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May 2020

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

09th December 2008

The Book ThiefFantastic.  This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.  I don’t have the time to write a review that will do this book justice, but I highly recommend it.  It will make you think, probably make you cry, and will stay with you for a long time.  Add this to your “must-read” list.

One note:  The prologue starts out a little strange–stick with it because the book will draw you in quickly.  Once you’ve finished the book, go back and reread the prologue.

Peeled by Joan Bauer

24th November 2008

PeeledHildy is a newspaper reporter for her high school newspaper.  She is commited to following in her late father’s footsteps by becoming an investigative reporter.  When a local haunted house starts making sensational headlines in the town paper, Hildy decides to find the truth behind the wild rumors.  Hildy is a fantastic character–strong, funny and real.  I enjoyed seeing her grow from a timid writer to a confident reporter.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Perennial Classics)This book has to be one of my favorite books of all time. I don’t remember when I first read it–middle school maybe? But every few years, I dig it out and rediscover it again. I’d be hard-pressed to describe exactly what I like best about this book. Overall I’d say that I love the Nolan family, who struggles not only to survive, but thrive, against great odds. But my favorite scene in the book is definitely when Francie retreats to her shady apartment balcony on a peaceful Saturday afternoon with a glass of ice water, a bowl of candy, a comfortable pillow, and of course, a good book. Does it get any better than that?

Somebody Else's KidsThis was the first book I ever read by Hayden. I read it first years ago, loved it, but forgot about it. Then, when I was at my mom’s house last summer, she had another Hayden book, One Child, which I read. That reminded me of this book, so I read it over again.

As do most of her books, this one chronicles one school year with Hayden and her classroom. This time, she’s teaching as a resource room teacher, but also is given the responsibility of teaching 4 children who don’t fit in anywhere else. My favorite storyline involves Lori, a first grade student who just can’t learn how to read, no matter what anybody tries. Eventually, Hayden comes to realize that for Lori, there are more important things than reading. Because this story takes place early in Hayden’s career, she has a hard time summoning the courage to stand up to school officials and fighting for Lori.

Four short stories about a library card that changes the lives of the teenagers who find it. Each story illustrates the power of reading. The first story, entitled “Mongoose” was my favorite.

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