Very enjoyable! Queen Elizabeth is in a melancholy mood and decides to slip out of the palace and buy some cheese for her favorite horse. Once in theVery enjoyable! Queen Elizabeth is in a melancholy mood and decides to slip out of the palace and buy some cheese for her favorite horse. Once in the cheese store, she decided to go and visit the decommissioned royal ship and relive many happy hours. She decides that she will do this by taking the bus and then the train to Edinburgh. The young man at the cheese store and the girl from the stables who has given the queen a blue hoodie recognize her and follow the taxi to Kings Cross Station. The queen seats herself in a second class car and begins to converse with two blind people. The cheese man and the girl manage to get aboard the train and watch her from the next car.
As the queen goes from place to place and person to person, various members of the palace realize that she is gone and attempt to track her. They don't want any publicity, so they head to places that the queen is likely to go. Part of the plot is about the lives of these palace servants and the people whom the queen gets to know.
This is just a delightful book and an interesting look at life in the royal palace. It's hard to tell how accurate it is, but it feels to me as if a lot of it is. I'd like to believe it is anyway....more
Another great book in this series. Finally, Bertie gets some relief when his mother is in the hands of a Bedouin chief. Stewart's mother comes to helpAnother great book in this series. Finally, Bertie gets some relief when his mother is in the hands of a Bedouin chief. Stewart's mother comes to help out, thus adding a wonderful character to add to this familiar group. Stewart begins to see things from his mother's perspective and I have a feeling we are going to see a much stronger Stewart in the next book. Bertie finally gets to act like a little boy and has a glimpse of heaven.
The other characters also progress and we see the marriage of Angus and Dominica blossom. As different as they are, they manage to create a comfortable life together. Matthew and his poor wife, however, are finding it difficult to handle the triplets and manage to have a life of their own. Fortunately, Matthew has the money to ease their situation.
All in all, this book was very satisfying and left enough hanging to keep readers of this series waiting on pins and needles for the next book....more
Madeline L'Engle writes books for teens and adults. One of the best characteristics of her books is that the characters are often complex and contradiMadeline L'Engle writes books for teens and adults. One of the best characteristics of her books is that the characters are often complex and contradictory. I feel that this book is one of the most complex of the YA genre. It deals with heroes who have feet of clay and that is something young people (and some old) need to come to terms with. This makes it a great choice for kids from about 7th grade and up. Some of the things introduced in this book allow young people to gain skills in recognizing inappropriate actions of beloved adults and explore their own reactions to the situation vicariously.
This said, it is a great book and one that should be interesting and helpful to a wide variety of kids....more
**spoiler alert** Just when you think you have heard of all the atrocities on WWII, here comes another one. While I have heard of the Germans stealing**spoiler alert** Just when you think you have heard of all the atrocities on WWII, here comes another one. While I have heard of the Germans stealing young Aryan-looking girls and using as "breeders" in the Lebensborn Program to create an Aryan Super Race, I had not heard that they stole young Aryan-looking children in Poland and other occupied territories and took them to places like the Lichterfelde children's home to Germanize them and then place them with Nazi families.
This is a heartbreaking story of a young boy whose sister was kidnapped by an SS Officer and taken away. After first being interested in taking the mother to something like the Lebensborn Program, the officer sees the beautiful 9-year-old daughter and kidnaps her striking the mother and leaving her with a scar across her face and causing a stroke. The son, who was 15 at the time, promises his mother that he will find his sister. His journey seems to include just about every atrocity on the way. He first joins up with a Polish resistance group and then is joined by a young girl whose brother is in the group. He then becomes a conductor for the underground and eventually ends up at Auschwitz, which he somehow manages to survive.
I think this book gave me a better idea of the tremendous displacement of so many Europeans. People were snatched from their homes, separated, moved from country to country, and when the war was over, many had no way to get in contact with family again. So many people found themselves hundreds of miles away from home and if they managed to get back home it was often a place where they knew no one. When the Nazis conquered an area, they brought in Germans to resettle and Germanize the countryside. At the end of the war, those people were no longer welcome and strangers moved into their homes. The returnees often found themselves in a town where they knew no one....more
This was a very short book about the Marburg outbreak in Northern Angola in 2005. Marburg is a hemorrhagic diseas that is even more deadly than EbolaThis was a very short book about the Marburg outbreak in Northern Angola in 2005. Marburg is a hemorrhagic diseas that is even more deadly than Ebola and the period between onset and death is very short.
It does not go into the medical aspects of the virus or the source of this particular outbreak. It is about the everyday life that surrounds an outbreak of this kind and the lengths a reporter has to go to inform the world. Usually we just see the story and video clips about sick and dying, but this is what goes into that report. Somehow this made a bigger impact on me than the medical aspects. Apps describes the problems of getting into such an area when most means of transportation refuse to have anything to do with the area. It describes the hotels with no more beds, the arduous task of reporting and the stories under these conditions and of some of the aids workers who chose to stay and work with patients.
In passing, he tells of a woman who was sick with Marburg. As soon as her husband saw that she had the virus, he got himself and all the children out and locked the door from the outside. He was doing exactly what doctors recommend, but he will never recover from the sounds of his wife all alone and crying for help. I found that one story, probably enacted all over Africa, almost more terrifying than the disease itself....more
At first this book jumped around quite a bit and was hard to follow, but after a few chapters, it settled down. The book centers around the village ofAt first this book jumped around quite a bit and was hard to follow, but after a few chapters, it settled down. The book centers around the village of Kapchorwa in Uganda where there has been an outbreak of Ebola which has become airborne. Four college students are in the village helping to educate the street kids and to provide medical assistance, when the outbreak happens. At the same time, a group of radicalized young terrorist have been brought together for training and eventually are led to Kapchorwa while it is in the midst of the outbreak. The terrorist plan to take advantage of this plague to wreak vengeance on the developed nations whom they see as oppressing them. This is well written and fast paced. I enjoyed it and can hardly wait until the sequel comes out. ...more
I really enjoyed this book and will probably read it again some time. I visited Bavaria a number of years ago and saw the castles, so it was easy to pI really enjoyed this book and will probably read it again some time. I visited Bavaria a number of years ago and saw the castles, so it was easy to picture the setting. I also did a lot of research about Prince Ludwig II just because he was an interesting and complex person. He is Germany's most famous king and he actually helped the country in providing work for the people surrounding the castles when they were built and in the present. Thousands of people visit these castles and immerse themselves in his legend providing the German government with a substantial income.
Before I read the book I had already formed the opinion that he was an artist and a dreamer and totally unsuited for the militaristic government that was being formed around him. It is sad that he was overthrown because he continued to build castles that he couldn't afford. The militaristic German governments have cost the German people so much more, both in money and in lives.
This work of fiction is based on the idea that there was a diary kept by someone loyal and close to Prince Ludwig and that the diary told the real story of his death. What was interesting is that this fictional journal was written in the same shorthand that Samuel Pepys used for his diary and Pepys' journal was untranslated for 200 years. The main characters are trying not only to translate the diary, but also to follow a code interspersed between the chapters.
I can sympathize with the main characters because my family was left with more than 1,000 old family letters and some of them were written by my grandfather and his brother. They both learned a form of shorthand in college and it is no longer used. It's frustrating to look at those letters and not be able to read them, especially because there is a family mystery about why my great uncle suddenly left school and those letters probably refer to it....more
This is the story of an ordinary Jewish boy brought up in a town near the Polish border and caught up in Hitler's final solution. Early in Hitler's taThis is the story of an ordinary Jewish boy brought up in a town near the Polish border and caught up in Hitler's final solution. Early in Hitler's take over of Poland, he was given some very good advice which helped him survive. The most important was that he could do whatever he had to do and to not give in to hate. During a large part of the early years of Hitler's plan, Jack Mandelbaum was was sole breadwinner for his family. His father was taken away and they never heard from him again. Many times Jack didn't think he could survive, but he kept on pushing himself, becoming such a good worker the Nazi's did not kill him. He also remained cheerful and compliant, a task almost as arduous as the physical work. He realized that hate would consume him and sap his strength and energy if he gave over to it.
This is a good book for Young adult readers. It is not so gruesome as most books and yet gives an accurate view of what went on in the cities and concentration camps. ...more
This is a delightful series very similar to James Heriot's All Creatures Great and Small. Young Barry Laverty has qualified as a doctor and is being sThis is a delightful series very similar to James Heriot's All Creatures Great and Small. Young Barry Laverty has qualified as a doctor and is being supervised by Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly in the country village of Ballybucklebo. Doctor O'Reilly has his own ways of doing things and many of them alarm Barry until he sees the wisdom of this old country doctor.
The villagers are just what you would expect in an Irish village. There are the malingerers, the hypochondriacs, the skinflint no-good troublemaker, the overworked wives with too many children and the grateful hardworking souls who count on the doctor to lift the burden of ill health from a body that already has too much to bear.
The characters are well drawn and their problems are often more humorous than serious. Barry has to learn to listen to his patients with his heart as well as his ears and to give them what they really need. He needs to win their confidence at the same time he is trying to gain confidence in himself. This is a charming series and a wonderful comfort-read....more
I love these books! I feel like I am meeting with old friends when I read them. This week I needed to do some sewing and wanted something to listen toI love these books! I feel like I am meeting with old friends when I read them. This week I needed to do some sewing and wanted something to listen to that wouldn't need to be stopped every time I had a little problem with the sewing. The Scotland Street series was perfect for that.
In this book, Bertie has grown older...he's now 6 and is still making his perceptive and often embarrassing opinions known. He's in the Steiner school and hid classmate, Olive is taking over from his horrid mother during the school hours. Tofu, his other friend gets him in one scrape after another.
Pat is seeming to get her life on a more stable course and Matthew and his wife are beginning to manage the triplets now that he has a young woman to help look after them.
The big news takes up the smallest part of the book. Angus and Dominica have gotten married and are off on their honeymoon, much to the best man's relief (Matthew). Bertie is supposed to be taking care of Cyril, but when his mother starts taking him to psychotherapy, Bertie knows he has to get Cyril out of there....more
I am finally getting back to this book. I got it from the library and had to return it before I was finished. Not only is it inspiring, it is a view oI am finally getting back to this book. I got it from the library and had to return it before I was finished. Not only is it inspiring, it is a view of a totally different culture. I believe that is one of the major problems in dealing with any of the Arab countries. We have almost no idea of the way of life and beliefs of this culture. Reading this is a real eye-opener.
I am overwhelmed by this book! I knew of some of the background of Malala and her village, but I had no idea of how overwhelming the depths of corruption and just plain evil there was. I know someone from Karachi and one of his two wives, but I had no idea they lived with this on their doorstep. How can anyone begin to reach these people from the tribal lands and the Taliban? How can anyone change blatant government corruption? How can anyone deal with people who target a child?...more
**spoiler alert** When I first read the story, I thought if it had been written about a woman, self-sacrificing her whole life, putting others before**spoiler alert** When I first read the story, I thought if it had been written about a woman, self-sacrificing her whole life, putting others before herself it wouldn’t have been written. Women were supposed to be self-sacrificing. Literature is full of them. In fact, women, as main characters with a strong sense of self worth, were usually the main characters just because of that trait. Most women in literature were in “supporting roles.”
What we have here, I think, is a story about a very introverted young man with absolutely no self-esteem being mistreated and misunderstood his whole life. The thing that is novel about George is that he didn’t become a twisted, evil tutor and minister. He was actually a very nice person who was beloved by the countless young men he tutored and very much loved by Adelina and Mr. Granville.
At first, I was a little upset about this story. It seemed to me to have a horrible ending with poor George being not only left off Santa Claus’ list but God’s list as well. Then I started writing my thoughts and I realized that he probably was much happier than I thought.
(view spoiler)[ Of course, he still had to go and find another situation which, in his life, would probably have been tainted by Lady Fareway’s vituperation and made exceedingly difficult, but since Dickens didn’t go there, I prefer to believe that one of those young men he tutored would have found out about his situation and given him a nice little parish with about 100 sweet gentle people. He could live out his life there and Mr. & Mrs. Granville would bring all their little kiddies to visit regularly and his old students would call on him from time to time. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is the third adventure of Theodosia and I think it is the best. Theodosia gets involved with another Egyptian, this time a magician named Awi BubThis is the third adventure of Theodosia and I think it is the best. Theodosia gets involved with another Egyptian, this time a magician named Awi Bubu, who is trying to find the powerful artifacts which she has found inadvertently. In this book, Theodosia has the help of a number of street urchins as well as her brother, Henry. She also learns something shocking about her grandmother and hints about Theodosia’s heritage.
I am using this series for Homeschool and they are great! The content provides a look at Egyptian history as well as the Victorian era. More than that though is the habits of the main character. She is able to feel the evil spirits and curses which emanate from many of the artifacts in her father’s museum and she finds a way to remove or neutralize many of them. Her first step is to do a lot of research at the museum library and then use ingenuity to develop the counter to the curses. In order to research better, she has been teaching herself the ancient languages. Theodosia approaches her problems the way that I wish all kids could. Her research is born out of her natural curiosity and she applies what she learns to her own life. ...more
This is the second installment of the life of Theodosia Throckmorton and her amazing adventures in the world of museums, ancient Egyptians and cursedThis is the second installment of the life of Theodosia Throckmorton and her amazing adventures in the world of museums, ancient Egyptians and cursed artifacts. Theodosia has to rely on her ability to sense the evil from the cursed artifacts and to protect herself and others from their spells.
In this book, the mummies are on the move. Imagine the surprise of her father when he finds his museum filled with the mummies from all the museums, and private collections in London. What is more, they keep returning when they are transported to their rightful place.
While Theodosia is fending off superlative governesses, at least in her grandmother's view, she gets involved with yet another secret Egyptian society in London. At times they are at cross purposes and sometimes are actually evil, but Theodosia has her marvelous ability to safely handle cursed artifacts and use them to thwart the evil Serpents of Chaos. This book is every bit as good as the first one....more