What ever happened to “chick” lit? It seems to have gone out of favor lately, but I would like to recommend three recent titles that are just right for a light summer read with a dash of romance and a serving of self-discovery for the main female characters:
Wallflower in Bloom – The story of a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself voted on as a last-minute replacement on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Wife 22 – Baring her soul in an anonymous survey for a marital happiness study, Alice catalogs her stale marriage, unsatisfying job, and unfavorable prospects and begins to question virtually every aspect of her life.
The Next Best Thing – Believing she is realizing her dreams when her sitcom is bought, television writer Ruth Saunders finds her happiness threatened by demanding actors and executives as well as an unrequited crush on her boss and her septuagenarian grandmother’s upcoming wedding.
The main female characters are likeable, but far from perfect and you will enjoy learning what happens behind the scenes on DWTS, the launch of a new TV series and supposedly anonymous internet surveys. Quick reads for a summer that is already passing by too fast!
The Yard is set in London, 1889. The Scotland Yard is still reeling from their failure to catch Jack the Ripper, and have lost the respect of the public who call them “bluebottles.” Inspector Walter Day has been a member of the Murder Squad at the Yard for less than a week when a fellow Murder Squad detective is found dead in a steamer trunk. With help from a fellow detective, Black, Constable Hammersmith and Dr. Bernard Kingsley, a pioneering forensic anthropologist, he tries to solve the case in crime ridden Victorian London.
I was mesmerized by how the author was able to make you feel like you were a part of this time period. It was a fast read not because it was a great whodunit, but because it was an eloquent character study of law enforcement officials at the beginning of the modern age where forensic techniques that is commonplace today were looked upon with suspicion by the police. For example, Dr. Kingsley tries to convince the detectives to use fingerprints to eliminate suspects.
I would recommend this book to any person who enjoys historical fiction or is interested in Victorian England or the birth of a modern city and its police force. This impressive debut is the beginning of a series and I will definitely be reading the next one!
Tallulah is back dancing again in the new book Tallulah’s Solo! Tallulah is an excellent dancer and she knows it. She loves everything about ballet and can’t wait until the big recital. She just knows she is going to get a big part and be the star of the show. Tallulah’s brother Beckett is not an excellent dancer. In fact, he is not that interested in ballet. But when the big recital comes, it is Beckett who gets the big part and Tallulah is left in the back. Will Tallulah let her jealousy ruin her relationship with her brother or will she be a good big sister and help him learn his part?
This is a very good book for big sisters, big sister-to-be or just kids who like to dance. It teaches an excellent lesson about sharing the limelight and the importance of every member in a show. It also has some good tips for brothers and sisters participating in the same activities. The illustrations are very and tell the story just as well as the words. The is a great book.
Are you ready for a scare? Don’t read this book alone because you never know what’s lurking on the next page. Things That Go Bump In the Night is a collection of stories by Patrick Carman which can each be read in 15 minutes or less and each has terrifying video conclusions that you can watch online. You’ll meet characters like Dylan Smith, whose snowboarding skills are to die for, Troy, a talkative kid with a science teacher who has an enthralling skill, Emma, who’s got a gargoyle of a problem and many more. But here’s the thing, the book tells you itself, don’t get too attached to any of them.
This is a great book for grades 4-6, especially reluctant readers who like a good spooky story. I was scared. A lot.
What happens when an evil villain does something (gasp!) good? In Stephanie Sander’s new book, Villain School, they’re sent to Master Dreadthorn’s School for Wayward Villains to learn how to be truly evil. Rune, Jez and Wolf Junior are assigned an evil Plot (a villain competition) to kidnap a princess, steal a baby, find a henchman and overthrow and kingdom all in one week. Add to this impossible Plot a cookie-loving kid named Chad, whose own Plot involves keeping Rune from succeeding, and a cast of familiar characters whose schemes and quirks get in the way of Plots most foul and you’ve got one seriously evil adventure.
Justine’s journey to travel across country to see her terminally ill father before he dies, takes a horrible turn when her beloved Sheltie, Mack, is accidentally taken from her by the truck driver who was giving her a ride. Afraid of the consequences of being accused of stealing the dog, the driver dumps Mack along the highway. Justine, frantic to get her beloved pet back, starts a search to find Mack while dealing with an imminent death in the family. As the story progresses, you learn that Justine’s life has been a mess for years, with the trip to see her dying Father revealing painful family issues that are slowly coming to the surface.
Ed and Alice have spent the last seven years mourning the loss of their teenage daughter. Blame and heartbreak have caused them to withdraw from each other to the point of living almost as strangers in the same house. When they find a little black and gray dog by the side of the road they start to open up to each other as the Sheltie becomes a part of their family.
I admit the Sheltie on the cover of “The Dog Who Danced” by Susan Wilson was what first drew me to pick up the book and start reading. Shetland Sheepdogs hold a special place in my heart since our family has the joy of sharing our home with these smart, sensitive and very loveable dogs. More than just a really good story about a dog, “The Dog Who Danced’, is about people and how even the most messed up life can be redeemed.
In the new book, Pirates Next Door, the Jolley-Rogers have moved in next door while they repair their pirate ship and the whole town is in a tizzy about it. They don’t take care of their lawn, their ship is too big and blocks their neighbor’s views, their children play with “dangerous” toys (cannons!) and they jut don’t fit in. The neighborhood signs a petition to GET THEM and their pirate ship OUT. But before they go, the Jolley-Rogers leave a little present (marked with an X) for all of their neighbors in the hope of changing their minds about pirates.
This is a great children’s book to emphasize that different isn’t always bad and that you should never judge people based on appearances. It is a fun book to read that teaches a great lesson. The illustrations are amazing and I highly recommend it to all me mateys.
Ellen Potter has crated yet another masterpiece that grabs you from the beginning and does not let go with her newest book, The Humming Room. Roo Fanshaw is not your average 12 year old. Roo prefers to hide in small spaces rather than join the world around her. When her parents are murdered, Roo is sent to the ominous Cough Rock Island to live with her eccentric uncle in an old tuberculosis clinic. As she explores the mansion, Roo discovers ghosts everywhere she turns, an odd humming coming from a room in the forbidden East Wing and a garden with tragic secrets. Roo becomes determined to discover the truth about her uncle’s past and find the source of the horrible crying that pervades the mansion in the wee hours of the night.
Ellen Potter’s spin on the classic “Secret Garden” is as creepy as it is tantalizing. This is an absolutely excellent book for both boys and girls in grades 4-6. It’s a great story about a girl who feels as though she does not fit into the world and her journey to discover that she actually does. I could not put this book down. It was wonderful.
“You are a piglet, deal with it.” This is what Liam is always being told by his brother and sister in the new book, Piggy Bunny. Liam is a piglet who dreams of being the Easter Bunny. His parents love him, support him, and tell him he is perfect just the way he is. ‘Just the way he is’ is a piglet who wants to be the Easter Bunny. No matter how much the other piglets laugh at him and tell him they don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, Liam knows that one day, if he practices hard enough, he will become what he knows he is supposed to be. In the end, a gift from Grandma finally lets Liam become someone everyone can believe in.
This is an excellent book about acceptance and being yourself. The light-hearted story-telling style teaches without preaching and makes the piggy characters real and relatable. This is a story every child should read.
Even when I was a kid, books were a huge part of my life. Favorite books were like comfortable friends that I still remember with fondness. When my kids were young, I would often spend time reading books to them and we would go to the Library every week to pick out new ones.
When Alice Ozma was in the fourth grade, she and her father made a promise to read aloud together every night until the day she entered college. “The Streak,” as they called it, became an important part of their relationship. In the book The Reading Promise, My Father and the Books We Shared, Alice relates stories she remembers from those years. Her Father was a Librarian in a grade school library and he believed reading not only to be a subject to be learned, but an enjoyment to be treasured and shared. He passed on his passion and love of books to his daughter through sharing books together each night.
The Reading Promise is touching and funny and very enjoyable reading, I would recommend it even to readers who don’t usually read nonfiction. The writing style is such that you will finish the book long before you are ready for the journey to end.
The Reading Promise has a list of suggested reading as well as a sample “Promise,” for parents to use as tools to start a reading adventure of their own with their children. The author’s website, makeareadingpromise.com, has a lot of ideas for reading with children.