Thursday, May 12, 2016

A beautiful and very inspirational story about how God can redeem a person's life, no matter how desperate their situation. Warning: This book is hard to put down. I read it all in one sitting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Woman Wbo Would Be King by Kara Cooney

The fascinating tale of a successful female pharoah during the 18th dynasty of Egypt. This brilliant woman manipulated the ancient Egyptian patriarchy to become first regent and then co-king, ruling alongside Thutmose III. Well-organized and easy to read. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who is interested in learning about powerful women in history.

I received a copy of this book free through Library Thing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Very unique and endearing, this is a crime mystery novel set in the 1850s starring Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet and practical philosopher. The main characters are a pair of cousins, Julia and Adam, who are in love with each other but are deathly afraid of the consequences a match such as theirs might have on possible offspring. Chapters are written from both Julia's and Adam's perspectives, alternating throughout, as their personal journal entries. The setting is a sleepy New England town called Plumford, not far from Boston. Adam happens upon the body of a mysterious young black man, who appears to have been murdered and then thrown from a cliff called Devil's Perch. Henry Thoreau also happens along, and the two begin to work together to disprove the town officials' opinion that this was an accidental death and to unravel the mystery of who dunnit. Of course, this murder is only the beginning of the crimes to be sleuthed as this novel unfurls. There are many twists and turns and surprises all along the way in this clever tale of small town folks whose lives are interwoven and whose secrets abound. I would suggest this book for anyone who enjoys a good mystery and especially for fans of Henry David Thoreau and his naturalist views.

I received a copy of this book free through Library Thing Member Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ariel Bradley, Spy for General Washington by Lynda Durrant

This is the story of Ariel Bradley, a 9-year-old boy, who served as a spy for General Washington during the Revolutionary War in 1776. He pretended to be a country bumpkin, or a "Johnny Raw" in 18th century terminology, and rode into enemy territory, pretending to be lost and in desperate need of directions, reporting back to Washington about how many soldiers and how much equipment the enemy had. This helped Americans to win the Battle of the White Plains in New York State in 1776.

It's a beautiful story that demonstrates how a child can be brave and helpful for a cause he holds dear. I enjoyed the story very much, and the artwork was magnificent! Who knows? We might all be in a very different country if it weren't for this child's courage and determination. This book makes a great history lesson for children, fun and easy to read.

I received a digital version of this book free from Net Galley for the purpose of reviewing.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hannah's Story by Ann Chandler is a beautiful tale of a 9-year-old girl who escaped the Killough Massacre in East Texas in 1838 by hiding in a berry vine. From there, she has many adventures. First, she is rescued by a Cherokee Indian and adopted into their tribe where she teaches them English and the ways of the white man (at least to the extent that a 9-year-old girl can). They become her family for several years until she is finally reunited with what is left of her blood relatives.

This book is written journal style and appropriate for the musings of a young child. It is easy to read and understand. This is a charming story that reminds us of how childhood misfortunes and serendipities are tools that form us into the adults we become. I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or desires to learn about the lives and plight of Native Americans during the westward settlement of our nation. It would make a fun history assignment for children and is also a pleasant read for adults.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000

This is the 11th in the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, whose teacher once reprimanded him for creating comic books and told him he couldn't spend the rest of his life making silly books. Boy, was she wrong! And this may be the silliest yet. It made me laugh out loud several times. I love the dry sense of humor that makes the Captain Underpants series just as enjoyable for adults as it is for children.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes to laugh in the face of societal norms and make their own rules. It's hilarious!

Friday, July 11, 2014

This is the story of Marie Antoinette's personal hairdresser and the French Revolution from his unique perspective. Leonard Auntie first walked into Paris with a beautiful shell comb in his pocket and not much else. This comb was his creative tool for bringing to life many magnificent and extravagant coiffures, a gaudy hairstyle the nobility of France went nuts over. As in the cover art, these hairstyles were extremely decorated and lavishly adorned with all types of amazing fabrics and jewels, sparing no expense. He started by decorating the heads of actresses in the theater and, with entrepreneurial spirit and artistic fervor, worked his way into the queen's good graces, enjoying more privileges over time and establishing both a school of hairdressing and also his own successful theater. He ultimately became a spawn for the royal family during the revolution. Sadly, after the revolutionary fires had chilled and he was able to return to France, Leonard was never fully repaid or shown the gratitude he so richly deserved. This is the story of a man with a very resilient spirit, though, who remained loyal and true to the crown until the very end of his life.

Exhaustively researched with references to Leonard's own memoirs, beautifully illustrated with breathtaking (and humorous to the modern eye) pictures of Leonard's masterpiece coiffures and with a catchy title that first sparks the reader's imagination, this book adds new perspective to the time of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. I highly recommend it for anyone who finds this colorful time in history interesting and wants to broaden their understanding of the people and the time.