logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Fathers-and-Sons
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-10 19:16
Contemporary fiction meets supernatural thriller
Graveyard Shakes - Laura Terry

Continuing the trend of reading books selected for the Summer Reading program, I read Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry. The reader follows two very different storylines that at the outset have no correlation to one another. The first revolves around two sisters who have newly arrived at a boarding school and are struggling to come to terms with their change of environment. The second focuses on a little ghost and his friend Modie (I don't know either) who as best as I can tell is a reanimated corpse. So on the one hand we are rooted in reality with a situation that seems very familiar: wanting to fit in yet also wanting to be recognized as the individual that you are. On the other hand, the supernatural elements of ghosts and zombies are compacted with horror because the only way that Modie can stay 'alive' is to absorb the soul of a dead (i.e. murdered) child. Yes, this is a middle grade graphic novel. (It is at this point that I have essentially 'sold' this book to the reluctant child reader standing in front of me while the parent stares at me open mouthed.) The good parts: The illustrative style was excellent and I really enjoyed the character journey of Victoria, the older sister. The not so good: It was way more disturbing and graphic than I expected plus the ending was entirely too predictable after all of the narrative build-up. While I did thoroughly enjoy the illustrations, I don't know that I'll be rushing out to read Terry's next work (unless the cover draws me in again). I didn't overwhelmingly dislike this book but I also didn't love it with all of my heart and soul (get outta here, Modie!). The little guys and ghouls in your life that love a good ghost story will probably fall head-over-heels for this one. 5/10

 

An example from the inside. [Source: A Kids Book A Day]

 

What's Up Next: The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-05 22:52
Have you ever wished for a luckdragon?
The Neverending Story - Roswitha Quadflieg,Michael Ende,Ralph Manheim

There are some books that I can re-read over and over again. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende is one of them. Some of you (or most of you who knows) are aware that the 1980's film of the same name was based off of a book. I can say with absolute confidence and conviction that the book is superior in every way. The story is centered around a little boy named Bastian Balthazar Bux (one of the most fantastic names in literature) who is not your typical hero. He's chubby and spends the majority of his time buried in books. He has a strained relationship with his father and he is bullied at school. This character is real. He is tangible. I empathized with this character on a lot of levels. He comes upon a book (I'm definitely leaving a lot out here on purpose) titled The Neverending Story and from this moment on he is changed forever. This isn't a regular book. It's alive. The reader (us) is taken on a journey with the reader (Bastian). We are introduced to the land of Fantastica with characters that range from the Childlike Empress who is the ruler of the land to Atreyu who is on an epic quest. This might be one of the first books that caused me to weep with grief...or maybe it's just the first one that I remember. Whatever the case, I still cry every single time I read this book and I try to read it once a year. It's an adventure story that is layered with magic, friendship, and self-discovery. There's a reason why it's one of my favorite books of all time.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-02-05 18:37
REVIEW BY ANGI - Sons of My Fathers by Michael A Simpson
Sons of My Fathers - Michael A. Simpson
Sons of My Fathers, based on the true story of author Michael A. Simpson’s family, is a multi-generational journey that intertwines two dramatic stories set one hundred years apart—the heroic saga of 19-year-old Ulysses Simpson who, when "hell comes to Georgia," joins his father on a course of revenge, a path that will forever change the destiny of their clan. And the true tale of another young Simpson man six generations later who, despite his moral reservations, enlists in the U.S. Army, following in the footsteps of his father who was a WWII Marine Corps combat veteran and one of the legendary fighting force's elite instructors during the Korean War. 

When Ron volunteers as a "walking dead"—the term for those who fly unarmed medevac helicopters during combat because of their high mortality rate—but is instead assigned to fly a Huey gunship, he fights a personal war with himself over whether to keep a century-old family oath. As his brother Michael comes of age and experiences his first love, Ron's fateful decision forces him to confront his family's past and risk sacrificing his own future, an act that ultimately sets a landmark precedent for "soldiers of conscience" who would follow him in military service. 

Deeply personal and compellingly written by the younger brother in this story, the book is uniquely set against America's involvement in two great civil wars—our country's own conflict in the 1860s and Vietnam in the late 1960s. It is an evocative journey into the author's family history and the universal themes central to it—the bonds of family and star-crossed love, duty versus faith, the true nature of patriotism and conscience in war, and the turbulent end of innocence. Rich in emotional textures, Sons of My Fathers is a transformative and timeless coming-of-age narrative.

 

 

@AngiPlant, #Historical, #Biography, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/angi/sonsofmyfathersbymichaelasimpson
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-12-09 21:57
“I decided to work and survive.”
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between - Hisham Matar

Having read both of Hisham Matar's novels, In the Country of Men (4*) and Anatomy of a Disappearance (4*), I approached his third book with enthusiasm. This one was somewhat different, however, being a memoir, mainly centred around Hisham's relationship with his father and his life-long battle to find out how his father died and when.

It has been over twenty years since anyone heard from, or saw, Jaballa Matar. He was abducted from his adopted home of Cairo and imprisoned in the notorious Abu Salim prison in Libya for many years, but then the trail went cold.

Based in London, Hisham has battled with authorities for all these years, writing hundreds of letters to the Libyan government, humanitarian organisations and other influential people all over the world. Yet closure seems no nearer.

 

Once the Qadaffi regime had fallen, Hisham, his mother and brother, make their way back to the country for the first time since their exile to Cairo. Hisham meets many of his relatives and friends of his father's. Some of these people may even have been saved from their incarceration by Hisham's continuous efforts, but Jaballa was presumably assumed to be the ring-leader, and was never released.

 

It's a distressing story and Hisham's lack of closure and yearning for his father is palpable, but it also rather repetitive and was not particularly well received by my book group. An interesting account and an eye-opener into Libya behind the scenes, but I enjoyed this less than his novels.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-17 16:58
Fathers and sons in America: A Matt Phelan Masterpost
Bluffton - Matt Phelan
The Storm in the Barn - Matt Phelan

I had said in last week's post that today I'd be writing a Matt Phelan 'masterpost'. Typically this means that I cover 3+ books by a single author (or multiple authors writing together in a series). However, today I'm just going to talk about 2 books because honestly that's all I could get my hands on and so that's all I managed to read. :-) I picked up Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton and The Storm in the Barn with fairly high expectations based on the work I had seen by Phelan in the Comics Squad compilation I read and reviewed not too long ago. On the one hand, I was not at all disappointed. The illustration style is most definitely up my street. He is excellent at drawing evocative expressions on people's faces. I think where I was let down was on the overall reading experience. Let me take each of the books separately so that I can (hopefully) explain what I mean.

 

I read Bluffton first because it featured a circus and I am all about that circus lifestyle. Firstly, when I grabbed this book I somehow missed the subtitle and therefore was shocked to discover that one of the main characters in this book is that famous star of vaudeville, Buster Keaton. Secondly, I went into this book expecting a rollicking good time and instead got a somewhat borderline depressing narrative of what the childhood of Buster would have entailed since he was a performer from infancy. It's about the expectations that a parent has for their child and how those might be vastly different from the aspirations that the child holds for themselves. It's also about the nature of friendship and jealousy (especially when one of the friends is an itinerant performer). It's a coming of age tale that paints a rather grim picture of child stardom and how the experiences of our youth shape us into the adults that we will one day become.

 

Then there was The Storm in the Barn which I can only categorize as a Debbie Downer type of book. I'm not sure that this falls under any one genre. It's most certainly historical fiction as it depicts a little boy, his family, and his community as they struggle during the time of the Dust Bowl in Kansas circa 1937. However, it also contains fantasy elements of which I can't really go into without spoiling the plot... It's certainly rooted in reality because Phelan does not shy away from the harsh conditions that these characters face (don't even get me started on the rabbits). He covers bullying from both peers and parents. The protagonist is forced to watch a beloved sister struggle with a possibly fatal illness. The entire plot is fraught with tension and a dark cloud seems to hover over every page. What I'm trying to say is that if you're looking for a light read to send your tots to sleep at night then you should probably keep looking. BUT if you wanted to teach your kids about an era of history that's not usually dwelt upon in the classroom then this might indeed be the right selection for you.

 

I'd rate both books about the same. In terms of imagery and writing, they're both 10/10. The issue is that I held expectations about these books (as readers do from time to time) and I finished both of these feeling somewhat let down. I understand that not all books are going to be rosy, sweet, and fun. I know that not every book has a happy ending. And yet when these two books delivered hardship, sadness, and loss I was ill prepared and disgruntled. I can't honestly flaw these books and say that from a reviewer's standpoint they were faulty...but I still find it difficult to give them full marks just the same. Does this make sense? I guess my point is that a book can tick off all the boxes and still fall short based on the assumptions of the reader and/or their relative mood when they picked up the book. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

 

Now let's take a look at Buster from Bluffton followed by a page from The Storm in the Barn:

 

Source: YouTube

 

 

Source: books4school

 

What's Up Next: Ghost Waltz: A Family Memoir by Ingeborg Day

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Famous Writers by David Stabler

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?