This is such a wonderful book of devotionals for little girls! First off, I'm a huge fan of lovely book binding and presentation, and this one has it all - a great, sturdy hardcover with cutouts in the crown and sparkles on the cover, with a lovely pink placeholder ribbon as well.
My Grandbebe Girl Jaiden (who is 7 years old), tried to leave my house with this one after we had read a couple of the devotionals and done some of the activities. I had to tell her to "Wait! Gigi still has to take some pics and write a review on this one; THEN you can take it home with you." I showed it to her mom, my Middle Bebe Girl Jasmine, and she loved it as much as I did!
As you can see from the Goodreads description, it also fits some homeschool curricula, so if you're doing faith-based homeschooling, this would be a wonderful addition.
I definitely recommend this for all parents of faith who would like their little girls to learn more of the Word and to put Christian lessons such as empathy and thankfulness into action.(less)
Full review upcoming, but I just HAVE to say this ... this is NOT a one-sitting book, but, even though I planned to do other things, once I started, I...moreFull review upcoming, but I just HAVE to say this ... this is NOT a one-sitting book, but, even though I planned to do other things, once I started, I could not stand putting it down! Absolutely fabulous read!(less)
This was my first encounter with Frances Doughty, and I liked her a lot. I have a taste for unconventional female protagonists, and, as a female Victorian detective with a rather imposing female assistant, our starring detective lives a life outside the norm. Somewhere between a light and medium-light read, the story is enjoyable and the pacing fantastic. There WERE a lot of mysteries to be solved, but I rather enjoyed the knottiness. Perfect for fans of Poirot and Christie who like a good mystery.
In 1934 San Francisco, William Eng is 12 years old, the only Chinese boy left at the Sacred Heart Orphanage after the other runs away. He is treated shabbily by the sisters (as are all of the "orphans"), but he knows in his heart that his mother isn't dead. Even after five years, he still believes in her and knows she will come back for him.
I really can't go much into the storyline without spoilers, because most of what happens will take the reader by surprise. When William teams up with a blind girl named Charlotte, his one true friend from the orphanage, to search out a woman he saw on screen on one of the children's rare outings, we cross our fingers and hope. We feel dashed the ground at the obstacles and rejection he receives, but we still hope.
As the story of Liu Song, William's mother, comes to us in flashbacks of time, we find ourselves almost moaning aloud at her struggles and sacrifice.
This is not a "feel-good" novel - it is superbly written and drags the reader in, down to the depths and the heartache and the injustice. It perfectly captures the pathos of the Depression Era as well as the plight of Chinese immigrants who faced bigotry at every turn from their fellow Americans.
I highly recommend this one.
William had been to the public library only once before, on a field trip, and even though he wasn't allowed to check out anything, he never forgot how it felt to wander in and see books on shelves as high as the ceiling. The library is like a candy store where everything is free.
Liu Song's smile vanished. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. She'd known of parents who sold off their extra sons to families that needed the help, but rarely had a daughter changed families - at least in America and not in her neighborhood. Except in arranged marriages. (less)
Phoenix Island is billed as young adult, but this cross-over debut novel is one for any reader who loves action, nuance, a character-driven plot (yes, in SPITE of all the action) and rooting for the underdog in the face of overwhelming odds.
Carl is the orphaned son of a police officer, a championship boxer who finds himself in a string of foster homes, moved from state to state, until, at 16, he once again beats up a gang of bullies and faces the end of the line - a stay until he is 18 years old - at Phoenix Island, a seemingly military-style boot camp for troubled teens.
Once Carl arrives at Phoenix Island, he finds that it is an isolated place outside of the United States, surrounded by a forest populated by wild pigs and shark-infested ocean waters. In spite of his resolution to remain "invisible" and to stay out of trouble, he manages to catch the ire of a particularly vicious "drill sergeant" named Parker as well as a group of gangbangers. Eventually, he runs across a secret journal written by a former teen "soldier" that makes him realize that the suffering he has experienced and seen done to others is only the tip of the iceberg.
If, as a reader, you think to yourself, "Well, thrillers and action aren't really my cup of tea", think again when it comes to this book. As I read, I experienced so many emotions - the enjoyment of a story well-told, agony at the unfairness of the situation Carl and his new friends find themselves in, knowing that some of the things portrayed really happen and not being able to hop into the pages to make it stop. Your heart will absolutely drop in places. When you meet the Old Man, Commander Stark, you want to like him, and blame everything else on some misunderstanding, just like Carl does, but as a reader, there is foreboding in these pages - you just know with a sinking, creeping feeling that all is not as it seems.
I fairly FLEW through these pages, filled with a moving motion picture in my brain of the island, the kids, the sergeants, the commander, and the mysterious doctor at the "Chop Shop". The book is totally engrossing, rolling along at a clip that had me looking at how many pages were left and regretting that I was so close to the end.
I've seen this one compared to Lord of the Flies and to The Hunger Games by some. For me it brought to mind the horrors of The Island of Dr. Moreau totally revamped with modern technology and world domination fanatics.
This is an absolutely stunning debut novel - one that would be a fabulous ride for almost every reader. With room left for a new installment, I sincerely hope to see more of Carl, his friends, and even creepy Commander Stark.
You are all orphans. Why had they taken only orphans? He thought of the kick he had received, the rough handling of Davis. He glanced around. Here they were, on Phoenix Island, somewhere outside of the United States and its laws. We're as dead to the world as our parents, Carl thought. These people can do anything to us.
. . . teachers told you bullies were insecure and cowardly, and, sure, some were. But guys like Decker, guys who got that look in their eyes, were neither insecure nor cowardly, and they weren't acting out for attention. Guys like Decker were confident and tough and mean to the core, and they hurt people because they liked causing pain.
"He considers himself a musician of pain. A maestro. Pain is his piano, and the victim's nerves are his piano strings." Great, Carl thought. I threatened to break his nose.
Writing: 4.5 out of 5 stars Plot: 4.5 out of 5 stars Characters: 5 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 5 out 5 stars
BOOK RATING: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Sensitive Reader: Probably not for you; portrayals of violence and implied violence.
Book Club Recommendation: Yes; depending on whether all book club members can take a grim and gritty portrayal of a camp filled with teens subject to horrid conditions (less)