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Ireland (Notes from a Spinning Planet, #1)
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Ireland (Notes from a Spinning Planet #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  753 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
It’s pretty humiliating to admit, but I’ve never flown in a plane before today. So wouldn’t you think that I’d be feeling pretty jazzed right now? Instead I keep grabbing onto these armrests as I ask myself why on earth I ever agreed to come on this frightening trip.…

Affectionately teased as a “country bumpkin,” nineteen year-old Maddie has never been one to explore new t
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 24th 2008 by WaterBrook Press (first published November 7th 2006)
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Jill Williamson
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Review by Jill Williamson

Farm girl Maddie Chase has never gone anywhere. That’s why she jumps at the chance to travel to Ireland with her aunt Sid and Aunt Sid’s godson, Ryan. Aunt Sid worked at the peace camps in Ireland back when she was in college and is working on an article about where some of those kids she counseled years ago are today. Ryan’s mother—Aunt Sid’s best friend—recently passed away. Ryan’s father was from Ireland and he’s hoping to piece together some clues to his past. Maddie
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Lindsey
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
This was tough to get through. Luckily, it's super short. The Irish countryside descriptions were nice, but it really painted Ireland to be a bad place and that's just not true.
Sarah
Nov 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was awful. It was a waste of time, but I did complete it. The mini-tour of Ireland, a gorgeous and friendly country I have had the pleasure to visit, that Carlson provides was the only redeeming quality. Other than that, she is an awful author. Someone please explain to me how she's become a big name in Christian fiction. Her main character was very shallow and judgmental, yet presented by Carlson as the epitome of a teenage "Christian." If there was a plot, it was thin and lost my attentio ...more
Tessa Hall
What I liked: I liked how the story took place in Ireland, and it was about a girl who has always lived mostly a sheltered life. I thought the characters were well developed. I also liked the suspense in this novel.

What I disliked: It wasn't exactly about God or anything, which is fine, but when a novel is under Christian fiction I usually assume that it's a story that contains a Christian message. It's just a clean story.

Other comments: I would recommend, especially if you're someone that like
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Sammy Fee
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting book, my only fault was that the main character was insufferable at some points. Also sad that Ryan doesn't appear to go on the next adventure. I really enjoyed their relationship.
Emily Ouillette
Apr 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Note From a Spinning Planet: Ireland.
I just finished Melody Carlson’s book, and to be very honest, it was not my cup of tea. It was not my biscuit of choice. It was not anything but a mistake. It felt like my brain cells died at every sentence, word, and letter in that book. And I’m not even really exaggerating this. I honest to God have never disliked a book so intensely in my life.
Now, I know that I’m sounding overly cruel about this whole thing, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not coming in her
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Julia
Feb 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
Another one from the bookshelf archives. My grandmother got me this book for Christmas a few years ago because she knows how much I love Ireland, but I am not sure if she knew this was a Young Adult book when she gave it to me (probably not, because I was at least 23 at the time). YA is not my favorite genre, but I like some books that fall into the category, so I figured I'd keep an open mind and be worth a quick read.

I wish I had not wasted my time, because this book is terrible. It took me a
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Emilie
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marty
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Rosenberger
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a good choice for my first foray into Christian teen fiction, since I'm a fan of travel writing. Maddie, a 19-year old farm girl who has never left her home state, decides to accompany her journalist aunt on a trip to Ireland. While her aunt is busy researching a story on Peace Camps, an Irish institution that tried to ease tensions between Catholics and Protestants by having their kids play together, Maddie and her traveling companion Ryan spend their time exploring the country and try ...more
Kelly
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gentle-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, own, 2017
August 29-31 2017
I changed my rating of this book because while I still really enjoyed the book, it wasn't 5 star book anymore. I realized that I actually don't like the main character anymore. Last time I read this series was almost 5 years ago, so i was I guess just not caring about the character more about the scenery of Ireland. Now while I still love reading about Ireland , makes me want to go even more, and learning some history, I also paid more attention to the main character Maddie, who
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Grace
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book certainly wasn't what I thought it would be. I expected a fun travel story with a sweet romance and a Christian twist. This certainly wasn't what I got! This story have SO MUCH information on Ireland it was crazy! I loved learning about the culture and the lives of the people. I felt that the IRA aspect was good, but I felt it's role in the plot was a slight over-kill. I adored the characters of this book and though they were well rounded. My heart just broke for Ryan and how much he h ...more
Cynthia Heinrichs
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't realize when I picked this book up that it was a Christian book, so I was a little thrown when the protagonist had such a huge issue with people drinking beer and how the other characters reacted to her. Everyone was so nice to each other that there was very little tension. Once I got used to the idea that this was a very unworldly Christian girl who was going to learn something on the trip and in the book I read with that in mind. The book is aimed at a particular audience, one which m ...more
Sarah
Melody Carlson was wildly popular at the high school where I used to be librarian, because the town had very active churches and youth groups. I pretty much stocked all of her YA books so that I could recommend Christian YA titles to the teens.

This title was about Ireland, so I wanted to read it, and I figured I hadn't read a YA Christian fiction in awhile so I thought I would give it a try. There were a few cheesy moments, but it wasn't too bad. This is the first of a series, in which 19-year-
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$hanel
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Finally Melody Carlson has written a book about Ireland! Notes from a Spinning Planet is about 18 year old Maddie who goes on vacation to Ireland with her Aunt Sid and Sid`s godson Ryan. The book describes Ireland as a beautiful place and boy do I wish I could visit there. In Ireland Maddie visits many cute Ireland shops and Ryan discovers that the drinking age in Ireland is 18 and up. Blah is what Maddie thinks! While Maddie and Ryan are discovering Ireland they both do seem to get closer and c ...more
Elora
This was a fun read. Nothing too adventurous about it. Wasn't boring, but wasn't what I thought it'd be. This is a kind of book you read when you've just finished a whole bunch of really great books and can't find anything better at the moment...so you read this one. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. Just not what I expected.

A few things that really bothered me at first was that Maddie kept getting completely bothered by people drinking. I understand some Christians aren't into drinking alcohol
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Victoria
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
I actually thought this was going to be a romantic Christian tale, but instead it was surprisingly not, and was interesting (in a good way). Maddie is going on a trip to Ireland with her aunt and her aunt's God-son. Her aunt is a journalist and the God-son is tracing his family links, as his father was born in Ireland and he never knew him. She wants to help out both of them as she also tries to renew her faith in God.

At the start of the book I couldn't take Maddie's character but she did develo
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Elizabeth Rose
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Things I liked: The discussion about faith and respecting other's in their worship/feelings about being Christian, the attention to the complexity of Irish history without delving too deeply into rooting for either side (there's a definite anti-violence thing here but there's no real pro-British Rule or pro-unification either).

Things I didn't like: Constantly calling herself a bumpkin in the 2000s. People would say hick or hillbilly. Constantly pointing out that she thinks of herself as a Christ
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Kirsten
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because of it being St. Patty's day. And I enjoy reading fictional traveling memoirs. I am also a fan of Melody Carlson, but this wasn't my of her's.

It's a light, "inspirational read", aimed at teens. I didn't find the book too suspenseful--it was easy for me to see where it was headed--but it was well written and fun. I had a hard time believing Carlson was not younger; she, like always, perfect's a young person's thoughts and mannerisms.

FYI: My favorite Melody Carlson nov
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Lauren
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
It wasn't that I didn't like it, it's that I didn't care. I thought it was going to be fun, but there were issues that were looked at, and the narrator was just there as a mechanism to get the issues out in a fiction setting. The history IRA stuff was interesting, but I would rather read a nonfiction thing about it, more informative. I got Maddie, I understood the way she reacted to situations. It's not that she wasn't relatable, it was that she wasn't interesting. Could have been much better. B ...more
Books and Literature for Teens
This Diary of a Teenage Girl was different from the Kim or the Chloe series (haven't read the Caitlin series yet).
It was still good, but pretty edgy.
Sure, lots of girls have Maya's problem (in fact I know one), but I hear about it so much that I don't like to keep reading stuff about it.
Anyways, Maya's mother is an drug addict,her father's away on tour, and Maya wants to live on her own. But in doing so, she gotta learn the art of being humble.


It was a bit slow at times, but finishable (can I m
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Theresa
Jun 14, 2014 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't quite what I expected. I would have liked for their to be a little more excitement and adventure, when in reality not a whole lot happened. It was very informative though. I learned a lot more about Ireland and their culture particularly the troubles they had (especially in the '70s) between the Protestants and the Catholics that I didn't know much about at all. Overall this book was interesting, but I had just hoped for more danger and intrigue involving the ...more
Kait
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, the aunt was a character i connected with because i want to be like her. I connected with Maddie because i'm kind of like her. THis was a different kind of book for me because it was more 'real life' and not so much fairytale and make believe but had to do with God and going out into the world and a guy and facing things you never have before. It was a great adventure and i really liked it.
Lucy Takeda
Fair to middlin'. I've been to Ireland, and have some Irish ancestry, so I enjoyed revisiting some sites. The main character's somewhat major issues with being truly Christian and drinking Guinness bugged me a bit; I ran across SO many folks in 38 years of teachIng that were quite insistent on how their religion was the ONLY true one. There is decent character and plot development. Evidently this is kind of a series. Undecided if I'll check out others.
Laura
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This book started slowly, as the girl kind of annoyed me with her attitude. But, she calmed down a bit as the trip continued and she learned what it's like to be away from the family farm.

I enjoyed learning about Ireland and seeing Maddie's growth as she went through her first international adventure.

The book didn't make me want to travel like most novels about people making fun trips do. I guess I've got enough going on at home right now to keep me busy.
Jenne
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Fine vehicle for young adults to learn about the complexity of the history of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK. Protagonist has never flown or been out of the US before, and she's also rather irritatingly self-righteous about being a "Christian." But, she comes to some reasonable conclusions by book's end, and has her eyes opened to the world a little bit. Sturdy and informative story.
Anna Gibson
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was an awesome book! I really want to go to Ireland now! It described Ireland so vividly I want to visit! The story was kinda a mystery, because it built up suspense without telling you what was happening, but then it never became an obvious mystery. I think any teenage girl should read it-I can't wait to find the next one!
Alyssa
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really really liked this book! Maddie, the main character had a lot of the same personality, thinking style, and fears I do which made her relateable. The plot kept me on my toes by making me expect something different to happen when something else did instead. I can't wait to possibly check out the sequal to this book.
Slumbering Rose
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really like the author's style, tone, and overall writing. I liked the sometimes quirky main character--she reminds me of myself, in a way--so I definitely want to continue with the series. But plot-/story-wise there wasn't much to the book. Still, if her other books make up on this, I think I found a new favorite author.
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Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspi
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More about Melody Carlson...

Other Books in the Series

Notes from a Spinning Planet (3 books)
  • Papua New Guinea (Notes from a Spinning Planet, #2)
  • Mexico (Notes from a Spinning Planet, #3)