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review 2017-02-05 02:05
The Oil of Israel: Prophecy Being Fulfilled - John Brown

So, I've had this book in a folder of Zion Oil info gathering dust in my room for several years (so many years, I don't remember why I have it) and I decided to finally read through it. It was really boring to me and I didn't understand why they're so convinced they will find oil in Israel. Once I read the other book that came in this folder, it made much more sense to me, so maybe if I read this one again now, my opinion would be different. I would still probably be bored, though, reading about drilling for oil.

I don't think this review is very helpful. Sorry about that. Haha. All I can say is that if you happen to have this same folder of information, read The Great Treasure Hunt first!

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review 2016-09-11 00:00
The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn
The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn - John Bellairs,Judith Gwyn Brown

Anthony Monday is John Bellair's third-string leading man. Like Lewis Barnevelt and Johnny Dixon, he befriends an elderly curmudgeon early on, head librarian Ms. Myra Eells, and he has a troubled home life. With Anthony, his mother worries constantly about money, and his dad is sick. What set Anthony apart, just this once anyway, is the complete lack of the supernatural.

The town of Hoosac is fairly unremarkable, but Anthony admires the unusual library constructed by the eccentric millionaire Alpheus Winterborn. It is high gothic with carving inside and out and marked with the legend "Believe Only Half of What You Read". The plot kicks in when Anthony lucks out and is given a job by Ms Eells as a library page (I asked my town librarian if she were hiring after I read this when I was 9 and she laaaughed), and, after some rough dusting, uncovers a treasure scavenger-hunt.

What's interesting about this book is the lengths Bellairs went to characterize Anthony, his anxieties for his parents and about money and his desire to make things easier for them. He is a very different character than the often-cowardly Lewis Barnevelt or the overshadowed Johnny Dixon. A fun puzzle, not so sure how it would hold up with today's youth, but I should have appreciated it more when I was younger.


Anthony Monday

Next: 'The Dark Secret of Weatherend'

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review 2016-03-19 21:11
Me Llamo Gabriela/my Name Is Gabriela: La Vida de Gabriela Mistral / The Life of Gabriela Mistral - Monica Brown,John Parra

Brown, M. (2005) My name is Gabriela. Cooper Square Publishing Llc; China: Bilingual edition. 



A young Chilean girl, Gabriela Mistral, learns to read and write. She writes of her travels around the world and eventually wins the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. 


Monica's books are inspired by her Peruvian-American heritage and desire to share Latino/a stories with children. She a is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, specializing in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature. She writes and publishes scholarly work with a Latino/a focus, including Gang Nation: Delinquent Citizenship in Puerto Rican and Chicano and Chicana Literature; and numerous articles and chapters on Latino/a literature and cultural studies. She was the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship on Chicano Cultural Literacies from the Center for Chicano Studies at the University of California. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Flagstaff, Arizona.


Pre-K-3rd grade





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review 2015-06-01 16:31
A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery - Albert Marrin

A juvenile biography of John Brown. This one did a nice job of really focusing on the context, so it’s not simply telling the story of one individual. Also, imo, a nice example of showing individuals–including Brown, Lincoln, and Douglass–as complex and contradictory, without trying to smooth out their weaknesses and inconsistencies. (I’m less sure about the conclusion at the end.)

Source: bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/may-2015-round-up
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review 2015-05-23 15:58
The Mapmaker's Children
The Mapmaker's Children - Sarah McCoy

It always pleases me to read historical fiction done right. The Mapmaker’s Children  by Sarah Mc Coy is extremely well done and interesting.


In this novel, Mc Coy introduces the reader to Sarah Brown the daughter of the abolitionist John Brown. While the author took liberties, her extensive three years of research establish the foundation for this remarkable story.


Sarah Brown was an artist and an activist that clearly was involved in the Under Ground Railroad. She never married but her love for children fostered a lot of her actions both in the South and later when she relocated to California.


Mc Coy’s story imagines a link to a modern day woman named Eden. Her life crisis evolves around the fact that she is unable to become pregnant. While she and her husband struggle to cope with this issue, they move to New Charlestown, VA and buy a house in a neighborhood historically tied to Sarah Brown and the Civil War.

In alternating chapters, the past and the present weave together. Historical facts about the UGRR (Under Ground Rail Road) as well as the personalities involved in it’s success are delivered seamlessly throughout the novel.


This reader can never get enough of historical fiction especially when it is written in the in this period of history. Thank you, Blogging for Books for providing me with the book for review. I encourage followers of historical fiction not to let this one pass. It is well worth the read.

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