I got through the first quarter, that part was dragging but I realized later it was on purpose. Then right before the middle it started getting very interesting and finally came together.

Hale wrote it in a very unique style, every chapter is a journal entry. She also took the story from a Grimm Brother's fairy tale and researched Medieval Mongolia. It had a kind of Genghis Khan feel to parts of it. Since I am not familiar with this area of the world in Asia or its folklore I found the story very intriguing and inspiring. There was adventure, romance, drama and mystery. A very unpredictable ending but of course a happier ever after kiss was on the last page, that was where the fairy tale comes back in.

The two girls get locked in a tower. They almost go completely mad. They don't stay there for the whole story but 1000 days is a long long time to be in a tower. I won't say anything more or I will give away some of the suspense in the story. They also really hate rats, which live in the tower with them eating all their food. The story has some violent parts and quite a few heroic parts. There is a very evil man and a young dreamy prince. I would read it again and think it was a really fun book!

Whole Book, Healing Book

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Two books but since the second one picks up right when the 1st one ends I am putting them together in this blog.

Roald Dahl is one of my favorites! LOVE HIS WEIRD SILLY CHILDREN'S BOOKS!!! I don't think I will like any of this weird adult books. Yep I'll pass on those.

To refresh your memory some of his children's books are: BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Those are just his most famous books but my favorite is The Witches. This book was inspired by his grandmother. He also has some really weird cookbooks out too.

This is the strangest little known fact about him. He wrote that horribly scary movie the Gremlins! Kim do you remember that one? Are you still having nightmares?

He was born in 1916, he spent a lot of time in boarding schools but despite that he got a great education in England. His children's book career didn't start until 1960 when he actually had children.

These two books are a sort of autobiography of the memories that stick out most in his childhood and his service during WWII. He was actually born in Wales and is Norwegian. His dad died when he was still young. He loved to ride his bike, eat candy bought from a local sweets shop and he loved playing sports.

When he finished school he got a job in Africa for Shell. He then joined the air defense to fight Hitler. He was very very lucky and had some narrow escapes every day he did that. He hates snakes (because there are quite a few in Africa that almost killed him). He loves giraffe, elephants and all jungle creatures.

Both books were very entertaining. He had a good childhood. He commented a lot on the Head masters at some of the boarding schools and the violence that was common in that time against rule breakers or just poor innocent boys being boys. He still can't get his mind around the spankings and beatings that were allowed at some of his schools. He also had his share for pranks and once was accused of cheating but of course they didn't believe him when he said he wasn't cheating just asking for some ink from the boy next to him.

He had some hard times too. It seems that he was always faced with death of loved ones and sickness. He was a very generous man and learned a lot of compassion and patience. He later helped others in the community and even the world through donations and personal friendships and visits with very sick children.
There is a cool website for his books

Healing Books

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sherlock Holmes selected stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

I never really read any of his stuff before. It was pretty good and very mysterious. Whole Book

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

What a fun book! A murder mystery written in a children's book! There were clues throughout the book just waiting to have someone put them together and figure it all out! Which a few people almost do and only one does completely in the end.
I really wished I had made a chart of the different characters in the book and the clues that went with each one. There were 16 suspects. I kept getting them all mixed up! Luckily I was reading the book on my own while listening to it with the kids in the car at the same time so I had a little review on a few parts.
One of the characters is a little girl named Turtle. She is my favorite. Instead of bottling up her problems and feelings inside she always kicks people in the shin. Hilarious! Now we have more then one person limping...
Overall the books was funny, entertaining, sly, and tricky. Each person bettered themselves and made some new friends by the end of the book.
Loved it!
Whole Book

Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfield

Okay, I didn't give the first book a lot of slack but the second and third books were really fun! I could not put them down and had to read the third right after finishing the second. I didn't get a lot of anything else done for a few days until I had come to the end.
There was lots of adventure and creativity in these last two. They were surprising and not so shallow as the first book, Uglies.
If you haven't finished the series I recommend that you do. Pretties and Specials were worth the read.
Broken Books, Healing Books

Also there is a fourth book Extras that takes place in Japan or something. I think I will skip that one. I am done with this whole world of Utopias for a while.