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I just love Ann Martin, and this book made me love her even more. She has written a fantastic story about sisters and family. Pearl is the younger, 4th grade sister to middle school age Lexie. Pearl tries hard (usually) but just can’t understand why Lexie acts the way she does. When the girls’ grandpa comes to live with them in their cozy apartment, the girls are forced to share a room. Pearl is thrilled with the chance to observed Lexie up close. Now, just maybe, she can figure out her big sister once and for all!

Older fans of Beezus and Ramona books will love this sweet, but realistic, look at the complicated relationship between big and little sisters. A perfect book for 3rd-6th grade girls.

As the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire draws closer, there have been a slew of books published, recalling the horror of that day, honoring those who risked their lives to save others and reminding our country of the need for laws to protect workers from unscrupulous, selfish bosses.  While I am no fan of unions in their current state, every time I read one of these books, I am reminded of the reason we have unions, and of the good that they have accomplished for our country.

Political messages aside, this was a good book.  It traces the journey of Raisa, a young Jewish girl, who travels from her Polish hometown by herself to New York City, in search of her sister.  When Raisa arrives in New York, her sister is nowhere to be found.  So Raisa settles in to find a job and begin hunting the city for her sister.

Some other good books about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory are Lost by Jacqueline Davies; Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix; and Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch.

Lost by Jacqueline Davies

05th March 2010

I was at the library, juggling both of my kids, when I spotted this book.  Normally I don’t even bother looking for my own books when both kids are with me (most of my book browsing is done on-line these days.)  But the cover caught my eye, so I snatched it up as the 3 of us whirled by, and I’m so glad that I did.  The simple cover (hats and a scarf on a hook) and short, somewhat vague title — Lost–was the outer shell of an exciting book with a unique perspective on The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, an event about which I’ve read several books.

I’ve been trying to summarize the plot without giving anything away, and can’t.  So I’m not going to even try.  This is a fantastic book, hard to put down, and the suspense builds with each chapter.  Go read this book.

True Colors by Kristin Hannah

21st September 2009

I read it.  It was fine.  It got better as it went along, but never really drew me in.  I probably won’t remember much about it in a few weeks.

The Carlson sisters leave their homeland of Sweden to come to America.  But once they arrive in Chicago, the land of opportunity is so much different than they expected.  Did they make a mistake?  This is a sweet, somewhat predictable story.  It’s much better than Austin’s last book, A Proper Pursuit, which I didn’t even finish because it was so horrible.  My biggest complaint about this book is my complaint about most Christian fiction: Even though authors try to write about female characters finding strength in God, they almost always find a handsome husband too.  Is it possible to find God without finding a man?

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