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Search tags: The-Bell-Jar
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review 2018-10-19 03:41
Open Your Mouth Like a Bell
Open Your Mouth Like a Bell - Mindy Nettifee

Mindy Nettifee won my heart years ago with her collection Rise of the Trust Fall, and she has yet to disappoint me since. Insightful, lyrical, and straight from the heart Nettifee's verse hits me right between the eyes and in the blood. Filled with several poems written surrounding the 2016 election there is a political core here that resonates strongly with me. I am so very thankful for her voice.

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review 2018-10-04 08:44
The Division Bell Mystery - Ellen Wilkinson

A wealthy American financier is found shot dead, alone in a room. Initial thoughts are that he killed himself but parliamentary private secretary Robert West isn’t so sure, especially when the financier’s granddaughter insists that it was murder. Bob is soon caught up in trying to uncover the truth, without creating a national crisis in the process.

The setting of the Houses of Parliament lend an air of intrigue to the novel. There is something a little remote and otherworldly about this institution that everyone is aware of but where only a few know the inner workings. This book gives a little glimpse of what it would have been like 80 years ago to walk the halls and in particular give a brief insight into what it may have been like to be a woman MP.


There are moments that are dated but also still relevant somewhat to today. The way women are viewed, particularly in the traditionally patriarchical society of government, was more obvious now than it may have been when the book was first published. However I think that was the author’s intention. She was an MP and would have faced such treatment and thoughtless assumption that her ideals and position were secondary. West is enamoured of Miss Oissel, to the point were he is very nearly blind to everything else. He compares her to his friend Grace, barely noticing how he hurts her in the process.


West is a character that I both liked and disliked in equal measure. He is arrogant but almost unaware of it, which makes it somewhat more forgivable. He is dismissive of women but respects them and his stubborn nature almost means that the mystery remains unsolved.


The murder itself is engaging, the very definition of a locked room mystery. How can a man be murdered in a room when the only means of escape for a murderer is through a door that has three people standing outside? The denouement is given, not with a big reveal with many flourishes, but in a matter of fact manner and is somewhat tongue in cheek given it is not Bob West who finds the final clue to solving the puzzle.


Every book I read in the British Library crime classics has something to recommend it. There is something eminently entertaining about their novels, each one bringing with it a glimpse of the past. The Division Bell Mystery is no different. It is a worthy inclusion into the series.

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review 2018-09-10 03:11
El Deafo by Cece Bell
El Deafo - Cece Bell

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a level X on the Fountas and Pinnell reading level scale. El Deafo is about a rabbit who is deaf and is going through struggles based on dealing with her difficulties. The story begins when she is four years old and is living a normal life, but when she contracts meningitis, the disease leaves her deaf. She has to start wearing a hearing aid and has to attend a special needs kindergarten class with other deaf students. When they move to Virginia, she is hoping to have a somewhat normal life, but has some issues with making friends. Then she has to get an even larger hearing device which makes her feel even more ostracized. To help boost her confidence, she creates a superhero named El Deafo who has super hearing. This helps her find a true friend in Martha, and gives her the courage to talk to her crush Mike who shows everyone in the neighborhood that her hearing aid is super cool. This book could be great to recommend to a student that has a hearing impairment. They can create their own superhero with a super power they wish they had and show them that they too have a “superpower” of their own. 

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review 2018-09-07 18:50
CeCe to the Rescue!
El Deafo - Cece Bell

Cece Bell became deaf at the age of four due to an illness. She started kindergarten at a school where all of her classmates were also deaf and then started first grade in the general education setting. CeCe made a few friends who stuck around but stood about the rest and became her sidekick. Instead of treating her disability as a crutch she begins to use it as her super power with the help of the Phonic Ear and her trusty side-kick. A writing activity for students to complete after the reading of the book is to write their own graphic novel. After learning about genres students can display their comprehension of this style of writing by following the guidelines graphic novels.

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review 2018-09-07 00:00
Cemetery Girl
Cemetery Girl - David J. Bell A very quick, easy read. I read this book in one sitting. A bit predictable, but good nonetheless!
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