Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (Another older review)

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting BoyThe Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published 2005.

I loved this tale of 4 sisers on summer vacation. It reminded me of the innocent times I spent as a girl playing all kinds of pretending games with my best friend, Brenna, and our little sisters. It brought back truly great memories of being a young girl with lots of space, time and imagination. I can't wait to read the next book about the Penderwick girls!

Highly Recommended!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! That's all I can say at this moment. Maybe I'll be able to write more later, but I just finished and . . . wow.

This is a MUST read, however, you must read the first two books in order to fully appreciate the last. Amazing!

Highly recommended!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2)The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I just finished this amazing book! I really loved Life As We Knew It and wasn't sure how I would feel about the companion book.

The same natural events take place causing a total change in life for everyone on Earth. The book does not focus on background information leading up to the asteroid crashing into Earth's moon and delves right into life afterward for another character and his family. This time we see what happens to Alex Morales living in New York City. Alex's life seems right on track for going to a good college. He is from a very devout Catholic family and attends an excellent Catholic boy’s school on a scholarship. Life dramatically goes horrifically downward almost immediately after the moon disaster. This was definitely much darker and scarier than the companion book.

A quick and very engaging read. I am a little sad to see how much shorter the final book is (it will bring Alex and Miranda together). But I'm excited to find where the author takes these characters and everyone who remains on Earth in This World We Live In.

Highly Recommended!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Reviews

I realized I have many book reviews on Goodreads. Thought I might share some more here. Some are pretty detailed and some are just saying how much I love the book, but you might like to know my thoughts on other books I've read. Here's one to start: The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from GrimmThe Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm by Jacob Grimm
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Published 1973.

So, there is a reason why the modern world needs Disney versions of classic tales - the originals are down right psycho!

In this collection of Grimm translated by Segal and Jarrell, there are a few well known tales (Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Snow White) and many obscure ones. Basically, there is much more cutting people up into pieces (Fitcher's Feathered Bird, The Juniper Tree, etc.)than THIS reviewer can stand!

The other major issue I have is that many of the tales end abruptly or seem to have nothing to do with the rest of the story (Hans My Hedgehog, Frederick and His Katelizabeth, etc.). Many-Fur is so strange, I'm not sure how to describe it. Many-Fur is a young girl who was doomed to marry her father. This frightens and alarms her and she runs away, but in the end she returns and does a variety of things to prove to her father who she is. They get married and do the "happily ever after" thing leaving the reader's mind to reel: "What? Hold Up! Wait...WHAT?!?"

Themes include good and evil and magic.

I would not use this book in elementary (possibly 5th grade). In middle and high school this could be used to compare original versions of traditional fantasy with modernized versions of the stories.

Not recommended unless you need to punish yourself for some reason.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Hello! Hope everyone is having a great summer! I'm enjoying the time off and reading like crazy. (Side note: I did not get any of the library jobs I applied/interviewed for so I will be back at the technology teacher thing for at least another year). For a long while I've had this book, Life As We Knew It, on my "to read" list and I got a Barnes and Noble gift card for my birthday, so I bought a paperback copy. I am totally loving it! It's very difficult to put down. Very interesting and so well written (my only gripe is I have found 2 typos!). This is the very interesting story of high school sophomore Miranda whose life is totally changed (as well as the rest of the world's) when a larger than expected asteroid hits Earth's moon and moves it close to Earth and at a different tilt on its axis. We know that the moon affects many things on Earth (tides, seasons, etc.) and within 12 hours things start going crazy on the home planet. This is the first of a trilogy and I will definitely be reading it all! When I finish, you can read my full review on Goodreads . . . . . . and here it is: Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! Sixteen-year-old Miranda's life is dramatically changed (along with the rest of the world) when an asteroid collides with Earth's moon causing it to change position on it's axis and move much closer to Earth. The moon affects many things on Earth like tides, seasons, etc. and major catastrophic events begin occurring within 12 hours. Miranda and her family struggle to survive in an increasingly difficult natural and social environment. After the initial establishment of "life as usual" the book becomes very engaging and I had difficulty putting it down. Very well written! I cannot wait to read the next book in the trilogy to find out what happens next.

Highly recommended!

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Goodreads Favourites

Catherine's bookshelf: read

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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