This book paints a very vivid and real picture of poverty in the first part of the twentieth century. Francie Nolan is the main character who we watchThis book paints a very vivid and real picture of poverty in the first part of the twentieth century. Francie Nolan is the main character who we watch grow from an infant to a 17 year old. Her family lives in Brooklyn and they struggle from lack of money, as well, as many other hardships. She struggles to have female friends, and doesn’t get along with her mother, but loves her father who is a drunk. She yearns to be loved. She loves reading and makes a goal as a young girl to read a book a day. I love how she describes the joy of learning to read. “The barrier of the word was removed and the printed word meant a thing at one quick glance. She read a few pages rapidly and almost became ill with excitement. She wanted to shout it out. She could read! She could read! From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends.”
She has a whole assortment of characters in her life. In one paragraph she talks about all of the people in her life who make up who she is and also the books she read, the flowers and trees she sees grow, the bitter quarrels she has with her brother. “She was all of these things and of something more that did no come from the Rommelys nor the Nolans, the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only - the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God puts into each soul that is given life - the one different thing such as that which makes not two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.”
I liked this book, although it was a book, which paints a grim picture of life. It teaches that even in poverty and difficult times, we can find the greatest joys in life. Her Grandma Rommely says it best, “To look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” ...more
"These Happy Golden Years" is the 8th book in the Little House series. In the previous book, Laura gets her teaching certificate and so in this book w"These Happy Golden Years" is the 8th book in the Little House series. In the previous book, Laura gets her teaching certificate and so in this book we get to read about her first experiences of teaching school and being out on her own. Almanzo and Laura get to know each other better too. I really love this series of books but for some reason, I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others. Maybe I was just getting tired of the characters and I needed a break from them. I love the innocence of Laura in the earlier books and her fascination with life. In this book she is quite bit more mature and I missed the young Laura. ...more
This book was written only as a first draft by Laura and was found in her belongings when she died. It was published after her daughter died. It tellsThis book was written only as a first draft by Laura and was found in her belongings when she died. It was published after her daughter died. It tells of Almanzo and Laura's first four years of marriage. Before they got married Laura told Almanzo that she didn't want to be a farmer's wife because it was a very hard life for a woman. But Almanzo tells her to give it three years and if he hasn't made success by then he will do something else for his occupation. So since this is only a first draft, I don't think it has all of the charm like her other books. It tells how hard it was for them. They had a lot of setbacks. It is a very quick read of only 134 pages. I did like it because I find it fascinating to learn how people lived back in the day but there just isn't a huge exciting plot and it was a little depressing. ...more
I have always been fascinated with Helen Keller and this book is written from the point of view of her teacher Anne Sullivan. It goes through the struI have always been fascinated with Helen Keller and this book is written from the point of view of her teacher Anne Sullivan. It goes through the struggles that 20 year old Anne had trying to reach 6 year old Helen. With Helen not knowing any type of language she could not tell anyone how she felt and this made her into a very wild ferocious 6 year old. The book only covers a few month period from the time that Anne first meets Helen until she is finally able to reach Helen and teach her how to communicate. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it....more
Standing in the Rainbow is about several characters and their life experiences from the 1940’s to the 1990’s. Some of the characters in the book are vStanding in the Rainbow is about several characters and their life experiences from the 1940’s to the 1990’s. Some of the characters in the book are very silly and downright odd. It is interesting to see the world change throughout this book and see people grow up and experience life. Although, it was entertaining to read, it seemed to lack a strong plot and I had a hard time keeping interest in it. It was more about how America has changed through out time and how we as people change.
The two things that stood out to me in the book happened to Bobby Smith who we see grow from a wild little ten-year old to a distinguished lecturer on American history. After completing his high school equivalency test in the army, he goes back home and sees his old sixth grade teacher, Miss Henderson. She gives him a present of a miniature map of the world telling him the world is for the taking. Then she tells him he was always one of her favorite pupils. He was surprised and says he thought he was the dumbest one in her class, then she proceeds to say “Well, you may not have made the best grades and you were not the easiest boy to keep quiet, but you had the one thing most of the others didn’t - you had a curious mind. And a curious mind is what we teachers look for.”
At the age of 50, Bobby’s childhood friend dies and it strikes Bobby very hard. Going back to his hometown sparks many old memories and all of the things he had wanted to be. He realizes it is not about the money, the houses, or the corporate job he had for Kentucky Fried Chicken. The little boy began to wake up inside of him and realize his childhood dreams. He tells his wife one day he is taking an early retirement to go back to school to get his doctorate in history. He published his dissertation, The American West: Dream and Reality and he begins a lecture tour having the time of his life. ...more
Note: I read this book and wrote the review in 2003 before I met my husband.
This book had some excellent ideas for savoring your time while living alNote: I read this book and wrote the review in 2003 before I met my husband.
This book had some excellent ideas for savoring your time while living alone, to make it seem less lonely. There were so many good ideas in it, that I couldn’t possible do the book justice by writing a few paragraphs about it here.
Barbara found herself living alone after having a man in her life for many years. Rather than be depressed about her current situation, she made the best of her time to herself and accomplished so much.
Below are some of her ideas I would like to do in my life. -Notice the potential for comfort in the world at large: Practice courage in initiating contact with the everyday people in our lives. Practice really seeing them, really hearing them, and really responding to them -Make a list of human resources: Keep a list of all of your close friends, confidants, and family members and if you haven’t heard from someone in a while, get in touch with them. Don’t take it personally if you haven’t heard from them -Build Bridges: Embrace the role of the bridge builder by staying aware of events to attend with friends: sports, film, theatre, concerts etc. Be willing to make the calls, order the tickets etc. Host a gathering each month to share some common interest. -Read: Barbara also talks about reading and how she rediscovered her passion for reading once she was single. “We read to know ourselves; there are many more selves to know than can come to light in our ordinary lives.....If we are openhearted readers, some walls within us will crumble allowing our unsuspected selves to flicker to life.”
“Though T.V. has interesting things to see from time to time, it can sabotage your wish to dive deeply into interests that have much more to offer you in the long run.”
She also talks about accepting the fact you are single and moving past it by noticing the variety of human connection available instead of obsessing about what was missing. Also to take a stand against outdated attitudes. If we regard our single status as inferior to being married then the problem is in ourselves.
This would be a fun book to purchase and have in my collection because it gives some excellent ideas for this marvelous time in your life when you can focus on someone very important....you! ...more
This is a Newbery Honor book and I enjoyed it. It is about ten year old Lucky who just wants to be loved and find her place in the world. Her mother hThis is a Newbery Honor book and I enjoyed it. It is about ten year old Lucky who just wants to be loved and find her place in the world. Her mother has died and she has never known her father. She lives with a guardian who is her father's first ex-wife and they live in Hard Pan, California with a population of 43. The town is filled with peculiar individuals. The children in this book were unique souls. They were so adorable and their interaction between each other made me smile during the book. ...more
Marty's husband has died and she is a pioneer woman who just came out west with her husband. She is alone and helpless. Clark, who is a widowed as welMarty's husband has died and she is a pioneer woman who just came out west with her husband. She is alone and helpless. Clark, who is a widowed as well, asks Marty upon meeting her and finding out about her situation if she would marry him because he needs a mother to his little daughter. Marty doesn't know what else to do so she tells him "yes." This is a delightful story of their life together. It was very awkward at first but as you can tell from the title of the book love does comes softly into their life. Clark is also very religious and Marty learns about Jesus comes to love the Savior too....more
The story is about the life of a young boy named Journey, whose mother left him to live with his grandparents and sister on a rural farm. Journey is fThe story is about the life of a young boy named Journey, whose mother left him to live with his grandparents and sister on a rural farm. Journey is faced with the question: why did she leave? He spends the summer searching for answers in photographs from the past and discovering his own family relationships and past through them as well. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is the third book in the Emily series. She has decided to stay at home and be a writer while all of her dear friends go off to**spoiler alert** This is the third book in the Emily series. She has decided to stay at home and be a writer while all of her dear friends go off to college. Even though they are all off in different places, Emily still has the most interesting adventures and interesting suitors who want to marry her. But her heart has always belonged to Teddy but because of her stubbornness and pride, they miss opportunities to get together. It is heart wrenching at times when they were so close but one little tiny thing made it so they didn't get together. Montgomery does a great job in building up the romance and you are sitting on the edge of your seat in hopes of the most romantic confessions Emily and Teddy could give to each other. Finally the last chapter comes and the confessions of love didn't really satisfy what I thought could have happened to make it a really awesome book. I did enjoy the book thoroughly and love the development of Emily's character but I was just a little disappointed in the ending....more
A nice pleasant read. This is the story of a widowed father and his three sons trying to make their way in life in 1909 in rural Montana when they hirA nice pleasant read. This is the story of a widowed father and his three sons trying to make their way in life in 1909 in rural Montana when they hire a housekeeper from the Midwest and she arrives with her brother. These two characters add a little bit of excitement and happiness in this family's life. The story revolves around the one-room school house where the children attend school.
I found it to be a little slow in the middle of the book but it does set up the ending of the book which I thought was unpredictable and interesting. ...more
This a gently told story of Jean Paget, a young British girl who is in Malaya at the time of World War II and gets captured by the Japanese. She and aThis a gently told story of Jean Paget, a young British girl who is in Malaya at the time of World War II and gets captured by the Japanese. She and a group of women and children are told they need to walk to a war prison camp but find out that there is no prison camp where they are supposed to go so they continue to walk for 6 months walking hundreds of miles because during this time of war when no town will take them in to help them. Jean meets a fellow prisoner of war, an Aussie named Joe Hardman. They share an attraction but he thinks she is married. There is more to the story but I won't go into anymore details. I really wish I could write a glowing book report about his novel but I fear I could never do it justice. It paints a lesser harsh picture of World War II and the struggling 1950's of Australia but there is a certain charm to the novel that lifted me and made me feel so content....more
**spoiler alert** I try not to be too generous when I give out 5 stars and I try to give them out to only the books that truly deserve them in my opin**spoiler alert** I try not to be too generous when I give out 5 stars and I try to give them out to only the books that truly deserve them in my opinion. “These is My Words” is a book that I thought deserved 5 stars from the first 50 pages or so. It is a story about Sarah Prine who is sixteen when the story starts out growing up in the 1880’s in the Arizona Territories. It is in a journal format. At first Sarah’s grammar is not so good and it is somewhat difficult to read but as the story progresses her grammar gets better and I was completely pulled into the story and so engrossed in the fascinating life of a girl in the 1880’s. Throughout the book Sarah has some very difficult trials and also some very sweet experiences. The love story that takes place in it was truly a delight to read and made my heart swoon at times because of how romantic and exciting it was for Sarah to find her true love. My two complaints about the book is that it seemed extra long and there was a sad ending. But after I thought about my complaints they turned to positive points. If Nancy would have ended the book at about half way through the book, I would have been satisfied with the story. But she continued the story to show what happened after the love story took place when usually books end when the main characters have fallen in love. It was special to see their love grow through the years and see their family develop. The sad ending made me mad at first but life is sad sometimes and it is how we deal with those sad things that make us stronger people. Life can be happy and wonderful even though we experience hard trials. ...more
This is the second book in the Emily series. Emily goes to high school in a town several miles away from her home and has to live with her mean Aunt RThis is the second book in the Emily series. Emily goes to high school in a town several miles away from her home and has to live with her mean Aunt Ruth. I found the book delightful and fun to read....more