Monday, June 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

"There is no substitute for books
in the life of a child."
~Mary Ellen Chase

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Recommendations from Grandson 3.4

Grandson 3.4

This little guy has a 3rd to 4th grade reading level.
I think his mind went blank when I asked him what he liked to read.

Here are his recommendations:

Product Details

Product Details

 Product Details

And The Scooby Doo Series 

The Scooby Doo series has 34 books at last count. They are fun mystery chapter books.
I loved watching the cartoons as a kid and now my grandson loves the books.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review of Think Murder by Cassidy Salem

Discovering the body of a friend and colleague was not what Adina Donati had in mind when she moved to Washington D.C. in search of excitement. An administrative assistant at a prestigious think tank, Adina is drawn into the middle of the murder investigation. The police don’t seem to be making much progress until Adina stumbles onto important clues and discovers just how dangerous life in the nation’s capitol can be.

Think Murder
by Cassidy Salem

What did I think?

At first I had a hard time relating to the main character.  Some people take a little longer for me to get to know, but as I read she became a real person.  I found myself caring about what happened to her. I had a hard time putting down the book and turned each page with a warning voice, "you know you shouldn't trust someone you barely know."

This book has a comfortable, cozy mystery feel to it--slow and steady pace building suspense. All of the characters were well developed like I knew them and could point them out on the street.

Speaking of streets--the story is set in Washington D. C. and felt authentic.

It is very well written without description overload. The ending was different from what I expected. Who knows, there could be a sequel out there.

I gave it

Thursday, June 18, 2015

FREEBIE FRIDAY! Review of Picture of Grace by Josh Armstrong Illustrated by Taylor Bills

"When I grow up, I want to be just like you," said Grace

"That's very kind of you," said Grandpa Walt, "but I can think of nothing better than you simply being yourself."
Six-year-old Grace aspires to be an artist like her beloved grandfather Walt. Every week, she goes to his house and watches with great joy as he paints.

Of course, not everyone appreciates Grandpa Walt's artwork. But as Walt tells Grace, "Some people appreciate the hard work while others just want the painting to be finished. But you can't be distracted by either group."

When tragedy strikes, Grace takes it upon herself to honor Grandpa Walt in a special way. Through her act of love and kindness, Grace's family discovers an amazing secret about Walt's final, unfinished masterpiece.

Picture of Grace
by Josh Armstrong
Illustrated by Taylor Bills

My thoughts:

This is a sweet, and thought provoking story. The other reviews on Amazon are more about the comfort the story gave related to the loss of a loved one. I believe this story goes deeper.

So many times, we overlook the contributions of our children. We take it at face value, or as something that needs to be cleaned up without finding out why they colored on the wall or picked every flower in the garden. As a young, impatient mom I saw the annoying and the frustrating things more often than not. I blame it on a lack of sleep. I can appreciate their worth so much easier now that I am a grandmother. I can see what was meant to be a gift in what I once saw as frustrating.

It reminds me of a movie (that I can't remember the title of) about a tired, frustrated mom whose little girl drew crayon pictures on the wall. Her initial reaction was the frustrated one. Later, instead of washing the wall, she finds a couple of empty frames to put over the wall art. That taught her daughter that she and her artwork were valued.

You'll enjoy the ending. I think that Delilah Kain's mommy was the kind of mom who made Delilah scrub the walls when she colored on them.

The illustrations are adorable and full of details.

I give it ****

Did I mention it is FREE!!!
Only this weekend. Don't miss out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Book Blurb
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.

I read this book, for the first time, 40 years ago when I was in high school. I didn't remember very many of the details, but I remembered enjoying it.
Our ward's book club chose this book for April. I'm glad I decided to read it again. After this many years it was like reading it for the first time only with the perspective of experience and hindsight.
A couple of things really impressed me this time through. The first thing is how rich the descriptions are. I felt a part of everyday southern life; I felt sticky from the heat and humidity while I fanned myself on the front porch, or sitting in the crowded courtroom; I felt the freedom of the last day of school. I was in the story like a fly on the wall watching human nature unfold.
Second, I was surprised by the humanity of Atticus Finch. No matter the offense he responded with kindness and understanding.
I was also surprised by the sharp contrasts; Atticus Finch, the good and reasonable man versus Mr. Ewell, the child-beating drunk, both equal in opposition.
This book was not only a good example of individual character development, but it also shows in depth the sociological and cultural factors. It is a good study in human nature and mob mentality.
It made me wish that I could write like that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Recommendations from Granddaughter 1.4

Granddaughter 1.4

This granddaughter loves books about fairies, princesses, and fairy princesses. Anything related to Frozen  has been at the top of her list for the last two years.
These are her book recommendations:

1.3 loves any fairy stories related to Tinker Bell.

We can't forget Frozen-- Frozen books, dolls, songs--the whole she-bang!

She also Loves Little Critter and his whole family!
I love that she learns from these books.

She really enjoys all of the Berenstain Bears books, but this story is a special favorite.

During the summer, her family goes to the Library every two weeks. I love that my grandkids have developed a love of reading. It comes from both parents.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Anne Frank

If Anne Frank was alive she would be 86 years old today.
Six months ago I came across a few quotes from her diary and added them to mine.
I'm still amazed at the wisdom of a thirteen year old girl,
but then she lived a life-time in those last few years,
and suffered greatly in her last seven months.
She and her older sister, Margot, died of typhus
a few weeks before the British liberated their camp.

This last quote is prophetic.
 Because of her Diary she has gone on living long after her death.
Generations will continue to learn of her and read her diary.

Anne Frank

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amy's Review of Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby

Passing Through Perfect
by Bette Lee Crosby

Book Summary/Teaser:

It’s 1946. The war is over. Millions of American soldiers are coming home and Benjamin Church is one of them. After four years of being away he thought things in Alabama would have changed, but they haven’t. Grinder’s Corner is as it’s always been—a hardscrabble burp in the road. It’s not much, but it’s home. 

When Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines, he catches sight of Delia. Before their first dance ends, he knows for certain she’s the one. They fall madly in love; happily, impatiently, imprudently, in love. It doesn’t matter that her daddy is staunchly opposed to the thought of his daughter marrying a cotton farmer, never mind a poor one. 

It’s true Benjamin has little to offer; he’s a sharecropper who will spend his whole life sweating and slaving to do little more than put food on the table. But that’s how things are in Alabama. Benjamin is better off than most; he has a wife, a boy he adores, and a house that doesn’t leak rain. Yes, Benjamin considers himself a lucky man until the fateful night that changes everything. 

Genre:  Realistic Fiction
Content: Some violence and intense scenes
Publisher:  Bent Pine Publishing
Release date: January 2015
Number of Pages:  254

Amy's thoughts:

This is a powerful book.  Full of trials and tragedies and hard times.  I didn't come to really appreciate the title of the book until I had finished it.  It has a great message about life.  It's hard to read about sadness and pain, but it is somehow empowering to get a piece of what someone else has gone through and gain an understanding for a completely different way of life.  I was wrapped up in this book.  I liked the way the view point changes from time to time so you can get an idea for each of the main characters' feelings. 

Rating: ***** 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Quote of the Day

"You write your first draft with your heart.
You rewrite with your mind." 

  ~William Forrester

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Amy Reviews These is my Words by Nancy Turner

A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the author's own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the turbulent events, both joyous and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose.

Rich in authentic everyday details and alive with truly unforgettable characters, These Is My Words brilliantly brings a vanished world to breathtaking life again.
These is my Words
by Nancy E. Turner

Genre:  Realistic Fiction
Content: Some violence and intense scenes
Publisher:  Harper Perennial
Release date: April 1, 2008
Number of Pages:  416

My Opinion:

            This is wonderful!  By wonderful I mean it is very impacting.  Some of the parts were hard to read and extremely sad, it really makes you think about life and pain.  Stories like these always make me so grateful for everything I have.  Not just the modern conveniences and technologies, but it brings to light so many other things we commonly take for granted.  It is inspiring how Sarah can carry on in the face of so much adversity and hardship.  It is not a fairy story with a "happily ever after" ending that I enjoy so much.  It's better than that because it's 'real.'  I use quotes because I know the true story was added to and somewhat fictionalized for the book.  But the characters and the circumstances are so touching it is hard to not feel connected to them.  This is a great read, and if you love it too, there are two other books the author has written about Sarah as well!

Rating: *****