Tag Archives: classic children story

Book Review – April 2017

25 Apr

This month has been full of reading, folks! I’ve made a conscious effort to pick up a book instead of turn on the tv, and this month’s list is the result.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People  by Harold S. Kuchner  – Striving to answer the age-old question ‘why, God?’, Kuchner shares the doubts and fears that often come with the question. He shares his wisdom as a rabbi, reader and parent in the hopes to bring comfort to the reader.

~This was recommended to me – that’s the only reason I finished it. I’m not a fan of this book. There were very few points that were made that I either didn’t already know or agreed with. That probably sounds arrogant but I don’t mean it to be. He has different beliefs than I do, and his including those (evolution for one), I felt to be unnecessary and distracted from the point of the entire book. If I rated these, this would be half a star.

The Shepherd’s Voice by Robin Lee Hatcher – Finally free from prison, Gabe has a hard time finding work during the Great Depression. He heads home, hoping his father will take him in. Instead he finds compassion and faith when Akira offers him a job and a home.

~This is a favorite that I read once a year. I love the journey that Gabe and Akira go through. As well as the faith and life lessons peppered throughout. Plus it’s set in the 1940’s (?) in Idaho. Fantastic setting.

Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott – As a sequel to Eight Cousins,  we revisit Rose after she’s traveled the world for two years. She’s decided that before she marries, she wants to show that she’s an independent young woman. But the world is at odds with her decision, making her wonder just who her true friends are.

~Another delightful story from Alcott. The twists were unexpected and surprising – I had a hard time putting it down! In fact, i read it in just a few days. Highly recommend this, young or old.

Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling – When young millionaire, Harvey, is swept overboard and rescued by a fishing boat, his life is forever changed. The crew teaches him how to fish, and how to be a man.

~This was a birthday present and came with a recommendation from one of my nephews. I enjoyed this book so much, although I will admit to still not knowing what a ‘foc’sle’ is. Kipling wrote a classic boy’s adventure with this one. Highly recommend, for young or old readers!

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy – Click through for my full review! For now, I’ll say that I enjoyed this novel immensely.

Created to Live by Cathy Harris – Click through for my full review! Well worth the read on a heartbreaking and controversial topic.

Currently Reading:

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss ~I am listening to this as an audio book via Librivox. If I had a copy in hand, I would have read it within a week, most likely. As it is though, I listen to it on the nights when I’m in too much pain to sleep. Very entertaining and not sure how I haven’t read it already!

Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern ~ Pulled this from my OH’s library. I’m moving through it really slowly but it’s a good read so far. I am able to understand it without feeling overwhelmed. 

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson ~ A favorite that I read probably twice a year. Here’s a review from a few years ago if you want to check it out.

Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell ~I picked this up at the library and am eager to get any helps on editing my first novel!

Once again, I’m joining the Reading Roundup linkup. Click the picture and find some more great reads!

Reading Roundup

What are you currently reading?

~Laura

Book Review – The Scarlet Pimpernel

18 Apr

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is a story of adventure, romance and political intrigue during the French Revolution. I’ve only seen THIS version of it, and loved it so much that I finally found a dvd copy to buy. Then, one day at Powell’s, in the Childrens Classic section (also known as my favorite section), I found a copy of the book! It only took me a week to read it- I had a hard time putting it down! What’s fun is that the movie that I love was actually taken from this book as well as El Dorado,  so now I’m even more excited to read the continuations of the adventures of The Scarlet Pimpernel! I didn’t even know there were more books. EEK!

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-Set in the tumultuous times of the French Revolution, one Englishman and his loyal followers dare to brave La Guilloutine and rescue a number of aristocrats – men, women and children. These cunning escapes ignite a hatred in one man especially, Chauvelin, a ruthless French agent, who has sworn to find the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel and capture him. It will take all the bravery and wits that the clever Englishman has to elude his clutches, as well as still keep his promises.

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~side note, I was just reading through the comments here, and apparently S.P. isn’t even the first one! now to find the others!~

I will state that even  though the book was quite different from the movie, I loved them both. There are different aspects of the book that would have been nice to see carried over to the movie, but perhaps they were in other versions.

This is written in an easy-to-understand way, not like so many other classics that you’ve got to have a dictionary handy just to understand it! I highly recommend this story – for young and old. A guaranteed new favorite!

~another side note, just found the entire movie made in 1934 on youtube. Now I’m gonna have to give it a shot! 

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~a very young Ian Mckellen is in the 1982 version! Enough said right there.

Have you read The Scarlet Pimpernel? What’d you think? 

~Laura

~ While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers. ~

 

 

Book Review – The Little Prince

19 Aug

You will forgive me if I can’t wait til the monthly review to share this book with you!

My eldest brother introduced me to it years ago- and while I’ve loved it ever since I’m not sure I’ve read it again until just this week. Shocking, I know.

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Synopsis:

First written in 1943, the author reminisces when he met the Little Prince; he’d been forced to land his plane in the Sahara desert and out of nowhere a small boy appeared. The story the Little Prince then shared is full of adventure and lessons for anyone, even grown-ups, to learn.

I just HAVE to share a snippet from the book:

“So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to, until I had an accident with my plane in the Desert of Sahara, six years ago. Something was broken in my engine…I set myself to attempt the difficult repairs all alone. It was a question of life or death for me : I had scarcely enough drinking water to last a week… I was more isolated than a shipwrecked sailor on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Thus you can imagine my amazement, at sunrise, when I was awakened by an odd little voice. It said:

“If you please – draw me a sheep!”

“What!”

“Draw me a sheep!”

I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck. I blinked my eyes hard. I looked carefully all around me. And I saw a most extraordinary small person, who stood there examining me with great seriousness…”

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(image from google)

Review:

I enjoyed the adventures of the Little Prince far more than I thought I would! Like I said, my brother gave me this book….erm, when I was an early teen probably, and haven’t read it since so I really didn’t remember much about it at all. But! I enjoyed the writing style, where the author talks to you, the reader. The pictures he drew, and subsequent explanations of them, are beautiful in their simplicity.

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The different planets that he traveled to, and those he met there, are captivating. I do think I like the fox the best though.

I highly recommend this short novel for anyone. It was a quick, very fun read. As you can see, my copy is in very rough shape, over half the pages are falling out!  I’m going to have to get another one before I read it again. Which I will be doing!  Have you heard that a new adaptation is being made?! I am so excited for it, check out the trailer!

Happy Reading,

Laura

update 8/18/2016 – the movie is now on Netflix!! I enjoyed it so much. The way they weaved together the story of the Little Prince and the little girl, her mom and the old man i.e. the Pilot was so seamless and didn’t take away from the original story at all. I kept saying over and over ‘they did so good on this! I love it!’  so much that I think my OH was going crazy by the end of the evening. If you’re on the hunt for a great movie to watch with the whole family (or by yourself), give this one a try!!!

Book Review – Feb 2016

29 Feb

Happy Leap Year Day! Which means we are less than a month away from Spring Equinox! Woot woot!( I’m SO very ready to start driving my classic VW again! ) But, while it insist on rain-rain-raining, I’ve got some great books to keep you happily indoors.

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Not Exactly Eden by Linda Windsor – After her fiance postpones their wedding, Jenna Marsten finds a mysterious wedding gift – and traces it to her father in the Amazon. Determined to  meet him, she leaves the glittering socialite life and grabs her courage for an adventure of a lifetime.

~ Windsor rarely disappoints and in this one she delivered a sweet romance without being too sugary sweet. The emotions of the main characters keep it from being too unrealistic and remind the reader that Christ never leaves us! 

 

Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings part 1)  by J.R.R. Tolkien – Inheriting Bag’s End, and the Ring, from Bilbo wasn’t what Frodo wanted but inherit them he did when Bilbo up and disappeared on his 111th birthday. Their wizard friend, Gandalf, comes with a fantastic story for Frodo about the Ring. It is the One Ring, forged to rule all rings and must be guarded from the evil that seeks its power once more. And so starts a journey that neither Frodo nor his hobbit friends had never dreamed of, or wanted. Joined by Elf, Man, Wizard and Dwarf, this company must help the Ring-bearer across Middle Earth to defeat evil.

~It’s really intimidating to write a synopsis for such a classic. I mean, REALLY intimidating. I am almost to the end of this book and lamenting the fact that I don’t have any more of the series! Tolkien’s world is fantastic – can I just go live in the Shire right now please?? 

 

Little Lord Fauntleroy  by Francis Hodgson Burnett– Seven-year-old Cedric is a kind-hearted boy growing up in New York with a circle of dear friends. But all that changes when he is told that he is to be an earl and his grandfather wishes him to come live with him in England. Deciding to be the best earl that he can be, Little Lord Fauntleroy faces even his selfish old grandfather without fear.

~ Can I just say that this classic children’s book is PERFECT?! It was originally published in 1886 and is now one of the most famous children’s books written. I quickly became enchanted with Cedric and his mother. I’d say this is a must-must-read for all. 

To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – This has been acknowledged as the classic guide – full of information and daily inspiration – to Jewish attitudes, law and philosophy. From Shabbat to Succot, dietary laws to family life, birth to death and mourning, this book shines the light on how to live a devout life.

I will admit that I’m struggling getting through this one. Nothing against the book itself, though. While it is ‘meatier’ than God-Fearers was, it is still very well written. You might recognize this from December’s book review…. I am oh so slowly getting through it but am enjoying it. It often sparks conversations between me and my OH and we even pulled it out for the blessings for doing Havdallah the other night. 

Is your to-read stack of books going down at all or is it growing like mine seems to be doing??

~Laura

Book Review- June

21 Jun

How many months has it been since we’ve had a book review?!? Too many, and I am here to fix that! I have been reading all over the genres lately – thanks to the stack of books my mom gave me and other gifts by wonderful friends!

I am going to cover the books that I read since our last review in March and work forward from there, this might just be a two-part review.

Let’s begin shall we?

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Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (book 6) –   Anne is expecting another child but to the family’s dismay, Aunt Mary comes to visit, for a long time. To add to the difficulty, Anne starts to wonder if Gilbert still loves her. But, still full of spunk and imagination, Anne is ready to make her husband fall in love all over again. ~  Ah, this book was probably one of my favorites of those later in the series. I loved the children being young, a difficult relative coming and staying indefinitely and seeing Anne older and wiser but still full of dreams and imagination.

Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery  (book 7) – Anne and Gilbert now have six children, and their amusing antics are carried out in Rainbow Valley. Their new neighbors, two boys and two girls who only have a minister father, join them in the valley and add to the escapades. ~ This book was a delight to read. While I grew up out in the country, I certainly didn’t have adventures like these! You will fall in love with these children.

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (book 8) – Only young Rilla is left of the Blythe children at Ingleside. Pretty 15 year old Rilla is only focused on getting to her first dance and hopefully, her first kiss from Kenneth Ford. But when the world erupts into war, her world is turned into one of drama and challenges. Not only do her brothers go off to fight, but she rescues an abandoned baby in a soup tureen. ~ I must admit that this one was harder to read, with it being focused on the war. But because of that fact, it was the best ‘account’ of what life was probably like for them during those days, so for that, I appreciated it. I like how Rilla grew up throughout the challenges and years.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (book 1) – Elantris was once a golden city in Arelon – literally glowing from the magic of the Shaod. It was the epicenter of trade and the demigods used their power to help others. 10 years ago, all that changed – the Elantirans became like lepers, and the city became their prison. In the devastation, a new capital has risen, Kae, in the shadow of the walls of Elantris. From across the waters, Princess Sarene of Teod comes to wed Prince Raoden – eager at last to meet and fall in love with this enigmatic man, but instead finds out that he has died and according to the laws of Kae, their engagement vows are as binding as marriage vows. Hrathen is a high priest of the Fjordell empire, and stepping into Kae hours after Princess Sarene has only two goals – convert the people of Kae in a few months’ time or they will all be killed. As Sarene battles politics in order to save both Teod and Kae from Fjordell control, she finds out the truth of Prince Raoden. He had become an Elantrian – outcast in the decaying city, and while trying to help the wretches there, he just might find the answer to the secret of Elantris. ~ Yes, this book deserves a long review. I LOVED this book. I never would have chosen it myself, but thank goodness for friends that send you books out of your ordinary! This quickly became a favorite of mine. The story line twists and turns so that I never knew how it was going to end and the characters were very well written. Neither Sarene nor Raoden are your typical royalty, and even the villian, Hrathen, has depths that intrigued and kept him from being someone you grew bored of. All in all, an excellent book full of suspense and lacking in anything sensual or ‘sketchy’. I’m even contemplating taking it on my trip to Cali with me!

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame – Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger are the main stars in this delightful children’s classic as their adventures range from the constant river,stolen  motor cars, the Wild Wood and gypsy caravans. Originally published in 1908, these friends have long delighted readers. Mole and Rat are the best of friends , as well as being the best type of friend to others; Toad is peevish, thinking only of the fun he longs to have and Badger is the bachelor who knows everyone and is the wisest of them all. ~Some friends recommended this book and I scored an older copy at Powell’s bookstore in order to read it. Delightful. Absolutely delightful. It will certainly be a yearly read.

Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy (Sophie’s Daughters #1) – Having trained as a nurse, Beth is on her way back home to her sister’s wedding. But when a stagecoach accident nearly kills them all, Beth struggles to help the injured by herself. When she realizes the incoherent bum she’s barely tolerated, is a doctor, she forces him to help her. Once in her hometown, her younger sister Sally has an accident and in order to be able to help Alex continue caring for Sally, Beth agrees to marry Alex. As time passes and Alex starts to show signs of being sane, and Beth starts to fall in love with him – everything else goes wrong, a bounty hunter intent on taking Alex in for deserting the Army and Alex decides to turn himself in and face the firing squad. ~ Happy sigh again with this book. It is a light, you-know-it’s-going-to-end-happily type of book but well written with a good twist on the ‘usual’ Christian western story line.

Part two will be later this week – with the rest of Sophie’s Daughters series and more! Come back and check it out!

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised when reading outside your regular genres?

~Laura

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