Thursday, March 30, 2017

PICTURE BOOK - Egg by Kevin Henkes

Illustrated by the author
2017 Greenwillow Books
HC $17.99
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 3.97 - 713 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Endpapers: a simple checkerboard of the four pastel colors of the four eggs...looks very Easter-y

My comments: Oh my goodness, what a sweet book!  I didn't know what the surprise would be (I hadn't read any reviews, which are rich with spoilers) and I was really tickled when I got to it.  Simple, charming illustrations using a limited amount of colors AND words ... describing it as a graphic novel for toddlers is perfect.  Perfect and perfectly charming!

Goodreads:  Egg is a graphic novel for preschoolers about four eggs, one big surprise, and an unlikely friendship.

BOARD BOOK - Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop by Anna Dewdney

Illustrated by the author
2012 Viking/Penguin Young Readers
$5.99 - 7 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 3.89 - 441 ratings
My rating: 5 stars

My comments:  I've not read many board books in my time, and I read this one during our Baby Time at the library this week.  It's absolutely delightful!  Rhyme and rhythm.  Easy actions that kids can do as they read along (hop, jump, thump, touch, tap, clap, stretch, bow and hug!) Perfect.  Simple, sweet, and oh-so-rhythmic. Gotta find some more Llama Llama books!

Llama Llama TOUCH!
Llama Llama TAP!
Llama Llama Red Pajama

Can you move like Llama Llama? Watch Llama hop, stretch, touch, and tap in this third board book by Anna Dewdney. Then you can do it, too!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BOARD BOOK - Mommies Say Shhh! by Patricia Polacco

Illustrated by the author
2005 Philomel Books, Penguin
Board Book, $6.99
17 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 3.8 - 264 ratings
My rating: 4

My comments:  Yippee, a Patricia Polacco board book!  My favorite (though 'wordy') picture book writer has a book for little ones!  This 17-page board book,shows one family on their farm with all sorts of animals and is primarily written to show the sounds they make.  (I've never seen dogs who say, "buff, buff, buff," but if you don't like that you can use your own woofs or arfs.)  There are a lot of fun things happening on each two-page spread, and you can even hunt for the different family members as you proceed from page to page.  Fun!

Goodreads:  Goats say “maa-maa-maa.” Birds say “cheep-cheep-cheep.” Horses say “neigh-neigh-neigh.” Rabbits say nothing at all! But when all of these animals get together and raise a honking, braying, neighing ruckus, what does Mama say? “Shhhhhh!” Now available in this adorable board book, Patricia Polacco’s fun-filled collection of animal sounds and beautiful rural landscapes is a perfect readaloud for beginning readers. They’ll want more-more-more.

Board Books

Since I've been preparing to present "Baby Time" at the Library, I've taken a closer look at the board books that are available for babies.  These seem to circulate at the library a LOT!!!  I've always had a few of my own favorites, but think I'll try to take a little closer look for awhile.....

Dewdney, Anna Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop (a rhyming, rhythmic book about movement...clapping, hopping, hugging, etc.)

Man-Kong - Lucky New Year (a pop-up, twirl around, hands-on board book that teaches about the Chinese New Year)

Meyers, Kevin & HailyAll Aboard!  National Parks (a great gift for a new baby that either lives near a national park or has parents that are hikers and explorers.  Parks included:  Acadia, Great Smoky Mountain, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone...

Polacco, PatriciaMommies Say Shhh! (a farm animal book with all their sounds and a large family of kids to watch)

Schwartz, Betty - What Makes a Rainbow? (ribbons are included and change as each page is turned...Ella's favorite book when she was 3)

BOARD BOOK - All Aboard! National Parks by Devin & Haily Meyers

Illustrated by Haily Meyers
2016 Gibbs Smith
$9.99 board book
11 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.04 - 45 ratings
My rating: 4
Illustrations - Love the colors, errors (see below), but I like them otherwise

My comments:  I don't usually write any kind of review for board books, but I've found a couple today that take exception to that.  I love anything to do with national parks, and that there's a BOARD BOOK for little ones about them is more-than-super.  The colors are great and the illustrations are fun. Although the text is particularly sparse (it is a board book after all), the verbs used are wonderful.... savoring.... marveling at..... surveying.... experiencing.... peering over.....
          There's a map at the end with the locations of the nine parks notated.  Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon, Olympic, and Yosemite.
          I have two beefs with the illustrations, both of which tend to drive me crazy.  The first - when saguaro cacti are shown where they should not be!  There's not a single saguaro cacti at Grand Canyon National Park.  The closest one can be found in the Sonoran Desert, much to the south.  Secondly, there's a puffin denoting Acadia National Park.  Although I'm sure there are lots of puffins way out on the far outer islands of Maine, you will definitely not see one at Acadia National Park (I lived there for 30 years, so I know that for a fact). It does make me wonder if there are other misrepresentations for other parks in the book.  I know this is probably insignificant for most people, but I do wish it had been researched a little better!

Goodreads:  From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train.
          This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PICTURE BOOK - The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy by Beatrice Alemagna

Illustrated by the author
2015 Enchanted Lion Books, originally published 2014 in France
40 pgs. - one that opens out
Goodreads rating: 3.61 (470 ratings)
My rating: 4
Endpapers front: shocking pink
Endpapers back:  all the characters
Illustrations: watercolors over line art, some collage

My comments:  What a fun, fanciful story!  There's  a lot to like about this picture book.  I adore the illustrations (always love it when there's a little collage-y touches thrown in, as well as "lines" worked into the overall artwork).  The shocking pink endpapers, continuing into the story, are wonderful, as is the illustration on the closing endpaper.  There's so much to see on every page!  Perfect for five year olds...and four year olds...and six year olds....

Goodreads:  Eddie is five and a half, and thinks she is the only one in her family who isn’t really good at something.  So when she hears her little sister say “birthday—Mommy—fluffy—little—squishy,” it’s extra important for her to find this amazing present before anyone else does.  So, gregarious, charming, clever little Eddie goes all around the neighborhood to all her fabulous friends—the florist, the chic boutique owner, the antiques dealer, and even the intimidating butcher—to find one.  It’s a magical adventure that draws on Eddie’s special gifts, ones that she herself learns to appreciate.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

16 Years Now, I Can't Believe It!

Here's the post I put onto Facebook today:

     16 years ago today the world lost Steve Graves, a particularly good human being. To continue my commitment to making sure he isn't forgotten, I will continue my quest to make a difference in the world   on his behalf. Three years ago I decided to donate $14 to 14 different nonprofits in his memory. For the third year in a row I will do this – give $16 to 16 different nonprofits in his memory. And again, I'm asking anyone who might have known him or anyone who cares about me to take a moment in the next few days to give $16 to someone or somewhere that you think it will do good. And, I'd love to know what you decided to do!
     I miss him. I think of him a lot. I still cry a bit. But I look at the joy and reality of our two children and four grandchildren and continue to feel totally amazed. And grateful.
     If you've read this far, thanks so much for listening to my ramblings. Long live the memory of Steven T. Graves!

People who joined me:
Tamar Kugler (yay, Mika is deciding where!)
Kirstie Dunbar-Kari - a church near her who feeds and shelters the homeless (CA)
Cyra Sadowl - she'll let me know where when she decides
Rebecca Mann - Crohns and Colitis Foundation (go, Sarah!)
Mallory Linscott - New Horizons, Manchester, NH
Ann & Bill Paine - Thomas Promise Fdtn. (FL) Operation Backpack (no child will go hungry over the weekends)
Joan Preble - Ellsworth (ME) Backpack program (feeding kids over the weekend)
Lisa deMuro - Home Cooked Healing, Bar Harbor, ME (feeding cancer patients)
Iris Eichenlaub - Serve-a-Thon - service projects in the Rockland-Camden (ME) area
Chris Coose - He's IN!!!
Jan Ordway - She's in, too!

So let's start donating!

JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - website (in honor of Ashley)
Friends of Acadia - website (Steve loved the carriage paths for running)
Mount Desert Island YMCA - website (where Brendan spends half his life in the pool)
Home Cooked Healing (through Beth C. Wright Cancer Ctr) - website
Ben's Bells, Tucson AZ - website
Heifer International - website
Project Linus - website
Donors Choose - website (I chose to help a middle school reading class in Belfast, ME needing graphic novels)
Donors Choose (a second donation, this time to my friend, Cyra Sadowl, and her school library in Tucson, more books to keep those middle schoolers reading!!)
Days for Girls - website
Planned Parenthood - website
American Red Cross - website (Steve always donated blood - lots of it)
10 books through PaperBackSwap to donate to needy schools ($26.30)
PSA - Science Olympiad Club (Ridvan's Daughter, a branch of SSA) $25.00 (through GoFundMe)
National Foundation for Cancer Research (2017 Carlisle Area Annual Fund Drive) website
Crohns & Colitis Fdtn (through Sara Mann) (25.00) on 5/9
Children's Hospital Los Angeles (through the Ellen Show & Prizeo) (10.00) on 5/30
The Good Cemeterian (through Go Fund Me - "A Labor of Love") (16.00) on 5/31 Facebook page
Comfort Cases/Foster Care (16.00) on 6/24 website
AARP Medicare Fight (16.00) 9/25 (our anniversary)
Habitat for Humanity (16.00) also on 9/25 (our anniversary)
YMCA, BarHarbor, ME - Sharks Swim Team (30.00) in March
THA 8th Grade Trip (through Risa's Go Fund Me) (18.00)
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) TO STOP TRUMP's attack on the Environment!  (16.00) on 12/5/17
Susan G. Komen - in memory this time of Tammy White, who passed on 12/21/17 (16.00)
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 12/27/17 (16.00)

MOVIE - The Sense of an Ending

Limited release 3/10/17
Viewed Sunday 3/26/17 at The Majestic Theater in Gettysburg
IMBd: 6.8/10
RT Critic:  71  Audience:  55
Critic's Consensus:   Anchored by a strong starring performance by Jim Broadbent, The Sense of an Ending proves consistently gripping even as it skims the narrative surface of its literary source material.
Cag:  4.5  Liked it a whole lot - had to figure out
Directed by Ritesh Batra
CBS Films

James Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Matthew Goode, Emily Mortimer

My comments:  This was a good one, a movie that kept you thinking and guessing and wondering what direction you'd be traveling in next.  Tony's story is told through flashbacks and coming-to-terms with current happenings and mysteries. I could relate to the settings...contemporary times when one is in their 60's and late high school year almost 50 years ago.  I felt it.  I liked it....

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Tony Webster leads a reclusive and quiet existence until long buried secrets from his past force him to face the flawed recollections of his younger self, the truth about his first love and the devastating consequences of decisions made a lifetime ago.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

18. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

read on my iPhone
20117, Balzer & Bray
336 pgs.
Finished 3/25/17
Goodreads rating: 4.14 (601 ratings)
My rating: 2 and 4
Setting: Contemporary inner city Detroit

First line/s: "If only I could break the glass between me and Manman with my thoughts alone."

My comments: I have no clue how or what to rate this book.  It took me to a place that I don't know.  At all.  What happens when a smart immigrant girl from Haiti is thrust directly into the midst of the toughest streets of contemporary Detroit without the mother who has always nurtured and guided her and with only her voodoo spirit guides and street-savvy cousins?  Will that girl do anything - anything - to get her imprisoned mother back?  I don't know what it's like to be a black American or a black immigrant, I don't know what it's like to live in the inner-city with its full share of violence and drugs.  I don't know anything about Haiti, or voodoo.  And a much as I try to empathize, all I know is what I hear on the news.  This book takes you much closer than the news.  Much.  Closer.  And it's heartbreaking.

Goodreads synopsis:  The rock in the water does not know the pain of the rock in the sun.
          On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
          But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
          Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

PICTURE BOOK - The Great Spruce by John Duvall

Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
2016, GP Putnams Sons
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.72 (122 ratings)
My rating:  4
Endpapers:  FRONT:  Pineforest green with sprills, bugs, owls, birds, and even a mouse and a snail scattered across the page.
BACK:  Same pine forest green with sprills, but with ornaments instead of fauna.  Clever!

My comments:  I have, in recent years, fretted quite a bit about the huge coniferous tree that has been cut each year to adorn Rockefeller Center at Christmastime.  This well-written book gives a grand message about ecology without being preachy.  Cleverly done, Mr. Duvall!  I loved the illustrations, they reminded me of some of the Golden Books I read as a child.  Not just for Christmas, but for the whole year through.

Goodreads:  Together with his grandpa, a young boy finds a way to save his favorite tree in this heartwarming Christmas tale
           Alec loves to climb trees—the little apple trees, the wide willow trees, even the tall locust trees. But his favorite is the great spruce, with its sturdy trunk and branches that stretch up to the sky. Alec’s grandpa planted it as a sapling years and years before Alec was born, and every Christmas, Alec and his grandpa decorate the tree together, weaving tinsel and lights through its branches, making it shine bright.
           But one day, a few curious men from the nearby city take notice of Alec’s glistening great spruce, and ask to take it away for their Christmas celebration. Though it’s a huge honor, Alec’s heartbroken at the idea of losing his friend. With great courage and creativity, Alec comes up with a plan to save his favorite tree in this joyful holiday tale.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MOVIE- Beauty and the Beast

PG (2:09)
Wide release 3/17/17
Viewed 3/21/17 at Carlisle 8 with Ella
IMBd: 7.9/10
RT Critic:  70  Audience:  86
Critic's Consensus:  With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.
Cag:  3.5 Liked it, especially the music
Directed by Bill Condon
Walt Disney Pictures

Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline, 

My comments:  I was really looking forward to this, and took Ella after dinner at the bar at Applebees.  We settled into our comfy reclining seats with great expectation.  Was it as wonderful as we expected?  Unfortunately, not for either of us.  I loved the music.  And the actors.  But the animated spectaculars dragged on and on for me.  Ella got scared in a couple of places.  She told me she was going to have nightmares, and covered her face at one point.  So afterwards, in the car, I asked her about it. Spoiler alert:  In the scene where Belle and the Beast are transported back to Paris where she was born and her mother died had no meaning for ten-year-old Ella.  She didn't understand any of it, and the picture of the doctor with what she described as a "duck mask" was really, really creepy to her since she didn't understand the context.  She told me she felt much better after I explained what a plague was, did, and why they had to get the baby out of there fast. Emma Watson is adorable, and I loved Kevin Klein as her father.  But yes, unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  The fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

17. Lyrebird Hill

read by Eloise Oxer, gorgeously!
listened to on Audible
2015 Simon & Schuster Australia
416 pgs.
14 hrs. 11 minutes
Adult CRF / Historical (flipping back and forth)
Finished 3-19-17
Goodreads rating: 4.0 (584 ratings)
My rating: 4.5
Setting: 1898 and 2013 New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia

First line/s: (Prologue, August, 1898) "It is midnight.  I am hunched on the cold floor of the library, scratching these words."

My comments:  4.5 I couldn't wait to get back to this each time I had to leave it.  The story, though a little drawn out in places, was for the most part believable and excellently told.  It flipped back and forth between 1898 and 2013.  Eloise Oxer, the reader, was fantastic.  Her lilting voice and Australian accent put me right there in the bush, at Lyrebird Hill, or in Tasmania, immediately.  Unfolding are two different stories, of great-granddaughter and great-grandmother, more than a century apart.  In a way, perhaps because of the setting and alternating chapters back and forth, it reminded me of one of my favorite books, also set in Australia, The Forgotten Garden.  Delicious storytelling.

Goodreads synopsis:  When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?
          Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.
          Traveling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid.
          Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.
          Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.
          A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

16. Kingdom Come by Jane Jensen

#1 Elizabeth Harris
read by Rachel Fulginiti
listened on Audible
2016 Berkley
304 pgs.
Adult Mystery - Police Procedural
Finished 3/14/17
Goodreads rating: 3.74 - 474 ratings
My rating: 4.5
Setting: contemporary Lancaster County, PA

First line/s:  ":It's......sensitive, Grady had said on the phone, his voice tight."

My comments: An "English" detective takes on the murder investigation of an Amish girl and her "English" (non-Amish) best friend.  Although you get an idea about whodunit and why as the story progresses, there's also a - spoiler alert - love story element that didn't put me off as much as some other books with this device have.  It's done well, I think, and is quite believable.  I love these fascinating looks into the lives of another religion and culture, particularly the Amish.  I couldn't put this book down and I'm so excited that there is another in the series.

Goodreads synopsisIn Kingdom Come, the first in a new mystery series from Jane Jensen, an ex-NYPD detective seeks escape in Amish country and finds darkness instead.
          When a beautiful, scantily clad "English" girl is found dead in the barn of a prominent Amish family, Detective Elizabeth Harris knows she's uncovered an evil that could shatter the peace of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Even though Elizabeth's boss is convinced this was the work of an "English", as outsiders are called, Elizabeth isn't so sure. Now Elizabeth must track down a killer with deep ties to a community that always protects its own - no matter how deadly the cost.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

15. Echo Park by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch #12
listened to the CD in the car driving home from Maine
2006, Little Brown & Co.
405 pgs.
Adult murder mystery
Finished 3/12/2017
Goodreads rating: 4.06 - 33,087 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: Contemporary LA

First line/s: (Part 1, Chapter 1) "The call came in while Harry Bosch and his partner, Kiz Rider, were sitting at their desks in the Open-Unsolved Unit, finishing the paperwork on the Matarase filing."

My comments:  In this segment of Harry Bosch's investigative ups and downs, I saw more cracks and flaws than I'd seen before.  It's not that I disagreed with the morality and/or righteousness of some of Harry's decisions, but I don't quite remember so many of them in previous books.  Admittedly, it's been awhile since I've read Harry, and iI became totally mesmerized, as usual.  Harry's need to make sure the bad guy gets what he deserves is what really stands out in this story.  Many bad guys, a few assumptions that were wrong, and a satisfying ending.  But ... poor Harry is ladyless again.

Goodreads synopsis:  In 1995, Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket in Hollywood. Harry Bosch worked the case but couldn't crack it, and the 22-year-old woman never turned up, dead or alive. Now Bosch is in the Open-Unsolved Unit, where he still keeps the Gesto file on his desk, when he gets a call from the DA. A man accused of two heinous killings is willing to come clean about several other murders, including the killing of Marie Gesto. 
          Bosch must now take Raynard Waits's confession and get close to the man he has sought - and hated - for eleven years. But when Bosch learns that he and his partner missed a clue back in 1995 that could have led them to Gesto's killer - and that would have stopped nine murders that followed - he begins to crack.

Friday, March 10, 2017

MOVIE - Table 19

Limited release 3/3/17
Viewed Friday, March 10, 2017
IMBd: 5.8/10
RT Critic:  23  Audience:  42
Critic's Consensus:  Table 19 is marginally more entertaining than actually sitting with a table full of strangers at a wedding -- although most screenings won't come with an open bar, which makes it a wash.
Cag: 1/Didn’t like it
Directed by Jeffrey Blitz
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, June Squibb

My comments:  What an incredible disappointment and waste of good talent.  What I thought would be a fun, funny movie was neither.  Everything fell flat.  I love Anna Kendrick, but this whole thing was just one big mess.  Not even funny.  Not funny at all.  Even what was supposed to be funny was not.  And although it seemed to be billed as a comedy, nope.  Yuck.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Ex-maid of honor Eloise- having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text - decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the 'random' table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets. As everyone's secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. Friendships - and even a little romance - can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Stories Told in VERSE

Young Adult

Acevedo, Elizabeth - Clap When You Land, 2020 (5)
Crossan, Sarah, The Weight of Water, 2012 (5)
Engle, Margarita, The Firefly Letters, 2010 (4)
Hopkins, Ellen, Burned, 2006 (3)
Schroeder, Lisa - The Day Before, 2011 (4)
Sones, Sonya, What My Mother Doesn't Know, 2001 (4)
Stone, Tanya Lee, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, 2006 (4)
Thompson, Holly,  The Language Inside, 2013 (4)

Middle Grades

Bernier-Grand, Carmen T., Frida, 2007 (5)
Calhoun, Dia, After the River the Sun, 2013 (4)
Creech, Sharon, Hate That Cat, 2008 (5)
Creech, Sharon, Love That Dog, 2001 (5)
Creech, Sharon, Moo, 2016 (4.5)
Fipps, Lisa, Starfish, 2021 (5)
Green, Shari, Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, 2017 (4.5)
Holt, K. A., House Arrest, 2015 (5)
LaRocca, Rajani - Red, White, and Whole, 2021 
Rose, Caroline Starr, May B, a Novel, 2012 (3)
Shovan, Laura, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, 2016 (4)
Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn, Reaching for Sun, 2007 (4)


Bryant, Jen, Pieces of Georgia, 2006 (4)

Monday, March 6, 2017

14. The Warden's Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

listened to on Audio cd in the car
6 unabridged cds, 7 hours
2017, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
352 pgs.
Middle grades Historical Fiction
Finished 3/6/17
Goodreads rating: 3.62 - 680 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: 1959 Hancock County, (Pennsylvania?)

First line/s: (from Chapter 1, Cammie, 1959)
"Breakfast time in the prison.  The smell of fried scrapple filled the apartment.  It happened every morning."

My comments:  I listened to this book.  I don't know if I would have read it.  I seem to be getting particular about the way a story starts, and this one did not immediately draw me in.  But the reader, Carrington McDuffie, with her smoky almost male-sounding voice DID begin to draw me in.  The story takes place in 1959 in Brooklyn New York, where Cammie is being raised by her single dad, who happens to be the warden of the county jail.  This is the story of a motherless girl during the summer before seventh grade, the summer when the loss of her mother becomes too much to bear.  It was a mesmerizing story.  The ending takes place 50 years later, still told in the first person by the protagonist, and I almost wish that it had ended back in 1959.  I'm not sure why Spinelli decided to write it this way.  Perhaps the ending is for the adult readers....  This was definitely a marvelous book, once you get into it.

Goodreads synopsis:  From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac MageeStargirl) comes the "moving and memorable" (Kirkus Reviews, starred) story of a girl searching for happiness inside the walls of a prison.
          Cammie O'Reilly lives at the Hancock County Prison--not as a prisoner, she's the warden's daughter. She spends the mornings hanging out with shoplifters and reformed arsonists in the women's exercise yard, which gives Cammie a certain cache with her school friends. 
But even though Cammie's free to leave the prison, she's still stuck. And sad, and really mad. Her mother died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. You wouldn't think you could miss something you never had, but on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, the thing Cammie most wants is a mom. A prison might not be the best place to search for a mother, but Cammie is determined and she's willing to work with what she's got. 
           "Jerry Spinelli again proves why he's the king of storytellers" (Shelf Awarenss, starred) in this tale of a girl who learns that heroes can come in surprising disguises, and that even if we don't always get what we want, sometimes we really do get what we need. 
          "This book is never boring and never predictable. Fame, good and bad fortune, friendship and mental illness all make their way into [Cammie's] narrative."--The New York Times Book Review 
Praise for the works of Jerry Spinelli: 
          "Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent. . . . No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion." --The New York Times 
          "It's almost unreal how much the children's book still resonates." on Maniac Magee

Thursday, March 2, 2017

13. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

listened to an unabridged cd in the car
read by Emily Rankin - superb
6 unabridged cds, 7 hrs.
2016, Dutton Book for Young Readers
304 pgs.
Historical fiction for upper middle grades (and up)
Finished 3-2-17
Goodreads rating: 4.3 - 4695 ratings
My rating: 5
Setting: rural Pennsylvania, just after World War II
Newbery Honor Award

First line/s:  "The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie.  I don't mean the small fibs that children tell.  I mean real lies fed by real fears - things I said and did that took me out of the life I'd always known and put me down hard in a new one."

My comments:  Well.  This was an exceptionally heavy story, particularly for middle grade students of younger ages. That's not bad at all, though I think it might be a little tough for third or fourth graders until they're a little older - why force kids to grow up earlier than need be? It is an exceptionally well written story that will stay with me for a long, long while.  More and more in my life I wonder why people enjoy being mean, why a bully becomes a bully, and how easy it is for some people to lie.  Rural Pennsylvania in the after-World War II years is the perfect setting for this extraordinary story.

Goodreads synopsis:  Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.
          Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"X" - "Y" - "Z" Authors

Yaccarino, Dan
.....Lawn to Lawn, 2010
Yancey, Rick
.....The Fifth Wave, 2013
Yang, Kelly
.....Front Desk, 2018
Yankovic, Al
.....When I Grow Up, 2011
Yates, Louise
.....Dog Loves Books, 2010
Yeomans, Ellen
.....The Other Ducks, 2018
Yohalem, Eve
 .....Escape Under the Forever Sky, 2009

Yolen, Jane
.....Crow Not Crow (cowritten with son Adam Stemple) 2018
.....Not All Princess Dress in Pink, 2010 (cowritten with her daughter, Heidi El. Y. Stemple)
.....All Star! Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever, 2010
.....My Uncle Emily, 2009
.....The Scarecrow's Dance, 2009
.....Naming Liberty, 2008
York, Zoe
.....No Time Like Forever, 2014
Young, Samantha
.....Much Ado About You, 2021 (4)
Young, Suzanneh
.....The Program (The Program #1) 2013
Younge-Ullman, Danielle
.....Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, 2017
Yousafzai, Malala
.....Malala's Magic Pencil, 2017
Yovanoff, Brenna
.....Places No One Knows, 2016
 Zalben, Jane Breskin
.....Leap, 2007
Zappitello, Beth
.....First Dog's White House Christmas (With J. Patrick Lewis) 2010
.....First Dog (with J. Patrick Lewis) 2009
Zarr, Sara
.....Sweethearts, 2008
Zenatti, Valerie
.....A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, 2005
Zentner, Jeff
.....The Serpent King, 2016
Zevin, Gabrielle
.....The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, 2014
Ziefert, Harriet
.....Passover, 2010
.....One Red Apple, 2009
Zoboi, Ibi
.....American Street, 2017
Zugg, Victor
.....A Ripple in Time (#1 A Ripple in Time) 2019

"W" Authors

Waddell, Martin
.....It's Quacking Time! 2005
Wahl, Phoebe
.....Sonya's Chickens, 2015
Walker, Karen Thompson
.....The Age of Miracles, 2012
Walker, Walter
.....Crime of Privilege 2013
Walker, Wendy
.....Don't Look For Me, 2020
Wallace, Michael
.....Crow Hollow, 2015
Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth
.....Stars! Stars! Stars! 2009
Walls, Jeannette
.....The Silver Star, 2013
Walsh, Vivian
.....June and August, 2009
Wang, Andrea
.....Watercress, 2021
Ward, E. D.
.....Night Hunter, 2017
Ward, Lynn
.....The Biggest Bear, 1952 Warhola, James
.....Uncle Andy's Cats, 2009
Ward, Rachel
.....Numbers, 2010
Wardlaw, Lee
.....Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, 2011
Ware, Josh & Colleen Gleason
.....Beyond the Night, 2000
Ware, Ruth
.....The Death of Mrs. Westaway, 2018
Warga, Jasmine
.....Other Words for Home, 2019
Wasserman, Robin
.....The Book of Blook and Shakow, 2012
Watson, Jess Joshua
.....Hope for Haiti, 2010
Watt, Melanie
.....Scaredy Squirrel, 2006
Waugh, Sylvia
.....Space Race, 2000
Waxman, Abbi
.....The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, 2019
Weatherford, Carole Boston
.....Moses, 2006
Weaver, Tim
.....Never Coming Back (#4 David Raker) 2013
Webb, Betty
.....Desert Shadows (#3 Lena Jones) 2006
.....Desert Run (#4 Lena Jones) 2008
Webb, Wendy
.....Tale of Halcyon Crane, The, 2010
Weber, Elka
.....The Yankee at the Seder, 2009
Wedel, Steven E.
.....After Obsession, 2011 (with Carrie Jones)
Weeks, Sarah
.....As Simple as It Seems, 2010
.....Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth, 2009
Weiner, Jennifer
.....Good in Bed, 2002
Weir, Meghan MacLean
.....The Book of Essie, 2018
Weisgarber, Ann
.....The Glovemaker, 2019 DNF/Abandoned
Wells, Rosemary
.....Following Grandfather, 2012
Wendig, Chuck
.....Zeroes, 2015
Wentworth, Marjory
.....Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (with Kwame Alexander & Chris Colderley) 2017
Wenzel, Angela
.....13 Artists Children Should Know, 2009
Werlin, Nancy
.....The Rules of Survival, 2008
Westover, Tara
.....Educated: A Memoir, 2018
Wheeler, Eliza
.....Home in the Woods, 2019
Whelan, Gloria
.....In Andal's House, 2013 (pict bk)
.....Small Acts of Amazing Courage, 2011
.....The Listeners, 2009 (pict bk)
.....Yatandou, 2007 (pick bk)
.....Listening for Lions, 2005
.....Angel on the Square, 2001
Whipple, Laura
.....If the Shoe Fits, 2002
White, Karen
.....The Time Between, 2013
White, Loreth Anne
.....The Drowned Girls, 2017
White, Ruth
.....A Month of Sundays, 2011
.....You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does) 2011
White, Stephen
..........Dead Time, 2008
Whitehead, Jenny
.....Holiday Stew, 2007

Wiesner, David
.....Mr. Wuffles, 2013
.....Art & Max, 2010
.....Flotsam, 2006
.....The Three Pigs, 2001
.....Tuesday, 1991
Wiggs, Susan
.....Family Tree, 2016
Wild, Margaret
.....Let the Celebrations Begin! 1991/2013
Wilkinson, Lili
.....Pink, 2011
Willems, Mo
.....Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, 2012 dog, country frog, 2010
.....Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, 2009
Willey, Margaret
 .....The 3 Bears and Goldilocks, 2008
Williams, Brenda
...Lin Yi's Lantern, 2009
Williams, Laura E.
.....The Can Man, 2010

Williams, Karen Lynn
.....Beatrice's Dream, 2011
.....My Name is Sangoel (with Khadra Mohammed) 2009
.....Four Feet, Two Sandals (with Khadra Mohammed) 2007
.....Galimoto, 1990

Williams, Mary
.....Brothers in Hope, 2005
Williams-Garcia, Rita
.....One Crazy Summer, 2010
Wilson, Karma
.....Outside the Box, 2014
.....Bear Stays Up for Christmas, 2004
Wingate, Lisa
.....The Book of Lost Friends, 2020
.....The Prayer Box, 2013
Winger, Diane
.....Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape, 2019

Winter, Jeanette
.....The World is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid, 2017
.....Wangari's Trees of Peace, 2008
.....The Librarian of Basra, 2005
.....September Roses, 2004
.....Calavera Abecedario, 2004
.....Elsina's Clouds, 2004
.....My Baby, 2001
Winter, Jonah
.....Ruth Bader Ginsberg: The Case of R. B. G. vs. Inequality, 2017
.....My Name is James Madison Hemings, 2016
.....Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude, 2009
.....Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx, 2009
.....Dizzy, 2006
Winters, Sarah
.....A Demon in My Bed, 2017
Wiviott, Meg
.....Benno and the Night of Broken Glass, 2010
Wizner, Jake
.....Spanking Shakespeare, 2007
Woelfe, Gretchen
.....Write On, Mercy! 2012
Wolf, Dick
.....The Intercept, 2013
Wolf, Sallie
.....The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound, 2010
Wolff, Ashley
.....I Call My Grandma Nana, 2009
Wolitzer, Meg
.....To Night Owl From Dogfish (with Holly Goldberg Sloan) 2019
Wolk, Lauren
.....Wolf Hollow , 2016
Womack, Gwendolyn
.....The Time Collector, 2019
Wong, Janet S.
.....Homegrown House, 2009
Wood, Douglas
.....Aunt Mary's Rose, 2010
Wood, Fiona
.....Six Impossible Things, 2010
Woods, Stuart
.....Hot Mahogany, 2008
.....The Run, 1995
Woodson, Jacqueline
.....The Day You Begin (Lopez) 2018
.....Harbor Me, 2018
Woolley, Justin
.....We Are Omega, 2018
Wortche, Allison
.....Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine, 2011
Worth, Bonnie
.....I Can Name 50 Trees Today! 2006
Worth, Valerie
.....Peacock and Other Poems, 2002
Wright, Jaime Jo
.....Echoes Among the Stones, 2019 DNF
Wynne-Jones, Tim
.....Boy in the Burning House, 2000

"U" and "V" Authors

Uegaki, Chieri
.....Ojiichan's Gift, 2019
Underwood, Deborah
.....Here Comes Santa Cat, 2014
Unger, Lisa
.....Fragile, 2010
Updike, John
.....A Child's Calendar, 1965/1999
Urbanovic, Jackie
.....Sitting Duck, 2010 Urrea, Luis Alberto
.....Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush, 2010
Valente, Lili
.....Hot as Puck, 2017
Van Allsburg, Chris
.....Queen of the Falls, 2011
Vanderah, Glendy
.....Where the Forest Meets the Stars, 2019
Vanderwater, Amy Ludwig
.....Every Day Birds, 2016
.....Forest Has a Song, 2013
Van Draanen, Wendelin
.....Wild Bird , 2017

VanDusen, Chris
,,,,,Hattie & Hudsonm 2017
.....King Hugo's Huge Ego, 2011
.....The Circus Ship, 2009
.....A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, 2003
Van Laan, Nancy
.....Nit-Pickin, 2008
Van Ommen, Sylvia
.....The Surprise, 2003
Vansickle, Vikki
.....If I Had a Gryphon, 2016
Varon, Sara
.....Chicken and Cat Clean Up, 2009
Vaswani, Neela & Silas House
.....Same Sun Here, 2011
Vaughan, Brian K.
.....Paper Girls: Vol. 1, 2016
.....Saga: Volume 1, 2012
Veille, Eric
.....Encyclopedia of Grannies, 2019
Verdon, John
.....Wolf Lake, 2016
.....Peter Pan Must Die, 2014
.....Let the Devil Sleep, 2012
.....Shut Your Eyes Tight, 2011
.....Think of a Number, 2010
Viorst, Judith
.....What are you Glad about?  What are you Mad about? 2016
Volponi, Paul
.....Hurricane Song, 2008
von Buhler, Cynthia
.....But Who Will Bell the Cats? 2009

"T" Authors

Tafolla, Carmen
.....What Can You Do with a Rebozo? 2008
Tafuri, Nancy
.....Goodnight, My Duckling, 2005
.....Have You Seen My Duckling? 1984
Taiden, Milly
.....Unexpectedly Mated, 2014
Tan, Shaun
.....Cicada, 2019
.....Tales from Outer Suburbia, 2008/2009 US
Tapply, William G.
.....Gray Ghost, 2007
Tavares, Matt
.....Henry Aaron's Dream, 2010
Taylor, Janet B.
.....Into the Dim, 2016
Taylor, Lani
.....Daughter of Smoke and Bone, 2011
Taylor, Sarah Stewart
.....O' Artful Death, 2003
Tegen, Katherine
.....The Story of the Easter Bunny, 2005
Thomas, Angie
.....The Hate U Give, 2017
 Thomas, Shelley Moore
.....Somewhere Today, A Book of Peace, 1998
Thomason, Dustin
.....12.21: A Novel, 2012
Thompson, Holly
.....The Language Inside, 2013
Thomson, Bill
.....Fossil, 2013
.....Chalk, 2010
Thompson, Colin
.....The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness, 2009
.....How to Live Forever, 1995
Thompson, James
.....Lucifer's Tears , 2011
.....Snow Angels, 2010
Thompson, Laurie Ann
.....Emmanuel's Dream, 2015
Thompson, Mya
..... Ruby's Birds, 2019
Thong, Roseanne (Greenfield)
.....Dia de Los Muertos, 2015
 .....Wish, 2008
.....The Wishing Tree, 2004
Thorne, Sally
.....99 Percent Mine, 2019
Thornton, Betsy
.....Empty Houses, 2015
.....A Song for You, 2008
.....Dead for the Winter, 2004
.....Ghost Towns, 2002
.....High Lonesome Road, 2001
.....The Cowboy Rides Away, 1996
Timberlake, Amy
.....One Came Home 2014
Tintori, Karen .
....The Book of Names, 2007 (with Jill Gregory)
Tishy, Cecelia .
....Now You See Her, 2005
Tobin, Jim
.....The Very Inappropriate Word, 2013
Toht, Patricia
.....Pick a Pine Tree , 2017
Tolan, Stephanie S.
.....Surviving the Applewhites, 2002
Toyne, Simon
.....Sanctus, 2011
Trasi, Amita
.....The Color of Our Sky, 2017
Trigiani, Adriana
.....The Shoemaker's Wife, 2012 DNF, but want to...
Trottier, Maxine
.....Migrant, 2011
.....The Walking Stick, 1998
Trumbore, Cindy & Susan L. Roth
.....The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families, 2011
Truss, Lynne
.....The Girl's Like Spaghetti, 2007
Tsarfati, Einat
.....The Neighbors, 2017 Israel/ 2019 US
Tucker, K. A.
.....The Simple Wild, 2018
Tucker, Laura
.....All the Greys on Greene Street, 2019
Tucker, Lisa
.....Once Upon a Day, 2006
Tudor, C. J.
.....The Chalk Man, The , 2018
Turck, Mary C.
.....Mexico & Central America, 2004
Tutu, Archbishop Desmond
.....Desmond and the Very Mean Word, 2013
Twiss, Jill
…..A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, 2018
Tyler, Anne
.....Digging to America, 2006