The One and Only Ivan / by Katherine Applegate. 6/6/3013

The One and Only Ivan / by Katherine Applegate.

INT, grades 4 and up, rating: 5. Hardcover.

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is a fictional story based on the life of Ivan, a real gorilla, who now lives at Zoo Atlanta. Before being transported to the zoo, Ivan lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He lives at the mall for so long that he doesn’t remember life in the jungle. He loves to draw and his drawings are sold at the gift shop. Ivan’s best friends at the mall are Stella, an elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. The caretaker always brings his ten-year-old daughter, Julia, with him to work. Julia spends her time talking to the animals and drawing with Ivan. The mall’s owner, Mack, is worried because he isn’t making as much money as he used to. Mack’s new attraction is a baby elephant named Ruby. Stella is excited to see another elephant and becomes Ruby’s mother figure.

Stella is elderly and, when she becomes really sick, Ivan promises Stella that he will take care of Ruby. After Stella’s death, Ivan wants to help Ruby find a better home. Ivan draws pictures of Ruby in a zoo and the letters H, O, M, and E. Julia urges her father to post the pictures on the mall’s billboard for everyone to see. Soon Mack starts receiving a lot of attention because of his Ape Artist. Will Ivan’s actions lead to a better life for him and his friends?

This is  a touching, heartfelt story of Ivan’s determination to help Ruby. Ivan, Stella, and Ruby were taken from their families and homes for someone else’s financial gain. Ivan is determined to keep his promise to his friend, Stella, and save Ruby from a lifetime in the mall. This book shows that animals have feelings also, and is very well-written with clever illustrations.   One caution; early in the book, Ivan the gorilla says, “I am a great ape, and you are a great ape.

Trina Chase

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Key on the Quilt / by Stephanie Grace Whitson. 5/27/2013

The Key on the Quilt / by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Adult, rating: 5. Paperback.

The Key on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson is one of the books in the series The Quilt Chronicles. This book weaves a story of three women brought together in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 1876. Jane Prescott is hiding a terrible secret while serving a ten-year prison sentence. Mamie Dawson feels it is God’s plan for her to perform the job as a prison matron. Ellen McKenna doesn’t know how to interact with the women even though she is the warden’s wife. These women develop an unlikely friendship.

With the help of an old friend, Dr. Max Zimmer, the truth about Jane’s case comes out. When everyone learns the real story, Mamie, Ellen, and even the warden, Ian McKenna, fight very hard for Jane’s release. Jane is thankful to have so many people support her and to receive a second chance. Mamie presents  ideas to the warden in hopes of creating activities for the women. These ideas include planting gardens, quilting, and even learning to read. The warden has a tough job of overseeing the prison, but he makes time to listen to all of Mamie’s suggestions and encourages Ellen to participate in the new programs. With the help of Ellen, these women embrace their new opportunities. There are people that present obstacles in Mamie’s plans for her girls. But these three headstrong women continue to pray and maintain their faith in God.

This work of fiction illustrates everyday life in the women’s prison in 1876. The book is very well-written and shows a clear connection between the three women and their choices.  Each of the women finds love, even when they lease expect it.

Trina Chase

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons / by Sid Farrar; illustrated by Ilse Plume. 5/25/2013

The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons / by Sid Farrar; illustrated by Ilse Plume.

Albert Whitman                 ISBN 9780807581292

PRI, grades K-3 (all ages), rating *5. Hardcover picture book.

From winter through fall and back to winter again, the change of seasons in a year is captured in 13 illustrated haiku, with brief explanatory notes about this 18th century Japanese poetry form and the cycle of life in the natural world. Who would think that so much imagery could be captured in just three lines of poetry?

The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons is a wonderful tool for introducing readers of all ages to haiku. Sid Farrar’s thought-provoking pieces are delightfully clever, a perfect blend of witty and tender, and clearly reflecting the author’s appreciation for nature. Ilse Plume’s bright watercolors complement the prose with familiar scenes of each season, including jack o’lanterns. Readers new to poetry may wish to begin with the endnotes, which helpfully describe the intent and format of haiku. This special book would be a most enjoyable addition to a home or classroom library.

Nina Ditmar

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Oh, No! / by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann. 5/23/2013

Oh, No! / by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann.

Schwartz & Wade             ISBN 9780375842719

Pri, grades PS-2, rating: 3. Hardcover

“Help!” croaks Frog from the base of a deep hole. Mouse, Loris, Sun Bear, and Monkey each fall in trying to help, as hungry Tiger makes an ominous plan. Elephant saves the day with his long trunk…but now it’s Tiger’s turn to say, “Oh, no!”

With enchanting illustrations by Eric Rohmann and whimsical storytelling by Candace Fleming, Oh, No! has much to capture children’s interest and attention. The facial expressions on the jungle characters are delightful. The animals tumble into the hole with fun sounds (“Ribbit-oops!”, “Pippa-eeeek!”) and the repeated exclamation of “Oh, no!” just begs young listeners to shout along with the action. However, the ending is unsettling. The animals turn their backs on Tiger, who is left in the hole pleading, “please, please” for their help. Granted, Tiger had aimed to eat them all, but what may seem fair and true-to-nature to some children, may feel cruel and sad to others.

Suggested for ages 3-7 (inside book flap).

Nina Ditmar

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Spy School / Stuart Gibbs. 5.21.2013

Spy School / Stuart Gibbs.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-1442421820

INT, grades 4-7, rating: 4. Hardcover.

In Spy School, the C.I.A. asks twelve-year-old Ben Ripley to enroll in their Academy of Espionage. As a math genius and nerd, Ben expects his skills to lead him to a glamorous life of intrigue and high-tech weaponry. Instead, he discovers that the C.I.A. recruited him as bait to catch a double agent. With the help of Erica Hale, a beautiful and talented fellow student, he begins uncovering the truth behind the spy school.

Stuart Gibbs has set up a fast-paced and humorous action story in Spy School. Gibbs, having worked on several Hollywood movies in the past such as Anastasia and Disney’s Three Musketeers, has written a book as entertaining as an animated film. Spy School begins with immediate action and carries the pace through to the end. Gibbs combines plot twists, action, and humor so the story never gets boring. As a result, however, few of the characters have growth or development. Ben Ripley makes friends and succeeds in his quest, but by the end of the novel, he has grown more in intelligence than in character. Because there are so many characters in the book, Gibbs also paints many of them as caricatures, which makes for a light-hearted, humorous read.

Two notable points: Spy School presents an anti-authority view, though the set-up is not against all authority, but incompetent authority. Also, there are a few mild curse words in the book though they occur under appropriate situations. Overall, Spy School is comparable to a fun children’s film, and a fast, entertaining read.

Faith Tsai

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Key on the Quilt / by Stephanie Grace Whitson. 5/26/2013

The Key on the Quilt / by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Adult, rating: 5. Paperback.

The Key on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson is one of the books in the series The Quilt Chronicles. This book weaves a story of three women brought together in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 1876. Jane Prescott is hiding a terrible secret while serving a ten-year prison sentence. Mamie Dawson feels it is God’s plan for her to perform the job as a prison matron. Ellen McKenna doesn’t know how to interact with the women even though she is the warden’s wife. These women develop an unlikely friendship.

With the help of an old friend, Dr. Max Zimmer, the truth about Jane’s case comes out. When everyone learns the real story, Mamie, Ellen, and even the warden, Ian McKenna, fight very hard for Jane’s release. Jane is thankful to have so many people support her and to receive a second chance. Mamie presents  ideas to the warden in hopes of creating activities for the women. These ideas include planting gardens, quilting, and even learning to read. The warden has a tough job of overseeing the prison, but he makes time to listen to all of Mamie’s suggestions and encourages Ellen to participate in the new programs. With the help of Ellen, these women embrace their new opportunities. There are people that present obstacles in Mamie’s plans for her girls. But these three headstrong women continue to pray and maintain their faith in God.

This work of fiction illustrates everyday life in the women’s prison in 1876. The book is very well-written and shows a clear connection between the three women and their choices.  Each of the women finds love, even when they lease expect it.

Trina Chase

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Fairest Beauty / by Melanie Dickerson. 5.21.2013

The Fairest Beauty / by Melanie Dickerson.

HS (Adult), rating: 5. Paperback.

Award-winning Melanie Dickerson pens her third young adult novel loosely based on the story of Snow White.

In The Fairest Beauty, Duchess Ermengard fakes the death of her stepdaughter Sophie, driving her husband, Duke Baldewin, to disappear in despair. For over fifteen years, she convinces everyone that Sophie, the scullery maid she torments, is only an orphan girl. Even Sophie is unaware of her true identity. A former nurse, the only one left with knowledge of the deception, fakes her own death and travels to Sophie’s betrothed, Valten. But Valten is laid up with a broken leg and unable to come. His impulsive younger brother, Gabe, decides to rescue Sophie on his own.

He tells Sophie of her true identity, and convinces Sophie to escape with him because her life is in danger. When Gabe is severely injured by pursuing guards, they take refuge in the Cottage of the Seven. While he recuperates, Sophie and Gabe discover they are falling in love, but they are both betrothed to others. News reaches Gabe that Sophie’s father is not dead but alive, and he leaves to find out the truth. While he is away, the Duchess, in the guise of an old woman, visits Sophie in the Cottage of Seven with the intent of killing her.

As in her earlier books, the faith element is clearly evident. Sophie prays for her stepmother instead of hating her. Both Gabe and Sophie struggle with past hurts needing God’s healing. They also struggle to seek God’s will and act honorably with others.

Dickerson is a masterful storyteller with a carefully crafted plot, richly drawn characters, and detailed medieval setting. The reader is pulled into the story, forgetting it is based on a familiar tale. All of her books are a delightful retelling, but this one is her best so far!

Carol R. Gehringer

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale / Sandra D. Bricker 5/11/2013

If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale / Sandra D. Bricker

River North (June 1, 2013),  ISBN 978-0802406286

Adult   Rating  4

Pre-Publication copy reviewed

Sandra Bricker kicks off a new romantic comedy contemporary series based on classic fairy tales. If the Show Fits, based on Cinderella, tells the humorous story of a modern-day Cinderella waiting for her prince.

In If the Show Fits, on the very day Julianne opens a law firm with her childhood friend, Will, she sees a handsome stranger rescue a dog from the middle of a busy intersection. As he carries the dog off, with his long coat flowing out behind him, she is captivated by his physical beauty and love for animals. When she looks again, he is gone. Then she notices that his tool box and his work boot fall out of his truck. Julianne takes it as a sign that she has seen her Prince Charming. She tracks him down to return the items, but is he as charming as she dreams? She thinks she has found her prince, but more she gets to know him, the less charming he seems to be.

Julianne wants God’s plan for her life but will she recognize it before it is too late?  For this Cinderella, the shoe (boot) is on the other foot – she is looking for her prince, not the other way around. How hard should she work to make things fit? Cinderella (Julianne) has her ball and eventually her prince, but not before facing challenges in finding her “happy ending.”

Bricker writes her trademark humor in this laugh-out loud story where Cinderella doesn’t recognize God’s plan for her. With witty narrative and likeable primary and secondary characters, Bricker strikes just the right balance to bring a twist to this contemporary fairy tale. The Christian elements are light, not preachy. Its humor and romance are clean, not unlike the old black-and-white romantic comedies featuring one’s favorite actors.

Carol R. Gehringer

www.worthy2read.wordpress.com

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But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

A Plain Scandal/ Amanda Flower. 5/11/2013

A Plain Scandal/ Amanda Flower. (An Appleseed Mystery, 2)

Adult (College), rating: 5.

Amanda Flowers presents her second novel in the Appleseed Mystery series, featuring Chloe Humphrey, a young single computer professional, living in Amish country.

In A Plain Scandal, Chloe finds herself once again involved in a mystery as the Amish are victims of an unknown assailant. Cutting off men’s beards and cutting the women’s long hair are a scandal to the Amish. A local businessman is killed and his beard cut off, and four young women are attacked and their hair cut short. Chloe is concerned for her neighbors and friends. Becky and Timothy, former Amish with family still living in the area, help her to look for the murderer before he strikes again. Even Becky and Timothy’s Grandfather Zook is a victim when his beard cut off during an attack. Although the police are on the trail, they value Chloe‘s input due to her relationships within the Amish community.

Meanwhile, one of Chloe’s colleagues at the college where she works becomes her new landlord, causing problems for Becky and Chloe as he tries renovating their house. Chloe discovers that another one of her colleagues is connected to the attacks. Chloe’s friendship with Timothy begins to develop into something more, but it moves at a slow rate as the book unfolds.

Flower engages the reader with a cozy mystery and her interesting (and likeable) characters, making it the perfect book to read for sheer enjoyment. A Plain Scandal is both plot- and character–driven. There are several twists and turns, as one would expect from a good mystery. The author introduces bits and pieces of Amish culture without letting it overpower the story.

Recommended to public and church libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer.

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Moonblood / by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. May 17, 2013

Moonblood / by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. (Tales of Goldstone Wood, 3)

Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2012), ISBN 9780764207815
HS, grades 8-12, rating: 4. Paperback.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales of Goldstone Wood series with Moonblood. Rose Red serves Prince Lionheart in his palace, and everyone avoids her because she hides her face behind veils. People claim the prince is under her spell, but they are wrong. In exchange for his life, he made a bargain with the Dark Lady to avoid fighting the dragon that invaded his kingdom five years ago.

The crowds want to destroy Rose after she mistakenly lets a different dragon disguised as a woman into the city. Instead of death, Lionheart banishes her. Almost immediately she is captured by her goblin father, King Vahe. He plans to kill her to fulfill a prophecy on the Night of Moonblood. When Lionheart is removed from the throne, he goes in search of Rose, his friend. Will he find her in time?

This book is definitely plot-driven with unexpected twists. The story seems to drag occasionally. Because of this, one gets disenchanted with Lionheart as his lack of courage drags on and on. Lionheart must learn to live up to his name. However, until that moment arrives, he is a somewhat annoying character. Others have suffered because of his decisions and indecisions.

While the Christian allegory is stronger in this book, it is not preachy and could be missed by most readers. There is Christian symbolism if one chooses to see.

Stengl pens a highly imaginative fantasy with intricate detail. However, much of the story will be confusing without the background in the earlier books, Heartless and Veiled Rose. The minor characters are more interesting than the major ones.

Recommended for middle and high school libraries, as well as teen collections in public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer
Worthy2ead.wordpress.com

 

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.