Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What to do when your computer is down

What do you do when your computer is down and you are used to spending time checking the blogs you frequent? Mine was down until 6 p.m. this evening. I would like to say that I read down my TBR pile, but not so much. I did get some writing done. I only have about three weeks before school starts for me. I love being in the classroom, but know it will mean some major changes in my schedule again. Less blogging, a little less reading, and trying to balance my writing and arts. But I will be chugging away while I have the time. I did read three great books. Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn, Her Name was Beauty by Deborah A. Williams, and Fairy Hunters, Ink. by Sheila A. Dane. Please check below for my reviews.

Title: Closed For The Season
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Publisher: Clarion, 2009
Pages: 182
Source: My own purchase
Logan Forbes has just moved into the most run down house he has ever seen. To make matters worse Arthur, the know-it-all kid next door makes himself at home in their new house. Logan’s mother doesn’t like Arthur and decides he is not to be believed. Especially when he tells them that the old lady who lived there before them was murdered. Arthur proves to Logan that the story is true. The two boys set out to prove who murdered the old lady.

This was a quick and easy read. I liked the characters. They were well developed. All of us have met the kid that no one likes. He is the one who is different. Maybe it is because he is the smartest kid in class. In Arthur’s case he is the smartest, but also different because he lives with his grandmother and doesn’t have a lot of special clothes like his classmates do. He doesn’t really care either. Unfortunately, Logan fits right in with Arthur. The main difference is he has never broken the law until he moved next door to Arthur. I also loved the contrast between Logan's mother and father. His mother is a very uptight person who wants to be part of the social crowd. His father is the laid back art teacher at the high school. Logan takes after his father, and his mother is determined to change him. There were some twists and turns that I had not expected that made it a refreshing book. Another reason for me to keep reading this author’s books.
I give it a 5 out of 5

Title: Her Name Was Beauty
Author: Deborah A. Williams
Publisher: Book Surge
Pages: 28
Source: Review copy from author
Her Name Was Beauty is a simple children's book. The story is a simple one of a young girl of mixed heritage named Beauty. Her parents have tried to prepare her for what might happen when she enters pre-school. Faced with negative and nasty remarks because of her color, Beauty puts on a strong front. When her daddy picks her up and hears about her first day, he makes sure she knows how special she really is. I really enjoyed this book. The message is there for everyone to hear, that color doesn't matter. However, the author made sure that it didn't push everything else away. Although there are no pictures in the book, which I found a little disappointing, the descriptions are lovely. It allowed me to picture this child in my mind. I look forward to putting this book on my shelf at school for all to read, especially my ESOL students. I gave this a 4 out of 5 simply because I thought it would have been better with pictures.

Title: Fairy Hunters, Ink.
Author: Sheila a. Dane
Publisher: Dane & Co., 2009
Pages: 86
Source: Review Copy
For everyone, young and old who likes fairies, prepare yourself for a world you didn't know existed. Sheila Dane has done an awesome job as a Fairy Hunter, pointing out all of the different fairies we didn't know existed. She and her friend Ashley, who has her own fairy, along with their friends, The Rabbit and Turtle, take the reader along as they make their discoveries. This is a list of just a few of the fairies she has discovered: Button Fairies, Sock Fairies, Flute Fairies, and Mud Puddle Fairies, and of course for all of us readers, there is the book fairy..There are so many more in her book. The story of each fairy, and what they like, and eat and do was charming. I have to mention the illustrations in this book, created by Rose Csorba. I am so used to reading the words and ignoring pictures or giving them a cursory glance that the illustrations have to be outstanding for me to stop reading and look at them. These go above and beyond outstanding. I decided the way to handle this was to read through the book the first time without looking at the pictures and then take time to just look at the pictures. Finally I read the book again and stopped to see what else I might discover in the pictures. This is a book that everyone who reads it will read and re-read over and over, and over. I have several students and a sister that love fairies and I know that I will need to purchase many copies as gifts for them. This book definately earned a rating of 5 out of 5

1 comment:

  1. I liked Closed for the Season, too, especially the inclusion of a character who isn't particularly likable. Thanks for the reminder!