Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter

This is a young adult book with easy language and is a quick read. I completed the book in about an hour, but am still thinking about it much later. This book was written in 1961 in the German language and was translated to English in 1970. The story is told from the perspective of a German boy who lives in the same building as Friedrich, a Jewish boy. They are born a week apart and their families become friends. At first the Jewish family is much better off, financially, than the German family as they have been affected by the German economy. As Hitler comes into power, slowly things start to change and Friedrich's family become victims of Jewish persecution. The situation escalates as the story progresses. While the book does not go into the concentration camps, there is enough horror in the everyday life of a Jewish family at that time. It is a sad look into the ugliness of the sinful human nature. No happy ending in this book. Older children and adults should read this to be reminded of a horrific historic time, which should never be repeated.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary has written over 30 books for children. I can remember reading her Ramona books as a child and relating well to the characters. She understands the ways of children and this shows in her true-to-life characters. Henry Huggins was her first book written in 1950. It was very easy reading and basically is about a boy, the dog he finds, and his adventures with the dog and his friends. Not much education value in this one, but it was a fun read. Kids still played outside after school in this age before video games and computers. I did have to explain to my young son what a typewriter was as he has never seen or heard of one.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates

This was read aloud to my 6 year-old.
This was a beautifully written story of a boy growing up in the mountains in a family where shepherding is their way of life. The author has a way with words and is very poetic in the descriptive writing. I enjoyed the reading, but did have to explain things to my 6 year-old, often. Great vocabulary lessons in this reading ( I even learned a new word, cosset, for pet lamb) . It had some sad parts, especially for a sensitive child, but they were handled with tact and led to some deep discussions with my child, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While we are never told the location of the mountains, the story takes us to a place where life is simpler and work is harder.
I recommend this book for a mature age 6 and up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Year of Miss Agnes book review

The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill

This was a great book. I read this to my 6 year old son aloud. Be prepared to look up the geography of Alaska as that is the setting of the book. The story is told from the eyes of a school girl who attends a small school where the students are of all ages. They are used to a high turn around of teachers due to their low and sporadic attendance caused by the way of life of the native people and the work they had to do, as well as the horrible fishy smell that permeates the children and their environment. Miss Agnes is an exceptional teacher who truly cares about the children and teaches them the value of an education and gives them hope for a future with many options. She even is able to convince the mother of a deaf girl to allow her to come to school and shows she is capable of learning by showing her sign language. The whole class learns some sign language along with the girl. It is a sweet book with a happy ending. I recomend this book for all ages.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Book Nook Progress Report

Well the shelving is finished, but now the books must be priced, organized, and placed on the shelves. I have started and need to have this finished by the grand opening which is on April 10, 2010.