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review 2018-04-07 12:28
Gone Missing: A gripping crime thriller ... Gone Missing: A gripping crime thriller that will have you hooked - T.J. Brearton

3.5 star rating
If you are ever out for an early morning run and come across something out of the ordinary, then give it a wide berth, a very wide berth! Katie should have done then she wouldn’t have been bundled into a van and driven off. A great, exciting read from the very first page, told from the victim’s and leading policeman’s point of view. Definitely fast paced and the pages race past in a blur as we wait to see whether or not Katie will get through her terrifying ordeal and how the police etc try to locate her. A bit gory in parts but par for the course for a thriller of this type. A great holiday read, but maybe not if you intend walking through the wilderness!

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review 2018-03-18 17:00
A Memoir of Family Ties and Loss
Missing Persons: A Memoir - Gayle Greene Ph.D

Missing Persons: A Memoir comes from one who becomes the last in her family after she loses her aunt and then her mother, facing the rigors of caring for a dying person at home and the ongoing feelings of loss that comes from their recent deaths and the prior demise of her younger brother and her father. 


Gayle Greene was forced to confront basic questions of her values and journey in life as she lived through her mother and aunt's final days and a year's aftermath of being without them and without family ties. 


The result is a hard-hitting account of one woman's adjustments and survival tactics that takes into account the broader issues of death, dying, and family heritage. Missing Persons is recommended for anyone who enjoys memoirs about family connections, loss, and disconnections. 


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text 2018-03-03 18:49
OT: Missing house

A while back, I started thinking about the house we lived in when I was six-eight years old. It was up north, in a very beautiful area. I guess the only downside that I can think of is that by now I would have hated living so close to everyone else. The houses have such small gardens you pretty much feel as if you're sitting on other people's laps.

Anyway, I started searching for our old house on Google Maps, Streetview and couldn't find it. I was so upset, thinking maybe it had been torn down or burned to the ground. But there were certain differences that couldn't be explained by our house disappearing, such as the houses across the street being older and having bigger and older gardens than the ones I used to look at through our windows.

Then my sister remembered the name of the block, not just the street address. And there it was. It actually looks better than when we lived in it, since back then it was brown and now it's red. My mom doesn't like the little roof over the front door, but other than that it's just like when we moved out. Also, I'd forgotten that the garden was more or less nothing. I guess that's often how it is. Fantastic house, no garden to speak of, or vice versa.

I really wish my dad hadn't insisted on selling it. We could have still had it and never had to live in this dump. It had a huge basement with wonderful big rooms and the upstairs was nice too. There was a big playroom where my sister and I played every day. And you know what? It seemed to be bigger on the inside. ;)

I miss that house so much.

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review 2018-02-23 21:52
Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard
Miss Nelson Is Missing! - Harry Allard,James Marshall

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard tells a valuable story on being respectful towards your teacher/adults and being grateful for what/who you have. This is such a fun story for students to read or hear read aloud to them. It is light hearted and funny but still teaches a moral lesson. The students will learn the importance of being grateful for the people in your life and treating them with the respect they deserve. 


I would have students create a "Wanted" or "Missing Person" poster to find the two teachers, Miss Nelson and Miss Swamp. In the poster they would draw a picture of the missing character of their choice and write a brief description on the character. 

Guided Reading: L
Lexile: 340L
Accelerated Reader Level: 2.7
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review 2018-01-27 04:20
All the Missing Girls - Good Comfort Food for a Reader
All the Missing Girls: A Novel - Megan Miranda

I'm on a bit of a mystery kick these days. I've got a few rather "heavy" books I'm working on, but I'm not always in the right headspace or environment to be completely engrossed in a book. When that's the case, I go to my comfort food: mysteries and espionage for a read that I know I'll finish easily. This one came courtesy of a local librarian. Librarians are great friends to cultivate. They'll put books on hold or ask if I've read something they think I'd be interested in, and this one -- in particular -- always makes sure I have some lighter reading handy when I leave the library. My only real regret is I don't need to go to the library as much out now that various digital formats are available at a touch. Oh well, on to the book.

I had no preconceptions. All I knew was the title. I'll confess I didn't even read the blurb until just now, after I finished it. You don't need to know much more either. Two girls go missing from a southern, insulated town, and the cast of characters is stuck in the middle of a town drama for the second time in a decade.

This is a fairly straightforward whodunnit with a slight twist -- it's told backwards, day by day. The narrator tells us at the end why she "had" to do it this way. I believed her. It also made for a more interesting book. The audience knows things before the characters, including our narrator Nicolette Farrell.

There's a messy love story and a fractured family at the heart of this mystery. Both seemed quite possible -- especially given Nic's ability to rationalize behavior and don a facade for each new situation. The ending of the love story was much easier to predict that the whodunnit parts of the book. I had no idea what would happen with the family. All in all, I wasn't trying to figure things out. I was very content to simply fall into the story and go with the flow.

Given that, I'd say the writing felt rather effortless. It was easy; like I was just hearing the tale from rather than reading a book. That's a nifty trick when the author is using a backwards chronology and feeding us new pieces that need to fit within the puzzle. A few times I stopped reading wondering exactly what the process is for writing a book like this, but I quickly got back to reading. Whatever the work for her, I'm glad she did it. The book would have suffered if it had been told beginning to end.

Back to Nicolette Farrell... she's trying at times, but I don't need to like characters in a book. Good thing -- I was highly peeved at her a good deal of the time. She's young. She's stuck emotionally. I found it tough to give her a break as she ran headstrong through everyone and everything.

Possibly the most effective parts were the way she managed to make the small town feel just on the verge of strangling the characters and me at times. I vowed aloud never to be romantic about small towns again aloud at least once. They all felt stuck, and they were in many ways, but perhaps it wasn't the town so much as their actions.

Not a life-changer, but a pretty good comfort food snack.

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