Visit Me at LibraryThing


June 2023

Ludelphia lives in Gee’s Bend, an isolated community of share croppers in rural Alabama. Although her family struggles to make ends meet, Ludelphia finds joy in her stitching and in creating quilts that tell a story. When her mother becomes desperately ill, Ludelphia knows it’s up to her to bring a doctor to Gee’s Bend. Leaving her hometown for the first time in her life, Ludelphia ventures out with only her stitching in her pocket. Determined at first to save her mother, Ludelphia soon realizes that her entire community is in peril, and it’s up to her to save them all.

Schmidt has done it again. He wrote a book about a seventh grade bully that I, a 30-something mother of 2, could not put down. Somehow, Schmidt managed to tie the Vietnam War, an alcoholic father, the Apollo space missions, Audubon’s Birds of America, a playwright, a grocery store and the library into an amazing story of friendship, overcoming obstacles, and standing up for yourself. If you (and your kids) need to pick just one book to read this summer, choose Okay For Now.

touch blue by Cynthia Lord

04th January 2011

Tess Brooks’ island school will be shut down by the state, unless their school can enroll 5 more children.  So the island families agree to host 5 foster children, both to help the children and to keep their school open.  Tess is thrilled when her family welcomes an older foster brother.  All she knows about foster children has come from reading books, but she hopes that her foster brother Aaron will be just a little like Anne Shirley.

But instead of a becoming a “bosom friend,” Aaron avoids Tess and her family, and despises island living.  So Tess must take matters into her own hands.  Armed with her lucky charms, Tess crafts a plan to keep Aaron in her family and save her school at the same time.  An excellent book about family and belonging for upper elementary.

Dark Water by Laura McNeal

04th January 2011

Southern California readers will love this book for its detailed description of living in Fallbrook. From the avocado groves to the naming of streets to the smell of the air, you can tell that McNeal lives in California. The main character even takes a trip to Oceanside to eat at Ruby’s Diner. Yes, it made me homesick!

All readers will love this book for its forbidden love story, its complex yet realistic family relationships, and for the tension that increases with every page as the California fire season approaches.

Historical Fiction Roundup

30th October 2010

Blue Willow by Doris Gates

Janey and her family have been on the move since their farm failed in the dust storms of Texas.  Janey can’t even imagine staying in one place for more than a few months, and her dream is to settle in a house like the one pictured on her precious blue willow plate.  This Newbery Honor book told Janey’s story gently, and was enriched with illustrations by Paul Lantz, whose drawing style reminded me of Lois Lenski.

Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen

A fictionalized account of the Todd family’s journey to Oregon, told through the eyes of 9 year old Mary.  Written for upper elementary/middle grades, the story is authentic, full of details and awe inspiring.

Lost Childhood: My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II
A Memoir by Annelex Hofstra Layson

When the Japanese invaded the island of Java during World War II, they imprisoned the island’s Dutch citizens in prison camps for the duration of the war.  Annelex was 4 years old when she was sent to a prison camp with her mother and grandmother.  In this slim volume, she shares her memories of that horrible experience in order to honor those who suffered, and to share the lessons of compassion, freedom, and positive thinking that she learned in the camps.

Annexed: A Novel by Sharon Dogar

Anne Frank’s story has been told in many ways by many people.  But what about Peter’s story?  For the first time, an author explores what life may have been like for Peter VanPels, hiding in the annex with Anne and 6 other people.  This novel is based on Anne’s diary, other historical documents and extensive research.  Haunting, powerful, heartbreaking.

Newer Posts »