This is the story of a family searching for their mother who has gone missing in a subway station in Seoul. It paints a picture of family life in bothThis is the story of a family searching for their mother who has gone missing in a subway station in Seoul. It paints a picture of family life in both country and urban areas of Korea. It is told in the voices of several family members, which is occasionally confusing. It tugs at the heartstrings as they look back with memories of a strong woman who sacrificed so her children could succeed....more
The Coffee Shop in the war-torn city of Kabul is the place where friendships are made between the Afghans and the foreigners who frequent the shop. ThThe Coffee Shop in the war-torn city of Kabul is the place where friendships are made between the Afghans and the foreigners who frequent the shop. The characters are colorful people with hopes, dreams, and dangerous secrets. We learn of the difficult lives of some defenseless women and children, and the caring people who try to help them. The author writes with warmth, humor, and an obvious love of Afghanistan....more
This book contains poems and three unabridged stories about Mowgli, a little boy who is raised by the wolves as a man-cub. He learns the Law of the JuThis book contains poems and three unabridged stories about Mowgli, a little boy who is raised by the wolves as a man-cub. He learns the Law of the Jungle, gets kidnapped by the Monkey People, and fights the tiger, Shere Khan.
"The Jungle Book" is a great classic, and this version is especially wonderful because of the gorgeous full-color illustrations by Nicola Bayley. Both children and adults will find this book to be delightful....more
Louis Zamperini was a World War II bombardier in a plane over the Pacific when it crashed into the ocean. He and two other airmen fought to stay aliveLouis Zamperini was a World War II bombardier in a plane over the Pacific when it crashed into the ocean. He and two other airmen fought to stay alive in a poorly stocked life raft. As sharks circled their raft, they had to improvise to try to catch a few birds and fish to stay alive. Louis' resilience, learned as an Olympic runner, served him well, and he and his pilot friend Allen Phillips survived. But the Japanese caught them and they were imprisoned under inhumane conditions with sadistic guards and very little food. Louis' childhood experiences as a delinquent came in handy while he was a POW, since he was already experienced at stealing food.
This book tells an amazing story of the bravery of the prisoners in the Japanese POW camps. It also shows how little was done to help them deal with post-traumatic stress after their ordeal was over. Louis was drowning in alcohol before he turned to God to help him forgive the brutal guards and move ahead in his life. The book also celebrates the love of the families back home who never stopped believing that their loved ones would be found. Laura Hillenbrand has written an engaging, well researched biography. ...more
The Housekeeper is hired to cook and keep house for a Professor of mathematics who had a traumatic brain injury after a car accident. Although the ProThe Housekeeper is hired to cook and keep house for a Professor of mathematics who had a traumatic brain injury after a car accident. Although the Professor can remember events that happened before the TBI, this injury resulted in his short-term memory lasting only eighty minutes. It seems like they are meeting for the first time every day. The Housekeeper and her ten year old son interact quite well with the professor since they all are enthusiasic about baseball which has lots of mathematical statistics. The Professor also loves children, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the beauty of mathematics, and can bring the subject down to their level. This is an unusual book, and I found their friendship very heartwarming. The Housekeeper and her son were adept at making a personal connection with the Professor, even if he could not remember it the next day. There is some discussion of math from the Professor which I enjoyed, but the math phobic might be scared away....more
In India, Kavita Merchants gives birth to a daughter. Her husband feels they can only afford one child, and it must be a boy to help him in the fieldsIn India, Kavita Merchants gives birth to a daughter. Her husband feels they can only afford one child, and it must be a boy to help him in the fields. So Kavita brings her baby to an orphanage to save the newborn's life.
In California, Somer and Krishnan Thakkar decide to adopt a baby since they are unable to have a child. They are thrilled to learn they can adopt a beautiful Indian baby girl, and name her Asha.
The author tells the story of Asha growing up, her adoptive parents, and Asha's search for her birth parents when she lives with Krishnan's family in Mumbai for a year. It explores the challenge of a bicultural family, and the difficulty of being an Indian child in a Caucasian community.
The book is full of the sights, smells, and sounds of Mumbai ranging from the poverty in a slum, to an over-the-top wedding of family friends, to the descriptions of the wonderful spicy Indian food. The story shows that love can come from both birth and adoptive parents, and what being a family really means....more
Anne Calloway and her best friend Kitty joined the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, and sailed to Bora-Bora in the Pacific. She was engaged, butAnne Calloway and her best friend Kitty joined the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, and sailed to Bora-Bora in the Pacific. She was engaged, but uncertain about her relationship with Gerard, a young man she had known since childhood. On Bora-Bora she met Westry and a romance bloomed in a secret artist's bungalow near the beach. Westry and Anne were separated by the war and a series of miscommunications.
Years later, Anne returned to Bora-Bora and found the missing links to the questions about their relationship and about tragic events in the South Pacific during the war. This was an engaging love story, although I did not find it to be a very realistic war story....more
There is a Chinese belief that when a child is born, a silken red thread of destiny connects the child's soul to all the people who will be importantThere is a Chinese belief that when a child is born, a silken red thread of destiny connects the child's soul to all the people who will be important in that child's life. This book tells the stories of a group of American families who have contacted the Red Thread Adoption Agency that arranges for adoptions of Chinese babies. These couples have been through the ups and downs of miscarriages and fertility treatments. Maya, the head of the adoption agency, had a tragedy in her past and also longs to have a child in her arms.
The other stories are about the Chinese mothers who have been forced to give up their daughters. In China, a daughter leaves her family forever and moves to help her in-laws. But a son is obliged to provide for his parents. Many baby girls are abandoned or killed since Chinese couples are only allowed to have one child in most cases. (Sometimes they can have a second child if the first child is a girl.)
Ann Hood wrote this book with enormous sensitivity since she also traveled to China to adopt a daughter. I felt so many emotions as I was reading--joy for the families that were adopting, sorrow for the Chinese parents who were giving up their daughters, and trepitation since some of the American couples seemed to have very troubled marriages.