Kandide is the most beautiful of all the fairies, and she knows it. Raised by the king and queen to become the queen herself someday, her education ha...moreKandide is the most beautiful of all the fairies, and she knows it. Raised by the king and queen to become the queen herself someday, her education has been largely focused on her strength, high opinion of herself, and ability to get the respect of those around her. While her father believes this has been the correct way to raise his daughter, her mother wonders whatever happened to compassion, courtesy, and humility, for Kandide has none of these traits.
When the king suddenly dies, remaining only long enough to pass the Gift of the Frost on to Kandide, it's assumed that Kandide will take the throne and rule in her father's place. But while on an outing with her sister, Kandide is struck by lightning, which injures her wing. And in the land of the Fee, to be Imperfect is the most horrible thing you can imagine, and you must be sent away.
Kandide's father had tried for years to correct the injustices done to the Imperfect, but the members of the council outvoted him at every turn. Now an Imperfect herself after years of being ultra-perfect, Kandide is an outcast herself and must battle her own inbred prejudice and realize that beauty is not merely an outward appearance but comes from the dignity of the heart.
"Kandide and the Secret of the Mists" is a lavish fairy tale with gorgeous illustrations.I did wish the writing had been just a little bit tighter, but you have to forgive me--I have my editor hat on all the time. The story was intriguing, the descriptions painted a vivid picture, and I think this book will be well-enjoyed by middle-grade to early young adult readers as well as their parents.
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Whenever I read stories about the Martin and Willie handcart companies, I'm always grateful that I was never asked to be born into that situation. I w...moreWhenever I read stories about the Martin and Willie handcart companies, I'm always grateful that I was never asked to be born into that situation. I would have been one of those who died the first night out. I don't know how they survived the bitter cold, the starvation, and the intense emotional hardship that went along with that experience, and yet I look at those pioneers with such respect. They were devoted to their cause and they had the faith to sustain them through their trial.
I had much the same feeling after reading John M. Tippets book, "Hearts of Courage," about a plane that crashed in the Alaskan wilderness and those that survived nearly a month in the snow, with scarcely anything to eat. I would not have made it through that, had I been there, and I admire those persons so much.
John M. Tippets has personal knowledge of this event because his father, Joseph, was one of the survivors. Joseph was stationed in Alaska for his work with the military back in the early 1940s. In 1943, Joseph received word that his mother was ailing. He wanted to see her one last time, so he flew down to Utah, where his mother was hospitalized. He left behind in Alaska his pregnant wife, Alta, and their little son John. He planned to be gone just a short time. He visited with his mother, then began the trip home. But something went wrong with the small plane and it went down near the top of a mountain ridge, forty miles off course.
Joseph and the other survivors helped to care for the one woman on board whose hand had been severed. She was in good spirits until she passed on, but there was nothing they could do to save her. Shortly after that, their pilot, Charles Harold Gillam, went in search of help and never returned. They found his remains sometime later. It was up to Joseph and three other men to get themselves to safety, and none of them were in good physical condition after the crash, either.
"Hearts of Courage" is a beautifully constructed book with full-color pages, maps, newspaper clippings, photographs, and insights not only from John Tippets, but accounts in his father's own words as well as from the other survivors. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph and Alta relied on their faith to see them through until they were reunited a full month after the tragedy. This book reminded me of the strength of the human spirit and the power that comes from listening to those little voices within.(less)
I love Sophie Kinsella, but she's one of those authors that you have to approach carefully. This book has one of the most charming plots, but she does...moreI love Sophie Kinsella, but she's one of those authors that you have to approach carefully. This book has one of the most charming plots, but she does use the "F" word with some regularity, and I do recommend that you skip pages 8, 14, 115-117, 228-232 of the paperback version if content is a concern. (less)
I'm of two minds about this book. On the one hand, I agree with the author's contention that we need to stop making boys feel like they should never s...moreI'm of two minds about this book. On the one hand, I agree with the author's contention that we need to stop making boys feel like they should never show any emotion. Having three boys myself, I do understand that emotionally, they are sometimes more sensitive than girls and they should be permitted to work through their feelings with the same freedom we give girls. On the other hand, I felt as if the author wanted us to treat boys *so* carefully that we were almost turning away from normal relationships to do it, standing on our heads and jumping through hoops to get it done. (less)
I enjoyed this book as a simple overview of the life of L.M. Montgomery. It explores her early life and loves, and shows us how she became published a...moreI enjoyed this book as a simple overview of the life of L.M. Montgomery. It explores her early life and loves, and shows us how she became published and famous. We also catch glimpses into her troubled marriage, but done very tastefully - it's not written like an expose. This book was an insightful look into the life of one of my favorite authors.(less)