I read this aloud to my class and it got their attention right from the beginning. It is a little disappointing to learn that most of the story is a f...moreI read this aloud to my class and it got their attention right from the beginning. It is a little disappointing to learn that most of the story is a fabrication because it sure is a fun story! Dang!(less)
Jonah Winter writes about a nice variety of fierce, courageous and feisty women of the Wild West. Each woman is featured on two pages, one page for te...moreJonah Winter writes about a nice variety of fierce, courageous and feisty women of the Wild West. Each woman is featured on two pages, one page for text and the other for an illustration by Susan Guevara. The illustrations really helped bring each woman to life. I thought the biographical information was quite well done, with very interesting details and nice yet brief coverage of the life of each woman. There were a few opinions given that I didn't feel were necessary in a book like this - which brought my rating down to three stars. I was very interested to see a map of the US in 1850 at the end.(less)
This is just about perfect for a nonfiction picture book biography. It has the perfect amount of text per page, giving plenty of detail while not over...moreThis is just about perfect for a nonfiction picture book biography. It has the perfect amount of text per page, giving plenty of detail while not overwhelming with information. The illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers match the text perfectly and make me feel like I know and understand who each character is. I especially love the expressions on the characters' faces! Also, there is a short but very informative author's note at the end.
I learned a lot from reading this - just enough that I wanted to learn more so I read a bit about the history of women's suffrage online. I knew that Utah was one of the earliest places to allow women the vote, but I hadn't realized that Wyoming was the very first place in the world to give its women the vote!(less)
The author says this is "mostly a tall tale" and subtitled it a "(slightly) true narrative." I think it's an entirely fun take on how apple trees made...moreThe author says this is "mostly a tall tale" and subtitled it a "(slightly) true narrative." I think it's an entirely fun take on how apple trees made it to Oregon with a spectacularly strong narrator, a young girl named Delicious. This could be used in classrooms and library storytimes on apples, Oregon, pioneers, tall tales, and figurative language.
Nancy Carpenter's quirky illustrations highlight the personalities of the characters, especially Delicious, perfectly. She seems to have something of a thing for feet - especially bare feet. Fun!
The author's note at the end helps to sort out the truth from the "tall" parts of the tale. I also loved the map on the endpapers, which had apple cores along the route to Oregon, and the apple facts on the back cover.(less)
I read this back when I first purchased it, but I didn't count it as "read" or write a review because I wanted to spend more time with it. This week I...moreI read this back when I first purchased it, but I didn't count it as "read" or write a review because I wanted to spend more time with it. This week I read it through again and again - rereading some parts several times. Does this really reveal the secrets to Shepherd Book's life? It seemed too simple. There just wasn't enough - no HUGE secret or HUGE reveal like I wanted. But the more I read through it, the more I liked it. I especially like the backwards way the story is told - starting from Book's death and then spiraling back through his life and showing us how Shepherd Book became the man we knew in Firefly. We do learn some interesting tidbits - his real name, how he became Derrial Book, how he found God in a bowl of soup, etc. I was left wanting to know more about his eye! And really, reading this as a graphic novel just isn't the same as seeing it as an episode of TV or even a movie. But it is better than never having any new stories in the Firefly 'verse!(less)
I find it interesting how often the end of a book will change my feelings for the entire book - sometimes completely reversing the feeling I had while...moreI find it interesting how often the end of a book will change my feelings for the entire book - sometimes completely reversing the feeling I had while reading the beginning and the middle of the story. I can't decide yet if that's what the ending of The Whistling Season has done for me. It might have brought my 5-star rating down to a four, or it might have made me wish for six stars. I can't tell yet.
About halfway through the book, I wrote this: It makes me think of Sarah, Plain and Tall and The Great Brain, only for adults. I'm in love with Mr. Ivan Doig and all of his characters - especially Paul, the narrator and precocious 13-year-old who understands more about the world around him and especially the adults in his life than any 13-year-old I've ever known. The setting of Montana in the early 1900s is the perfect backdrop for Mr. Doig's memorable, colorful characters and their stories (and brings to mind A River Runs Through It). Now I can't wait to read Work Song, which I am grateful to have won in a GR giveaway, thus introducing me to this amazing author.
I'm still giving this 5 stars, as I intended throughout the largest portion of the book. But I want to think about the ending some more. What an ending! I picked up on some of the clues, but was still surprised. This is definitely a book worth reading, and Ivan Doig is an amazing author. Now on to Work Song!(less)
I was so sad to come to the end of this! I really do love Doig's characters. Something about this one didn't grab me up quite as much as The Whistling...moreI was so sad to come to the end of this! I really do love Doig's characters. Something about this one didn't grab me up quite as much as The Whistling Season, but I still enjoyed it very much. I will definitely read any other books Doig writes in the future with any of these same characters. I'll also have to check out some of Doig's other twelve books.
While this book didn't grab me up quite as much, something to do with all the mining details, I think, there were many parts I really loved. Morrie becomes a librarian! I loved all of the library bits, and had to laugh when a librarian is described as a "bartender of information."
Morrie is the narrator of this one, and I really enjoyed being in his head. I would be very interested in reading a book that told the story of The Whistling Season from Morrie's point of view. Morrie reminded me quite a lot of a Dick Francis hero in the way he solves problems. Also, people see something special in him that he doesn't really recognize in himself but that is clearly there.
I highly recommend this for those who enjoy very well-written historical fiction, although I would suggest reading The Whistling Season first. It isn't strictly necessary, but gives a detailed understanding of Morrie's past and his character.
Thanks so much to the GR giveaway program for introducing me to this wonderful author!
Another quote that made me laugh: "Grade six somehow transforms obedient schoolchildren into creatures with the bravado of bandits and the restlessness of overage Sunday schoolers."(less)
I didn't find this nearly as funny as I think I was meant to. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood when I read it. I do think some children would lov...moreI didn't find this nearly as funny as I think I was meant to. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood when I read it. I do think some children would love this. It's a nice short chapter book with lots of illustrations for students transitioning from picture books to chapter books.(less)
I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as These Is My Words - especially in the beginning. I think I was missing Jack nearly as much as Sarah! It was r...moreI didn't enjoy this one quite as much as These Is My Words - especially in the beginning. I think I was missing Jack nearly as much as Sarah! It was really quite painful to go through that mourning process with her. She thought about him a LOT, and I kept thinking, "WHY, oh why couldn't he be in this book as well?" I do love Sarah's character, though. She makes me want to be a better person. She has such a wonderful, down-home type of common sense. There were times later on in the story when I wanted to yell at her, though. Why wouldn't she just say "NO!" to Rudolfo Maldonado?! Can you tell, the characters and the story all feel very real? This one didn't feel like as much of a journal as These Is My Words, but I didn't seem to mind at all. Overall, I enjoyed this a lot. And now I'm looking forward to the third book in the series, The Star Garden, where I hope we get to know all about Udell Hannah!
I listened to the audio version narrated by Valerie Leonard. I loved her voice for Sarah, but some of her male voices could have been better.
Two of my favorite quotes show Sarah's attitude towards people and life:
"I have a deep-down belief that there are folks in the world who are good through and through, and others who came in mean and will go out mean. It's like coffee. Once it's roasted, it all looks brown. Until you pour hot water on it and see what comes out. Folks get into hot water, you see what comes out."
"Living is getting knocked down time and again, then standing up time and again, and once more. It's easy to act honorable when things are coming along and all your pastures are green. Plenty difficult when the ground is dried and burned and people have connived to take even that from you. I'll sell this place, or I'll lose it. I'll go on. People who don't have hard times aren't living."(less)
This was a pleasure to read! Willa Cather's writing is straightforward and plain, yet beautiful at the same time. It completely mirrors the characters...moreThis was a pleasure to read! Willa Cather's writing is straightforward and plain, yet beautiful at the same time. It completely mirrors the characters and the land written of in "O Pioneers!"
I've been thinking about what makes a classic, since this book is a classic yet isn't like many others I've read. I see this as a classic because it gives you a chance to step back and see your life through new eyes and compare it through the light of new experiences that you've never actually had, but feel like you have now that you've read about them. A classic is a book that changes you, even just a little, in a profound way, just because you've read it. And that's how I feel having just finished this. I've been changed, just a little, because I read this book.
Two favorite quotes: "She had never known before how much the country meant to her. The chirping of the insects down in the long grass had been like the sweetest music. She had felt as if her heart were hiding down there, somewhere, with the quail and the plover and all the little wild things that crooned or buzzed in the sun. Under the long shaggy ridges, she felt the future stirring."
"People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find."(less)
I always enjoy Russell Freedman's books, and "In the Days of the Vaqueros: America's First True Cowboys" was no exception. Freedman gives clear and co...moreI always enjoy Russell Freedman's books, and "In the Days of the Vaqueros: America's First True Cowboys" was no exception. Freedman gives clear and concise information in an interesting way. This book is slightly shorter than others I've read of his, but I still felt like the subject was well covered. Freedman mentions several times that the Mexican vaquero has not been romanticized like the American cowboy and thus not a lot has been written about him over the years. I also really enjoyed the many paintings and sketches throughout the book, including several by Frederic Remington.
I was particularly interested in the chapter on contests and games, some of which are quite similar to events in our modern-day rodeos. I'll include a few excerpts from that chapter:
"One popular stunt was to lean down the from the side of a horse at full gallop and pluck from the ground a coin, an arrow, a kerchief, or, in a gruesome sport called carrera del gallo, a live rooster buried in sand with only its head showing. If the rider swung back into the saddle waving the wing-flapping rooster in his hand, he won all bets along with whoops of approval from the crowd." (pg 37)
"Colear, tailing the bull, was both a sport and a practical working skill. The coleador, the tailer, galloped up behind a bull, reached out from the right to grab its tail, passed the tail under his right leg, twisted it around this saddle horn, then wheeled his horse sharply to the left, throwing the bull off balance and causing the stunned animal to crash headlong to the ground. Tailing the bull required a certain knack. With the right leverage and timing, a small man on a horse could topple even the biggest bull. The reputation of being the best coleador in the district guaranteed a vaquero the respect of his compadres or comrades, and the admiration of numerous young women." (pg 38)
"When a man really wanted to show off, he took part in the paso de la muerte, the ride of death. In one version of this risky sport, a vaquero on horseback galloped alongside a wild horse - a bronco, from the Spanish word for "rough." He jumped from his mount onto the animals's back and rode that bucking bronco until he was thrown, or until the exhausted animal was tamed. Or he might pit his strength against a wild bull, roping the animal, then leaping onto its back and riding the enraged beast as he clung tightly to the rope." (pg 38-39)
"No sport was more dangerous than the grizzly bear hunts carried out by Indian vaqueros in California. Grizzlies, powerful giants with five-inch claws in each mighty paw, roamed the California coast country. When a bear was sighted, four or five men working together lassoed the beast by its legs and throat and choked off its air. As the dazed grizzly was being led away, the vaqueros took turns riding up close to the animal and provoking its charge. Captured grizzlies were pitted in violent battles against wild bulls. . . . The opponents were tied to each other with a long rope: One end was tied to the bear's hind leg, the other to the bull's foreleg. A grizzly sometimes killed several bulls before it was mortally gored." (pg 39-40)
And a random quote from page one that I found interesting from a Book of Mormon perspective: "Wild horses once roamed the grasslands of the Americas, but they disappeared mysteriously thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. Columbus reported after his voyage in 1492 that he had found no horses or cattle in the New World."(less)
If I can't watch new episodes of Firefly, I'm happy to at least be able to read new adventures that are an official part of the canon and written by J...moreIf I can't watch new episodes of Firefly, I'm happy to at least be able to read new adventures that are an official part of the canon and written by Joss. This second volume in the series of graphic novels is a lot of fun. The crew has come into a lot of money through a successful heist, and we get to see a "fantasy 'bout being filthy rich" from many of the crew members. Wash's fantasy was particularly sweet - and sad, since we know it doesn't happen. I also really liked River's which involved bunny rabbits, frogs, candy canes, hot air balloons, and a giant fish in a tuxedo.
Of course this isn't all sweetness and light. There are the usual types of villains coming after them providing action and explosions and gun fights. There is also a very fun introduction by Adam Baldwin.
I look forward to the NEXT graphic novel, which is said to be called "The Shepherd's Tale" and will be about Shepherd book. I'm hoping it contains MANY details of his backstory.(less)
This was fun! Such a unique and spunky version of the Rapunzel story - with a little Jack and the Beanstalk thrown in for good measure - and I'm sure...moreThis was fun! Such a unique and spunky version of the Rapunzel story - with a little Jack and the Beanstalk thrown in for good measure - and I'm sure I also saw some dwarves and a jackalope! (My second book with a jackalope.) A great collaboration by Shannon and Dean Hale with illustrations by Nathan Hale (no relation). I look forward to the sequel.(less)
I only noticed this book at the library because it was written by Gary Paulsen. I had never heard of Bass Reeves before, so I'm glad Paulsen wrote thi...moreI only noticed this book at the library because it was written by Gary Paulsen. I had never heard of Bass Reeves before, so I'm glad Paulsen wrote this. Paulsen does a great job with the very interesting life story of Bass Reeves - which he calls "fiction" because not many of the facts can be verified. There is some slightly graphic content of Comanche torture, so I wouldn't recommend this for younger students.(less)
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I haven't read very many graphic novels, but reading this was ALMOST as good as watching an episode of Fir...moreI was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I haven't read very many graphic novels, but reading this was ALMOST as good as watching an episode of Firefly. I loved getting some of the information that helped bridge that gap of time between the end of the series and the start of the movie. (less)