Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kindred Spirit: A Biography of L.M. Montgomery Creator of Anne of Green Gables

Kindred Spirit: A Biography of L.M. Montgomery Creator of Anne of Green Gables
Author: Catherine M. Andronik
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewer: Denise$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:115412/one?qu=kindred+spirit+catherine+m.+andronik&lm=ROUND_LAKE&dt=list
Summary: Kindred Spirit  is a biography on L.M. Montgomery, who is the author of the popular Anne of Green Gables series.

Review: I really enjoyed learning more about L.M. Montgomery from this excellent biography. I have read the Anne of Green Gables series when I was a child, and Montgomery’s style of writing and simplistic setting of Green Gables always had me longing for an adventurous life such as Anne Shirley’s. Catherine Andronik’s biography shows exactly how Montgomery formed Anne into a familiar character that a lot of girls can relate to and inspire to be. It becomes clear how Montgomery used her life experiences to make the series so many love. I especially enjoyed reading about Montgomery’s start as a writer and how some of the funny circumstances we think of that happened in Green Gables actually happened to her in real life. It was also interesting to see the similarities between the author and the character she created. Anyone who wants to learn more about the author of Anne of Green Gables and of how these stories came to be, this book is for you.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
Author: Sally M. Walker
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Ana

Summary: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 is one of the largest man-made explosions up to the atomic bomb. Two thousand dead, more than six thousand were blinded, and a fifth of the city were left homeless. On December 6, 1917, two ships collided in the Halifax Harbor in Canada.  One of the ships was full of munitions, both ships intended to go to Europe. This terrible explosion hit two towns, Halifax and Dartmouth, killing nearly 2,000 people. As if that wasn't devastating enough, a blizzard hit the next day, dumping more than a foot of snow on the area.

Review: A comprehensive picture of the Halifax Explosion of 1917 is told through pictures, survivor stories, and well researched information in Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917. This book is a 2014 Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award Winner.  These stories definitely touched my heart.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Listening For Lucca

Listening for Lucca
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Aleece

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Siena's visions of the past intensify when her family moves to the Maine coast hoping her little brother will begin speaking, and she connects with residents of the house from many years earlier who faced a similar problem.

Review: I was really impressed with not only the storyline but the character development as well.  While Lucca does not talk, you can still get a great sense of what he is feeling by the way he is described throughout the book.  Every little action means something; and while Siena is there to decipher his actions, you can feel what he means as a reader. While this is a historical fiction book, it feels somewhat magical with Siena being able to see the past through Sarah’s pen and Joshua's life through her dreams. Overall, I was very impressed with the way the past and the present were wound together so well and it really made an impact on the story.  It was very well written and all the emotions that the characters were feeling really came across well.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Penelopiad

Author: Margaret Atwood
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Reviewer: Lydia$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:987031/one?qu=the+penelopiad&lm=ROUND_LAKE&dt=list

Although slight in volume, Margaret Atwood's novel The Penelopiad is a dazzling book based upon the famous mythic tale. This book is an interesting blend that makes for an enjoyable read: it is part novel, part poem, and part play. It details events from Penelope’s perspective, the ever-faithful wife of Odysseus from The Odyssey. Atwood’s feminist tale is wonderfully written and filled with humor and wit.

The Penelopiad manages to summarize The Odyssey in under two hundred pages, which is a spectacular feat in and of itself. Atwood focuses primarily on Penelope’s version of events, a woman who is forced to wait for her husband for twenty years as he sails the seas battling monsters, encountering goddesses, and indulging his every whim. As the story progresses Penelope becomes her own woman, and learns quite a few things about herself.

I recommend this book for anyone who has read—or attempted to read!—The Odyssey. Atwood’s tale gives one a fresh new perspective on a classic work. The book is funny, quick to read (easily read within a day), and is just one work by a prolific and highly talented artist.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Sixty-Eight Rooms

The Sixty-Eight Rooms
Author: Marianne Malone
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Helen
Summary: Best friends, Ruthie and Jack, are on a class field trip to the Chicago Art Institute and visit the miniature Thorne Rooms where they find a mysterious key. When the key is accidentally dropped to the floor, Ruthie and Jack are amazed to discover it has a magical power and they shrink to a height of five inches. This allows them to explore the miniature rooms, which is the beginning of an amazing magical adventure transporting them to places and times in history which they never could even have imagined they would actually be observing.

Review: This is such a fun read, including magic, fantasy, and historical events, such as the French Revolution, the City of Paris, The Salem Witch trials and many more wondrous events and places. Recommended reading for ages 8-12.