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review 2018-04-19 21:31
Marshall Islands Legends and Stories by Daniel Kelin
Marshall Islands Legends and Stories - Daniel A. Kelin

It’s hard to rate books of folklore; it seems odd to judge another culture’s traditional stories on my standards for literature or entertainment. But I can only rate from my own perspective, which is affected by factors out of the author’s control. One, I’ve read several books of folklore lately, and may have begun to tire of it a bit; I can say this is neither the best nor the worst such book I’ve recently encountered. Perhaps I imbibed too many somewhat similar, very short stories in too little time, and my interest has waned. Two, I had this through Interlibrary Loan on a tight schedule, which left me feeling obligated to pick it up at times I would otherwise have chosen something else.

That said, this is a perfectly readable collection of folklore that made sense to me as a foreign reader. Which makes sense, because the stories were told to a foreign (Hawai’i-based) author/dramaturge who collected them. The book is sized to fit in with textbooks, and has ultra-wide margins in which definitions and pronunciations are sometimes included. But with large font and illustrations, it is still a quick read. It includes brief biographical sketches (and sometimes photographs) of the storytellers, but to me these were too brief: the barest of bare-bones, without room to for the storytellers’ personalities or life experiences to come alive. 

Overall, there’s nothing here that would make me hesitate to recommend the book to those who enjoy folklore. But I prefer books from which I can learn more directly about what people’s lives are like.

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review 2018-04-19 21:14
Ghost of the Innocent Man by Benjamin Rachlin
Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption - Benjamin Rachlin

Willie "Woot" Grimes was wrongly convicted in 1988 for the rape of an elderly white woman in North Carolina. Ghost of the Innocent Man by Benjamin Rachlin is the true story of his conviction, trial, and incarceration. Woot Grimes spent 25 years waiting to be exonerated. He was found guilty of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Woot had several people to give him an alibi for the time of the crime, but this did not matter. Instead the prosecutor took the ever changing word of a witness and was able to get a conviction. 

 

Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission, took on Willie's case and fought tirelessly to free him. 

 

Benjamin Rachlin has done an amazing job of telling Willie's story as well as how the Innocence Project begins and how they fought to free an innocent man. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-19 02:25
Yassen - the making of an assassin
Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz

Yassen was a child of circumstances. His parents loved him but was killed. The incident that killed his parents and all his friends, and almost killed him, was an act covered up by the Russian government. 

 

Now he need to make it on his own. And the persons he met are not really good. 

 

He was enslaved by a bad person for 4 years. Scorpia has attempted to kill this bad man, and freed Yassen in the process.

 

Now he worked for Scorpia. 

 

He met Hunter, who saved his life. 

 

Now we know Hunter is actually John Rider, Alex's father. 

 

The story is interesting, but the details on who he met seems to be not that relevant to the story. 

 

The ending is kind of dark and it actually gave some depth to how this boy became an assassin. 

 

Quite good storytelling. 

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review 2018-04-18 20:49
Book Review of Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen & Illustrated by Alena Paklina

 

Book Review of Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen & Illustrated by Alena Paklina

 

Review 5*

 

This is a wonderfully illustrated story for children aged between 3 and 8. I loved it!

 

I love the colourful illustrations done by Alena Paklina. They bring this short story to life and will engage a child who hasn’t fully grasped how to read yet, but who can follow the story with ease as it's been read to them by their parent. It compliments the short story written by the author so one is transported directly into the tale. Depending on the child’s age and reading ability, the author has written a charming story that is easy enough for a young reader to follow, as she uses simple words that will not confuse a child.

 

The story is a simple but important one about learning to share. Little Bear has a lovely chair but refuses to share it. Because of his selfish behaviour, he has been left out of the fun and become lonely, which is no fun at all. He learns that by sharing, he is included in all the fun and games with his friends. This then translates into teaching the young reader how it is better to share when playing with their friends or siblings. Some adults reading this book may decide that this book is also about bullying as Little Bear is not exactly nice to his friends. However, this is not the impression I found when reading it. I suppose it depends on your upbringing and what your life experiences have made to you as a reader, and how you interpret a book in a certain way. I can only go on my impression of this book and I think it’s a lovely book that can entertain as well as educate. Everyone’s opinion is different, so I will leave you to decide if, after reading the sample, whether you would want your child to either listen to you read it, or they read this book on their own.

 

This book is suitable to read as a bedtime story, or anytime at all, especially if a child has a short attention span. It is a quick read, so even if they haven’t settled down, the lovely pictures will entertain the children.

 

Claressa Swensen is a new author to me, as I have not read her other children’s books. However, I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to children aged 3 upwards and to adults looking for a fun but educational read for their children. – Lynn Worton (Book Reviews by Lynn)

 

P.S. This book has not yet been published and will be on Kickstarter for a crowdfunding campaign at the beginning of May. Please consider donating to it. The link to the campaign will follow once it goes live on 1st May 2018.

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text 2018-04-18 04:41
Reading progress update: I've read 171 out of 400 pages.
Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz

Yassen was Yassah first. His parents loved him. And they sacrificed their lives so that he could continue to be alive.

 

Then he escaped to Moscow from a failed Russian experiment on chemical weapon. Only to be caught a thief and enslaved by a horrible man.

 

A person is sometimes, the product of his experience. How one react to the shit part in life, would determine what kind of person he became. 

 

Is there enough goodness in a person to resist the rotting nature of interaction with selfish, nasty humans? 

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