Saturday, January 30, 2021

Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo

Genre: Young Adult, Poetry

Source: I received a copy from Netgalley. The opinions expressed here are my own.


            This was a new author for me, and I’m glad that I found her. I read this book from cover to cover in a little under two hours. This is the story of a young girl named Nima who is trying to find her place, and who she is.  Because she is of Arab decent, she is often bullied. She doesn’t feel like she fits in with her mother and the country she came from. She doesn’t feel like she fits in to her new country. She can deal with all of this as long as she has her best friend Haitham. But words have power and cost her the best friend she has.

            This is a wonderful book. It shows the depth of pain not only the main character goes through, but the pain of her mother and friends. When you don’t fit into your parent’s culture and you don’t fit into the culture of your own country things can be rough. The author didn’t sugar coat this subject. It is a raw and honest look of what people of Arab decent went through right after 9/11. The prejudice, hate and how when it comes down to bullying adults will often be just as bad.  I loved watching how she struggled to find her identity only to realize deep down she already knew who she was. This book comes out in March but it is one I will recommend to teachers and students alike.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman

Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Source: I purchased a copy

This is one of those books that is good on so many different levels. Another teacher recommended the book to me. The gist of the story is this Brent Bishop is in trouble. He caused the loss of another person’s life. He feels he deserves more punishment than he is given. The judge gives the victim’s parents the right to seek restitution. The victim’s mother meets with them and has an unusual request for restitution. Brent is to create four whirligigs and place them in four different states. She has even bought a bus ticket  for him. Against his parent’s wishes he accepts.  This is a journey that touches many different people and may actually bring about healing.  I got to the end of this book and cried. It is that touching. The main character is so well developed that you feel his pain as you read his story. The settings are so well depicted you feel like you are right there with Brent. You feel his pain and want healing to happen for him.  I could not wait to put this on my school shelves and recommend it.

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Book - Seventy Times Seven


I want to introduce you to my new book. It came out right before Christmas. Unfortunately, as happy as I was, I was in the middle of preparing things for a wedding. My Step-daughter, fiance, and her daughter came down for a December 29th wedding.  I put off promoting my book until today. What better day to introduce a new book?

Here is the synopsis:

Frankie's school year is going downhill. His math teacher hates him, he keeps getting suspended. The new preacher keeps telling his dad how to handle his "problem" son. When the preacher's son is left with them for a few weeks, Frankie sees this as a relief until they are involved in a hit-and-run accident. All these conflicting emotions and secrets bring Frankie to a breaking point. Just when he decides what he must do to make things right, his sister and best friend go missing. Frankie is tormented by nightmares where he hears his sister calling for help while being chased by something dark and unseen. Everyone has abandoned him, including God. What will it take to set everything right again?