Book review for The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
(G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, March 3, 2020)
Beautifully written, this is a vivid story of yearning woven amidst musical imagery that elicits emotions and experiences right along with what the protagonist is living. It’s a bit Narnia, with its secret passageway to a magical world, a bit “Beauty and the Beast” and the tangled overgrown cursed kingdom that needs liberation, and maybe even a nugget of “Amadeus” and the deep struggles of Salieri.
Book review for Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
(Kokila, June 18, 2019)
The Patron Saints of Nothing is a bit of a heavy read, but it is enlightening. It's a book that sheds light on the political and social state of the Philippines, a place that many in the US may not even be aware of. There are human rights atrocities going on and the world is looking the other way. The book provides some good education along with an interesting mystery and a variety of characters. There is heartbreak and frustration, but that’s reality and light needs to be shed on these dark secrets.
Book review for Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson
(Razorbill, June 30, 2020)
There are enough irritations in this read that I sometimes thought I could only give it two stars, but in the end, because of a couple of interesting twists I decided I could give a three and tell other readers to give it a try and see for themselves.
Book review for All the Past Days, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor
(Viking Books for Young Readers, January 7, 2020)
I’ve never read this author before. In fact, I didn’t even realize this was an ongoing story/series of the Logan family until I was almost finished. Which means it stands alone pretty well without having read the earlier books of the series. The reason I discovered there were previous books with this family is because I kept wondering why this was categorized as a “Teen” novel. I’m guessing when the author started the series, the protagonist was a teen. Now she’s in her twenties and thirties. It didn’t feel at all like a book from the Young Adult genre. That being said, it was still an interesting read, even though I was looking for a YA book.
Book review for Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown
(Henry Holt and Company, January 14, 2020)
This story is heart-wrenching and difficult, yet uplifting between those tough spots. The trials and tribulations endured are hard to read. I wanted to reach into the story and rescue the protagonist, who also is the writer, as this is inspired by the true life of author Echo Brown. I also wanted to lash out at the people who hurt her. At this time of racial pain and awakening in our country, the story is enlightening about the never-ending pain endured by black citizens, and especially black women. I could relate to the teen being unable to verbalize her inner thoughts and advocate for herself, leaving her vulnerable to misunderstandings, and at worst, predators, because I’ve, too, had those times when I couldn’t form the words I needed to speak out for myself.
Book review for Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario
THREE and a HALF STARS
(Simon Pulse, February 11, 2020)
Turtle Under Ice is styled a novel by its author, but I’d audaciously argue that it is more a novella, due to its length. I finished it cover to cover in 90 minutes. The work is laid out as if written in verse, giving it quite an artistic, poetic look and feel. Regardless of what it is or isn’t, I found it an intriguing read and worth the hour and half it took out of my Sunday afternoon.
To avoid spoilers, I’ll only say it turns out to be much different from what it starts out to be, or what it is represented to be by its marketing plugs. Be that as it may, it pulls off the change without betrayal, not as a bait and switch but as a device to drive home its purpose.
Book review for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
(Balzer + Bray, February 28, 2017)
Black, white, or brown—read this because it’s a fantastic book. It’s a compelling story with wonderful, fully-developed characters and a page-turning narrative. Protagonist 16-year-old Starr is easy to care about and root for, even in the midst of her fear and indecision, and her self-perceived cowardice. She straddles life between her low-income black neighborhood and her mostly-white choice-in suburban high school. Unidentified witness to the murder of her friend, Starr has a life-altering decision to make that will define who she is for the rest of her life.
Book review for Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
(The Dial Press January 6, 2020)
Dear Edward is a story inspired by the real-life tragedy of the ten-year-old Dutch boy, Ruben van Assouw, who was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Lybia in 2010. All other 103 souls aboard the plane perished. This novel’s protagonist is twelve-year-old Edward, a boy who loses his parents and cherished older brother in this tale’s crash. His aunt and uncle, who suffer from infertility and have no children of their own, take him home to try to piece together a new life in a new town.
The kids are wearing their complimentary Carter's sleepers. They're also modeling booties Aunt Cyndi's friend crocheted for them. They were not amused.
By day as I lay on our couch when I was pregnant, trying to keep my contractions to a minimum and to put off being admitted to the hospital as long as possible, I watched the show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (my one hour of TV I allotted myself in the daytime so I wouldn’t get incredibly depressed or fry my brain). They were giving away mini-vans. I really, really wanted to win one of their mini-vans. We only had one car and it was a small sedan. Many times each week without fail, I mailed in their requisite postcard so that I could be entered into their drawing.
Third Grade: The kids in their uniforms ready to go to school.
This week we remembered what happened seventeen years ago on another Tuesday, on September 11. Every year when that date comes around, it is a somber day. We all remember where we were when the planes struck. It changed our lives irrevocably.
This past Tuesday, a friend on Facebook asked for memories of 9/11 and it was a solemn task, yet part of the ongoing healing, to go back and reflect on the day, its impact, and how it changed our lives.
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time.