Monday, August 29, 2016

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Genre: Adult, Memoir
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The Opinions expressed here are my own.

Imagine you are a successful reporter in New York City and that you are only 24 when suddenly you know something is wrong. You are having several physical issues and mental issues and no one seems to be able to correctly tell you what is happening.  This is what happened to Susannah Cahalan.  She had an inflammation of her brain, yet was misdiagnosed many times. People start to believe with her symptoms that she has an alcohol problem, or is schizophrenic.  Her dad is the one person who stands behind her and believes there is something physically, not mentally wrong with her.  She finally finds a doctor who does one simple test and proves her condition is physical.  It is confirmed by another doctor and true treatment begins.  It is scary to find out there are so many auto-immune diseases out there that go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. How many people are institutionalized because of this type of situation?  Susannah was one of the lucky ones because she had such a strong support system and they were determined to find the cause.  This was both a scary and uplifting book as we find hope in doctors like hers.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lug Blast From the North by David Zeltser

Genre: Middle Grade, Action, Adventure
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This second book was just as good as the first book, and a very quick read. I sat down and put it away in and hour.  Lug is awakened one morning by Crazy Crag who wants him to look at something. He pretends to be asleep. Crag wakes his whole family when he fails to wake Lug. Crag wants them to come see something. No one moves until Crag has left and they hear a loud booming noise. Lug and his friends Stony, Echo, and Wooly all climb the mountain to find Crag. What they see is a giant glacier moving really quickly their way.  On their way to find out what they can do to stop it, they find a boy under ice. They thaw him out. He tells them his name is Blast and he lives on the glacier. He tells them the glacier will soon crush their caves and he is offering them a place to stay with him.  A message is sent back to their village as they check out the glacier.

For some reason, Lug just doesn't trust Blast. He soon learns he as a good reason not to. Blast is up to no good and it is up to Lug to figure out a way to stop him and the glacier.  This book is sure to keep students on the edge of their seat flipping pages. I do hope there are more to come in this series.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Free to Be Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Story of Women and Law by Teri Kanefield

Genre: Adult, Biography
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg was born into a Jewish family where she learned many of the same things the males learned. She was very smart, yet kept that part somewhat hidden. She won scholarships to send her to college. She was known to her family as Kiki, a nickname her older sister had given her. Her older sister was only six or seven when she died. Kiki lost her mother the day before her high school graduations.

This book is not just about Ruth Ginsberg’s journey. The history of women before her who helped pave the way is also told. It’s amazing how little I know, and how much I learned about women’s rights in the 1600 – early 1900s. I am glad I was born when I was. Ruth not only faced the issue of her gender and what it came to was: Ruth not only faced the issue of her gender when it came to getting a job at a law firm, but was banned because she was a mother and a Jew. Reading this book shows that she didn’t let much stand in her way of what she wanted. You don’t have to be her fan to learn so much about her and to enjoy the book. I learned so much about this woman and what she did for equality for everyone.  It was definitely well research, which is a trademark of this author. You can pick up any of her books and know that she has spent hours making sure everything is accurate. This is another reason to read this book. Yes, I would say that I would recommend this book to my readers. It is quite clearly one of the best written books I have read this year.