Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Reviews for You!

I've been reading steadily between book club choices and friends' recommendations.  I love having extra days off from work just to read.

M.L. Stedman's The Light Between Oceans:  Read this for book club.  Loved it.  Set in western Australia Isabel and Tom find each other after the war making the lighthouse at Janus Rock their home.  It's not an easy life but one that Tom, in particular, takes to quite easily.  You just know when the bad thing happens that things are not going to end well for anyone so while it is a well-written story be prepared for frustration.  Learning more about lighthouses was a bonus.   Did you know that each light has its own light code that it blinks to?  Yes!  If you haven't picked this one up yet put it on your Christmas list.

A sample:  "Isabel had managed to sit up a little against the wall, and she sobbed at the sight of the diminutive form, which she had dared to imagine as bigger, as stronger-a child of this world.  'My baby, my baby my baby my baby,' she whispered like a magic incantation that might resuscitate him.  The face of the creature was solemn, a monk in deep prayer, eyes closed, mouth sealed shut; already back in that world from which he had apparently been reluctant to stray." {90}

Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train:  My friend Teri lent this to me and I thought it was very interesting.  I liked the two stories merged together and the information relayed about the children forced to travel and auctioned off across the Midwest.  

A sample:  "I try to forget the horror of what happened.  Or-perhaps forget is the wrong word. how can I forget?  And yet how can I move forward even a step without tamping down the despair I feel?  When I close my eyes, I hear Maisie's cries and Mam's screams, smell the acrid smoke, feel the heat of the fire on my skin, and heave upright on my pallet in the Schatzmans' parlor soaked in a cold sweat." {74}

Kline did an incredible amount of research to make this a rich reading experience.  Reading this made me want to go back and investigate the Orphan Train kid's series.  Maybe this is a series I need to recommend more to my students.

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