Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Final Day of Found Reviews

This is the last of the found book reviews. I know there are others I've read and not yet reviewed.  If I owe you a book review know that I will get to it.  Feel free to email me to remind me or ask me about your review.

Lesson  of the White Eagle – Barbara Hay
All 15-year-old Dusty wanted was to go to his hometown's bash for the 1893 Land Run centennial. Instead, he finds himself a witness to a hate crime, and he's the one driving the getaway car. Now a mystical white eagle has invaded his dreams, making him question everything he thought he knew about Indians and the bonds of childhood friendship. After the white eagle takes Dusty back in time to see the horrors the Ponca people endured on their forced removal from what would become Nebraska to Oklahoma Territory, Dusty must decide whether or not to act on the lesson he has learned from seeing in action one of the first American civil rights activists: the Ponca's own Chief Standing Bear.

My Thoughts: Racism, discrimination, prejudice, these are not just words whose meaning we want to teach to our children. It is the responsibility of every adult to teach our children about these issues and the proper way to handle them. Barbara Hay has found the method to address these issues through this book. Her main character is a fifteen year old teen named Dusty who must decide how to handle a situation.  It will mean he must decide to do what he knows he should and run the risk of losing his friends, or stick with his friends in something he knows is wrong. You need to read the book to see what he did.
I loaned this book to a student who seemed surprised that this happened to a Native American.  Living in Florida the only Native Americans they were familiar with were the Seminoles and they thought that all of them owned  gambling establishments. This book is the perfect way to discuss these major issues.  I applaud the author for opening the door for these conversations.

Stealing Kevin’s Heart – M. Scott Carter
Their small town saw Alex Anderson and Kevin Rubenstein as the most unlikely of best friends, but that is just what the handsome athlete and the artistic Jewish brainiac are: inseparable buddies since childhood. Then Kevin dies in a motorcycle accident, and his parents blame Alex. And Alex blames himself. His grieving derails both his studies and his football, and he is sent away to a camp for troubled youths in the wilds of southeastern Oklahoma. Borderline suicidal, Alex finds his way back to sanity among the pine trees and clear lake waters thanks to a girl with a secret, a group of misfits, and the most unselfish gift a person can give another.

My Thoughts: After seeing his best friend killed in an accident Alex is sent away to a cap for troubled teens.  He's so depressed he is suicidal.  His parents are hoping camp can help him with his depression.  Alex is not  you just automatically know how to go through. It is an uphill battle. At camp Kevin finds others who have problems as big or bigger than his.  Is it possible that this camp is the one place that can help him?  This is one of those books that touch your heart and brings out the emotions.  Be sure to read it with tissues in reach.

Patalosh: The Time Travelers
Ten-year-old Orion Spence never expected to wake up alone on the HMS Exploricusafter his birthday. After finally locating the first officer of the time-traveling airship and the rest of the crew, Orion gets the horrible news. His parents, who serve as captain and science officer, have been kidnapped by the evil Emperor Daaggerd. The emperor has taken Orion's parents in order to gain control of the Exploricus and also the Ancient Book of Spells, a powerful book Orion's family is pledged to protect.

Orion joins forces with the ship's officers and begins a desperate chase across space and time to save his family. First, Orion must unravel the clues to the seven keys on each continent needed to open the book. Then, he must pass deadly tests of strength, honesty, leadership, and everything else that is important to be the keeper of the Ancient Book of Spells.

My Thoughts:  Want a great time travel book that pushes learning about different cultures?  This is the book for you. The day after Orion’s birthday he finds himself alone.  His parents have been kidnapped.  He will have to travel to different continents, solve seven riddles and keep the evil Emperor Daaggerd, who kidnapped his parents from getting his hands on “The Ancient Book of Secrets”.  He has several trusty friends who are willing to die to help protect Orion and the book.  I know my students will find this as thrilling as I did.  Wonderful  details and the plot is pushed along at a great pace.  Definitely recommending this one to my students.

Precious Bones – Mika Ashley-Hollinger
Meet ten-year-old Bones, whose playground is the Florida swamps, brimming with mystical witches, black bears, alligators and bobcats. Bones' father, Nolay, a Miccosukee Indian, is smart and mischievous. Her Mama, practical as corn bread, can see straight into Bones' soul.

It's summer, and Bones is busy hunting and fishing with her best friend, Little Man. But then two Yankee real estate agents trespass on her family's land, and Nolay scares them off with his gun. When a storm blows in and Bones and Little Man uncover something horrible at the edge of the Loo-chee swamp, the evidence of foul play points to Nolay. The only person that can help Nolay is Sheriff LeRoy, who's as slow as pond water. Bones is determined to take matters into her own hands. If it takes a miracle, then a miracle is what she will deliver.

My Thoughts:  I love reading anything that has to do with the Florida Swamps.  I live in Florida and the Everglades is one of the most glorious swamps around. Bones and her best friend Little Man love spending their summer hunting, fishing and exploring the swamp. Her father Nolay is a Native American with somewhat of a temper.  When two yankees come offering to buy his land he scares them off with a gun. When one of them turns up dead in the swamp Nolay becomes the prime suspect. Bones knows her daddy better than anyone.  She knows he is innocent.  Since the sheriff is taking so long to prove it she figures it is up to her to find out what is really going on. This book reminded me of Carl Hiaasen's book "Flush".  I believe my students will enjoy this as much as I did.

No comments:

Post a Comment