This one ended up in the heap of library books that girls grabbed for frantically when I announced, "Time to go." They spend their library time playinThis one ended up in the heap of library books that girls grabbed for frantically when I announced, "Time to go." They spend their library time playing with the puzzles and trains. These look a lot like the puzzles and trains that we have at home, only ours aren't as interesting. I am so glad it came home with us. I was crying as I read it. Such a beautiful and wonderful story. I am going to buy this one and put it away with the Christmas ornaments so we can bring it out every year....more
Thank goodness I didn't know anything about this book before I started listening to it on Audible. I would never have selected a post-apocalyptic narrThank goodness I didn't know anything about this book before I started listening to it on Audible. I would never have selected a post-apocalyptic narrative. Oh, but it was wonderful. Great book for listening on long treadmill runs. So easy to get lost in the story....more
I could go on of course, but it was a very short novel. Really quickSexism - check. Poorly developed characters - check. Overly simplified plot - check.
I could go on of course, but it was a very short novel. Really quick read, not much of a commitment. I can forgive and overlook some of these transgressions because of the inherent need for Fahrenheit 451.
The beauty of Fahrenheit 451 is its prophecy. Not as it relates to book burning, but entertainment. Bradbury created a population that craved entertainment over information and comfort over knowledge a half century before it was born in 24 hour satellite television, the Internet, Facebook, tablets, and perhaps above all--smart phones. Reading this book in 2014, the seashells, pill-popping, and giant t.v.s are not at all surprising. But in 1951 they were science fiction.
Great memoir. Although I don't agree with Chua on many, many things, her efforts are certainly admirable. This was a fun read, always fun to examine aGreat memoir. Although I don't agree with Chua on many, many things, her efforts are certainly admirable. This was a fun read, always fun to examine another parenting style; even one so vastly different from my own. ...more
Really great imaginative book. I didn't know that Sound of Music "Maria" was also an author. The boys now (7 and 9) thought this was a great book. TheReally great imaginative book. I didn't know that Sound of Music "Maria" was also an author. The boys now (7 and 9) thought this was a great book. The adventure was initially quite enthralling. It started to weaken toward the end and then it seemed like Edwards was suddenly in a hurry to neatly wrap everything up. But overall a great read-aloud. ...more
The Bronze Bow is an exceptional read-aloud for kids,and a wonderful history lesson for adults. This book is a work of historical fiction, but only thThe Bronze Bow is an exceptional read-aloud for kids,and a wonderful history lesson for adults. This book is a work of historical fiction, but only the main characters are fictional. The book is set in ancient Israel under Roman authority. In The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare has delivered a first-rate history as well as crafted likeable characters who the reader very much cares about.
Speare offers a lens for viewing history from the perspective of those who may have lived it. Never before had I considered what it really meant for small towns to be occupied by the Romans. Too often ancient history is put forth as mere fact. Absent the emotional components that make the historic story wonderful, students gain little more than a very benign watered down tale. Perhaps even more catastrophic, the tale stands alone, and cause-effect connections between events are unavailable.
In The Bronze Bow the main character's struggle to maintain individual identity as well as his personal struggle with a number of sins including pride and anger stand alone as a compelling and worthy novel. However, Speare's canvas is much larger. All of the main character's struggles unfold as Jesus is walking around Judea performing miracles. He is now forced to consider his Jewish faith in the face of a New Covenant. ...more
Like other Henty historical fiction novels this is superb reading, in so far as it accurately exposes the reader to period history. That Henty aptly cLike other Henty historical fiction novels this is superb reading, in so far as it accurately exposes the reader to period history. That Henty aptly combines a compelling and riveting plot with true history is undeniable. Absent the history lesson the story itself is good fun, but paired with the history lesson it is a treasure.
Unfortunately this particular Henty novel was originally published in 1892. Henty's history in this case is consequently shaped by many of the inherent prejudices and American hubris typical of the time. Henty's portrail of the American Indians, and mindless redskins attacking innocent settlers for no reason is of course inexcusable under a 21st century lens. As a read-aloud for young children the book then fails. My boys thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the characters, but I found that I had to pause reading frequently for a discussion of why these "redskins" may be feeling a little hostile toward said "innocents."
Overall the story was great, the characters wonderful, and the accompanying discussion was valuable. However, were I to do it over again, I would introduce this book to them at a later age, maybe 12, so that we may better appreciate the inherent flaws in Henty's attitude and treatment of Native Americans....more
Phenomenal! There are very, very few books that I read-aloud to the boys that I truly cannot put down. Even now, as they are in bed, I am tempted to pPhenomenal! There are very, very few books that I read-aloud to the boys that I truly cannot put down. Even now, as they are in bed, I am tempted to pick it up to see what will happen next. We are about a third of the way through this book, and it is excellent.
As historical fiction the book is a masterpiece. As a novel to be enjoyed, it is superb. As a read-aloud that addresses important moral lessons without being preachy it is irreplaceable. I believe, in my exuberance over this book I lack sufficient adjectives to describe my appreciation for Ester Forbes work.
Most literature lists put this book at the middle school level, but as a read-aloud, I believe that it can work in early elementary years. I just make sure to check in with the boys when less obvious plot twists occur. This evening the boys listened as I read about Isannah leaning down to kiss the main characters crippled hand. The narrator then noted that as a result of this Johnny himself felt he might cry. I asked K why that might be, and he quickly explained that he [Johnny:] was happy because earlier Isannah had screamed for him not to touch her with his crippled hand. So, he is getting it, and I am so glad, because these books are incredibly fun. And bonus, I now can explain the difference between the Whigs and the Tories at the time of the American Revolution....more
A cookbook!?! So, I didn't actually read it... I have owned this book for less than two months, of that time, I have been home for less than one monthA cookbook!?! So, I didn't actually read it... I have owned this book for less than two months, of that time, I have been home for less than one month. In this short time, I have already used this cookbook more than the scores of other cookbooks that I own. I really love this cookbook. The recipes are doable (even for me, kitchen clutz extaordinaire -- I have wrecked boxed jiffy corn muffin mix). Last night I made Croatian Stuffed Sweet Peppers. They were the best stuffed peppers I have ever had (um, they ware also the only stuffed peppers I have ever had...) but these were wonderful inspite of the fact that I made them.
This cookbook delivers three-fold.
1. The recipes are relatively easy and contain ingredients that are readily available, even in Klamath Falls. 2. The recipes are healthy AND delicious. 3. The recipes are truly international and appear to be really very authentic (Although, admittedly I can't pretend to be an international cuisine expert).
What is more, the book is dotted with a wealth of international wisdom and general gee-whiz type geography/social studies information. Further, this book was commissioned "to promote global understanding and celebrate teh variety of world cultures." It succeeds beautifully. This book along with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is dramatically changing the way our family eats and thinks about food. With this book, one is armed to prepare affordable, nutritious, fullfilling, and tasty recipes....more
We are already loving this fourth book in the series by Ralph Moody. I put off reading the fourth book because I didn't feel Moody had anywhere else tWe are already loving this fourth book in the series by Ralph Moody. I put off reading the fourth book because I didn't feel Moody had anywhere else to go with his series. How wrong I was. The first three books were fantastic and each of them rank very near the top of list of treasured read-alouds. Today, just five chapters in, Mary Emma and Company has pulled us in.
Unfortunately this evening both boys choose to play/wrestle/generally horse around during the getting ready for bed time. Instead of threaten them with loss of reading time, I simply listened to the wild chaos coming from the bathroom (they both found each other's antics hysterical this evening) waited until bedtime and then asked them to get into bed. There were tears from K and sad scowly faces from C, both were attempting to communicate to me the vast degree of devastation which they were going to suffer from in being denied their nightly reading of Mary Emma. In fairness, I had asked them to get ready quickly. I did not however add, as I usually do, "so that we can read." ...more
I listened to the audio version of this book. Although the story was enjoyable, it wasn't particularly compelling. Because there are so many really fuI listened to the audio version of this book. Although the story was enjoyable, it wasn't particularly compelling. Because there are so many really fun and really good books that are so similar in style/plot the bar was set fairly high for this one. Unfortunately this book failed to deliver. I read The Reading Group a few years ago, and I recall enjoying those characters far more than the characters in Fowler's work. ...more
Adler's writing style was modest at best. To be fair, I should note that I read this book not long after reading a Barbara Kingsolver novel, hers is qAdler's writing style was modest at best. To be fair, I should note that I read this book not long after reading a Barbara Kingsolver novel, hers is quite literally "a tough act to follow." The book became predictable and unnecessarily tragic. I can't even say that this was a good picture of the Catholic faith. I do not believe that the author treated Catholicism fairly and he didin't even atempt to hide his obvious frustration with Vatican II....more