Book Review by Aleah: The Story of Figure Skating by Michael Boo

This book is about famous ice skaters and how ice skating as a sport came about. In this book it gives a list of examples of moves that singles and pairs do on the ice. For example: the axil, sit spin, camel spin, toe loop, and death spiral. One of the famous ice skaters I read about was Peggy Flemming.

I enjoyed this book because I'm really into ice skating. I don't usually read non fiction, but it happens to be a good book. What I didn't like about the book was how a few of the paragraphs lost me, or in other words, I didn't understand. Overall, it was a great book. I would recommend this to anyone who loves non fiction, or who is really into science. I hope you enjoy the book!

In My Opinion

Everyone has their favorite authors. I mean authors that you can count on to deliver a good story every time. I have several of those. Lately though, I have picked up books by some of my favorite authors to read, but have had to stop short and toss them aside. They have not been suitable to continue reading. Why? Well, I'll tell you why, although I can't do full reviews of these books, since I haven't read them all the way through.

First on my list is Rococo by Adriana Trigiani. I have tried probably three different times to read this book. I just can't get into it at all. I've enjoyed all of the other books by this author (the Big Stone Gap series, Queen of the Big Time, Lucia, Lucia ), so you would think that I'd like this one. It is just too much for me. It is very stylized and overdone. I can't get to the story with all of the fluff.

Next is a Michael Crichton book called State of Fear. I picked this one up because I was in the mood for something fast-paced and suspenseful. I'm sorry to say that I only got a few pages into it before I knew I really couldn't read any more. I got hung up on the bad language. I don't know if I hadn't let this bother me in some of the others of his that I've read (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Sphere, Timeline, Congo ), or if I just ignored it then.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, I'm sad to say is another one that I really couldn't continue reading. I wanted to keep reading her short stories that are in this book, I absolutely love her writing. I think her writing is frank, unfettered, but sensitive and intuitive. The problem is that I ran into a sex scene in the third story. I'd rather not have to run into another one, so that's the end of that.

Oh well. Life is too short to waste my time on books that aren't worth reading.

Book Review by Aleah: My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe

This is a book about a girl named Ida. She's starting 4th grade and she had a friend named Elizabeth. She moved away. Ida meets this girl named Stacy. Stacy loves to tell stories about things that can't happen. Sometimes Stacy tells people fake stories about her life. Ida secretly hides notes for her and they become secret friends.

I liked this book because it was sort of funny. I also liked it because it's about a 4th grader like me. What I didn't like about it was that a girl named Jessica in the book is mean to Ida. It's a great book though. I would recommend this book to girls that are ten and in the 4th grade.

Book Review: The Help by Kathry'n Stockett

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and read this book. It is so popular right now, and many of my friends on goodreads have given it four and five stars. After reading it, I too will recommend it to others.

To give you an overview, the setting is 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. The civil rights movement has just begun, but things change slowly. There are still distinct lines that cannot be crossed in this society that is far from being color blind.

In this novel, the reader is privy to the happenings of both the young, white socialites and the black maids who serve them. Among this group of socialites, is one who is all of the sudden seeing things as they really are - not right and unfair. She coerces one of her friends' maids to tell her story. Pretty soon things really get rolling, and once they are rolling there is no turning back. Lives are changed and maybe Jackson, Mississippi will be changed for the better too.

I felt very much a part of this book from the beginning. It was easy to read and the characters were very well done. I enjoyed reading the story from the different points of view. It was easy to imagine all of the things that happened to these women, they didn't seem that far fetched. I think it made me realize that it hasn't been that long ago that this story could very well have been reality.

My Rating

Overall: 4.5 stars. It's really hard for me to give 5 stars. I loved this book, but the middle dragged a bit, and I would have liked to have heard more of the maids' stories.

Objectionable Content: There was some bad language throughout. Also, a scene that involved a naked man.

Book Review: The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

The People of Sparks is the sequel to The City of Ember. It is a young adult book about a group of people that emerge into a post-apocalyptic world, after living for generations under the ground in the city of Ember (yes, it was made into a movie that I thought was really quite well done). In this new world they find the city of Sparks. The people there welcome them into their community with some trepidation. Food is still scarce and resources are limited. It becomes apparent that they will have to find creative solutions, if they are to get along with each other and live side by side.

Lina and Doon, who were the main characters from the previous book, play important roles in this book also. They learn a lot of new things when they are suddenly a part of a new and curious world, acquiring skills that they didn't have before. By far the most valuable of these skills is how to keep peace among the two groups of people. They are young enough and courageous enough to follow the dictates of their own conscience, leading their people once again.

I know this is probably one of those books that could easily be picked apart. I'm sure it has flaws in the details of this society that survived. If you look past these though, it is an enjoyable book. It teaches the value of peace and how to avoid war. I would say it also presents the theme of 'doing the right thing,' even when it's hard to do. Really there are a lot of good messages within its pages. I would recommend it to children and adults that liked The Giver by Lois Lowry. It has the same feel, but there is a more satisfactory ending.

My Rating

Overall: 4 stars

Objectionable Content: none

Go Check Out My Book Review

Hop on over to where I have a feature book review published. The book is called Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It's a book that I know you'll love.

Go ahead and check out this awesome blog. It is another blog that highlights great books that are clean reads.

The Winner

The winner of the Catching Fire giveaway is Laura who said that "I have also invited my best friend..." Congratulations and happy reading!

Do you reread?

I am not a rereader. I love to be on to the next book. I'm the same way with movies. I hardly ever watch a movie over and over again. I like to move on. What is the point in rereading something when you already know how it will end?

Well, there is a reason that classics are called classics. They can be read many times and never get old. They have details and themes that may have been passed up the first time around. And I think that as I grow older and experience more, I see things differently. This was apparent when I reread To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice. I first read these as a teenager. I thought that I remembered these books, but I was surprised that I remembered very little. I really enjoyed reading them a second time.

Do you reread? If so, what books are your favorites to read over and over again?

Book Review: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Now here's a book that I picked up maybe a year and a half ago when it was at the height of it's popularity. I read the first couple of chapters, then decided that it just wasn't for me. I got to the chapter that was written from the dog's perspective and thought "nope, sorry, can't wade though this." So, I wouldn't have picked it up again, but it was chosen as the next book for my book club to read.

Guess what? I'm glad that I did have the opportunity to try this book again. I enjoyed it from the beginning to almost the end (I'll elaborate on this later). I liked the writing style, which was intelligent and intimate. I also discovered that it follows the story of Hamlet very closely.

So the main character is Edgar, a young teenager, who was born mute. He and his parents live in Northern Wisconsin, in the country where they raise Sawtelle dogs (a special breed that the family has been perfecting for genereations now). He is an only child, but he is far from lonely. He has the companionship of his faithful dog Almondine, who is always looking out for him. Everything seems pretty normal until his long lost Uncle Claude shows up. Edgar seems to have a feeling about him. Then out of the blue his father keels over dead one day. Things don't add up in Edgar's mind. He searches for answers. Meanwhile, his mother takes up with Claude and the story gets increasingly interesting. (Remember, think Hamlet)

I felt very involved in this story. I know some think that there was too much detail about the dog training in places or that the story slowed. I didn't find this the case, I kind of liked how the story meandered a bit. What I didn't like was the ending. I won't spoil it for you, but it lacked power and believability. I was also left wondering about a motive. All in all, I would recommend it to anyone that likes a long book and/or loves dogs.

My Rating

Overall: 4 stars. It could have been a 5 star book, but for the ending.

Objestionable Content: It did have a few swear words here and there. Also, there is the relationship between Edgar's mother and his Uncle Claude that is kind of sick and wrong.


Enter to win a copy of this:

Have you all read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins? It is a great young adult book that I think will be the next big thing. I wouldn't be surprised if it were made into a movie. Catching Fire is the second in this soon to be trilogy. So, if you'd like to win a copy of this book, here's how:

To enter please leave a comment on this series.

If you would like an extra chance at winning all you have to do is leave an additional comment telling me that you have invited someone else to come view my blog.

Good luck! The winner will be chosen at random February 10th (my son's 1st birthday).