Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:37 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Josh Greenwood has come to Chicago to live with his father while his mother spends time in Florida helping his grandmother recover from an illness. Starting a new school and finding new friends is hard enough for a junior high student, but when your dad turns out to be an Elvis impersonator things are even worse. Josh's dad had worked at a shoe store for as long as Josh could remember, but when the shoe store went out of business, he is forced to find a different job and is trying to launch his career as the King. Josh is mortified by this turn of events, and even more upset when someone starts leaving notes on his locker signed 'Elvisly yours.' Josh and his father spend a lot of time not quite connecting as they try to get to know each other again. When Josh's dad is scheduled to perform in front of the entire student body at his school, Josh has to take matters into his own hands.
Pearsall includes some Elvis lyrics as the titles to her chapters and a bit about Elvis in her author notes. I do remember watching an Elvis concert on television when I was little but never experienced the Elvis obsession so many people have. While Josh doesn't quite "get" the obsession, either, after watching his father perform he is a bit more impressed with the new career his father has chosen.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:34 AM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:46 AM
Friday, February 20, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 12:37 PM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 11:44 AM
Monday, February 16, 2009
Blackbox by Julie Schumacher was a great YA read. This book centers on the topic of depression, so the idea that this book was enjoyable sounds wrong, yet it was so well written and so hard to put down.
Sisters Dora and Elena had always been close and had a good relationship. Suddenly (at least Elena feels it was sudden) Dora has slipped into depression - Elena calls it 'underneath', as though Dora fell through a trapdoor and was living in a world underneath the rest of them. Initially hospitalized, then medicated and released, Dora continues to battle her demons. Elena feels responsible for her sister's health, but it is through her own counseling sessions that she learns she cannot be responsible for Dora's choices. Schumacher carefully develops this story, including the feelings of guilt and shame that often accompany a diagnosis such as this. Elena finds help in the form of a neighbor, Jimmy Zenk, who tells her of his own brother's battle with being placed in a psychiatric ward. Elena looks to him for advice not knowing where else to turn. The book offers no easy solution or resolution, but is a wonderfully well written chronicle of teenage depression.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:20 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I still appear to be on my adult book binge, and just finished Wesley the Owl by Stacy O'Brien this afternoon. My husband read it a few weeks ago, and as a bird lover I had no doubt he would enjoy it. He wasn't quite sure how much I would like it, but in addition to learning a lot about owls (I could have fit what I had known previously into two short sentences at the most) I also enjoyed the story of Wesley and his relationship with his owner, Stacy.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:36 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Ford's novel is set in different time periods alternating between 1942 and 1986 most of the time. Henry is a twelve year old Chinese American boy living in Seattle in 1942. His father wants him to be American yet has Henry wear a button stating 'I am Chinese' each day. The white school he attends is hard for Henry who does not fit in. When he meets Keiko a Japanese American girl on scholarship like him, the two become fast friends, spending a great deal of time together serving lunches in the cafeteria and cleaning after school. Keiko and her family are sent to an internment camp and Henry continues to befriend her despite his father's hatred of the Japanese. The two vow to find each other after the war, yet as the years pass, Keiko's letters become more infrequent and they never do reunite.
In 1986 shortly after Henry's wife Ethel dies the Panama Hotel which had once been located in the Japanse district of Seattle is sold and it is discovered the basement housed many items for Japanese American families. Henry decides to go through the basement, knowing it is where Keiko's family stored their things, hoping for some sign. When his son Marty and Marty's fiancee Sam help him with this task they learn more about Henry's childhood than he had ever revealed to Marty before. Both Marty and Sam encourage Henry to try and find Keiko, to know what happened to her.
This is a beautiful story and I loved each and every page. While the ending is satisfying, there are also things Ford left up to the reader's imagination. So far this year, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of my favorite reads.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:02 PM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:46 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 11:47 AM
Monday, February 9, 2009
I have gone totally overboard on books I have checked out from the library. My husband is just about having a fit as he has watched books stack up already determining how much money I am going to owe in overdue fines. Realistically there is no way I can get all these books done. But, I hate not having every new book I can get my hands on.
Grown up books I can't wait to read:
The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton
Wesley the Owl by Stacy O'Brien
Michelle Obama by David Colbert
American Buffalo by Steven Rinella
That Went Well by Terrell Harris Dougan
Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich
Iodine by Haven Kimmel
True Colors by Kristin Hannah
The Memorist by MJ Rose
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
Standing Still by Kelly Simmons
Young Adult/Middle Grade Books:
All Shook Up by Shelly Pearsall
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Kendra by Coe Booth
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Converting Kate by Beckie Weinheimer
Rules of the Universe by Austin W. Hall by Robin Vaupel
Milagros: Girl from Away by Meg Medina
Jeepers Creepers: A Monstrous ABC by Laura Leuck
Junk Man's Daughter by Sonia Levitin
Steeee-amboat A'Comin by Jill Esbaum
I Love to Collage by Jennifer Lipsey
I better get reading, I guess! I did just finish Adriana Trigiani's latest book, Very Valentine, but my "return" stack is much smaller than my "to read" stack. So far, I haven't had any overdues, and even if I did, I have told my husband it is still cheaper than buying books.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:08 PM
Friday, February 6, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:06 AM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 10:33 AM
After reading others' blog posts on their January reads, I am going to post mine here as well. Of course I still keep track of what I read in my handy reading notebook, too.
The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown
No Limits by Michael Phelps
In His Sights by Kate Brennan
Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
The Sweet In-Between by Sheri Reynolds
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Childrens and Young Adult books:
The Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
How Not To Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
Letting Go of Bobby James or How I Found My Self Esteem by Valerie Hobbs
Thaw by Monica Roe
Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
This is the first time in a long time where my childrens and young adult book totals are greater than the adult books I have read. It's not that I like any one type more than another and there are just too many books and not enough time. We'll see how February ends up.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:23 AM
Monday, February 2, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:14 PM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 12:03 PM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 11:54 AM