Sunday, August 14, 2011

Historical Fiction Civil War Style

Lizzie is fourteen years old in 1863. The battle between the states is raging on and her home of Vicksburg is under siege. In order to protect themselves from cannons Lizzie's family takes refuge inside caves.

Living inside a cave with creepy crawly bugs and snakes and other creatures doesn't sit well with Lizzie. In fact she wants to run away and fight for the South. Later Lizzie finds out that war isn't what she thought it would be and she is faced with some harsh realities.

I enjoyed this book. At first I thought the story was going to go down the same predictable road that many YA HF novels go, but Ms. McClure threw a curve ball in there which I really liked.

I think students who like historical fiction will enjoy this novel.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I want it Wednesday

I had no idea there was a sequel to Push by Sapphire. I loved that book, it was amazing and this one is the story of Precious' child.

It hasn't gotten very good reviews on Amazon. I think it has a 2 star review rating; but I thought it might be worth mentioning. Lets face it books that have received glowing reviews I have disliked. So you be the judge!


In The Kid bestselling author Sapphire tells the electrifying story of Abdul Jones, the son of Push's unforgettable heroine, Precious.

A story of body and spirit, rooted in the hungers of flesh and of the soul, The Kid brings us deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones. We meet him at age nine, on the day of his mother's funeral. Left alone to navigate a world in which love and hate sometimes hideously masquerade, forced to confront unspeakable violence, his history, and the dark corners of his own heart, Abdul claws his way toward adulthood and toward an identity he can stand behind.

In a generational story that moves with the speed of thought from a Mississippi dirt farm to Harlem in its heyday; from a troubled Catholic orphanage to downtown artist's lofts, The Kid tells of a twenty- first-century young man's fight to find a way toward the future. A testament to the ferocity of the human spirit and the deep nourishing power of love and of art, The Kid chronicles a young man about to take flight. In the intimate, terrifying, and deeply alive story of Abdul's journey, we are witness to an artist's birth by fire.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Historical Fiction Friday: Review

This one was a very emotional read for me. It is set right before World War II and took me back to a time when my grandmother was young and faced the same problems as Ruby.

Ruby's father died and her mother isn't able to work anymore at the meat packing plant because her fingers are so gnarled with arthritis. Ruby's sister is to young to work so its up to Ruby to drop out of school(something she doesn't want to do, but must) and goes to the same place her mother worked.

The meat packing plant isn't glamorous and it doesn't pay well either. Ruby's family has a lot of debt and she wants to help them. Her need for quick cash lands her in a dance all where she can make money dancing the night away with men she doesn't know.

The money is quick, but the men are quicker, and Ruby finds herself in a lot of trouble. She tries to make the right choices, but things don't always work out. To add to her problems, Ruby is falling in love with an unsavory young man named Paulie. He's an up and coming gangster and has his own set or problems. Ruby's mother is beyond mad, but she doesn't understand that her daughter is in love.

Will Ruby be able to do the right thing, or will the gangster life that was so prevalent in 1940s Chicago claim another victim?

As I said earlier this story drew me in. I could hear my grandmother's stories through Ruby. Just like Ruby my grandmother had to drop out of school because her father died. My grandmother had to earn money to keep her family in a crappy apartment with little heat and little food. The same was for Ruby. This was a very emotional read for me because it connected me with my grandmother a person I miss dearly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thanks to Beverly Stowe McClure

A shout out(long over due) goes to Ms. McClure for giving me a copy of her new book, Caves, Cannons and Crinolines. Expect a review soon!

In May of 1863, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford decides to enlist in the Confederate Army. Two incidents trigger her decision. First, for months General Ulysses S. Grant and his Federal troops have been shelling Vicksburg, Mississippi. To control Vicksburg is to control the Mississippi River. Now, Vicksburg is under siege, cut off from the rest of the world.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I want it Wednesday

For this Wednesday I found an interesting book that sounds like an intense adventure. Check it out!

Aba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Amazing art, but lacks substance

This graphic novel is based on a classic Chinese play. Lady Pian Pian is a beautiful young woman staying with her overbearing mother as guests at a monk's temple. A young gentleman who wanders the countryside sees her and falls in love with at once. He wants to marry her, and she also falls in love with him. However, the young lady's mother does not like this young man. She has made a better match for her daughter. So its up to him to prove his love. But can he do it in time?

The story was Okay. It wasn't fast paced, it wasn't exciting, it at times felt dull and very ordinary. I also felt the story was a bit rushed. The art however is amazing, and its great eye candy. But candy alone isn't a meal and I'm afraid this graphic novel falls shot.