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review 2019-01-18 02:33
Amal - audiobook
Amal Unbound - Aisha Saeed,Priya Ayyar

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Audiobook

Library Copy

 

 

I watched from the window as the boys tumbled out of the brick schoolhouse across the field from us.

-first sentence

 

Amal loves school and her dream is to one day go to college and become a teacher. But one day, a chance encounter disrupts her life. She becomes an indentured servant to the family of her village’s corrupt landlord. Amal plans to work until she pays off her family’s debt, but when she finds out the truth, what will she do?

 

This story takes place in Pakistan and is meant for a middle-grade audience. Amal is a fantastic strong female character; she knows what she wants, she knows what is right, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

 

I listened to the audio and the narrator, Priya Ayyar did a wonderful job. I’m counting this for “A” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.

 

Recommended to grades 4-6.

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review 2019-01-18 01:46
Cujo - audiobook
Cujo - Stephen King,Simon & Schuster Audio,Lorna Raver

Audience: Adult

Format: Audio

Library Copy

 

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the town of Castle Rock, Maine.

- first sentence

 

This is a reread for me and I didn’t remember many details. I think I avoided it because of my love of dogs. I listened to the audio; Lorna Raver gives an excellent performance and helped me get lost in the story.

 

I was surprised by the beginning stuff about the monster (serial killer) Frank Dodd. I found myself wondering what that had to do with the rabid dog. But this story isn’t about a rabid dog. It’s about evil… evil and coincidences. It’s also a look back in time at what was once thought acceptable in a marriage.

 

As the story progresses, the parts with Cujo are separated by the stories of the Trenton family and the Camber family. Each family is dealing with their own issues, and these ultimately lead to the events which conclude with the showdown of mother and child trapped in a Pinto by Cujo.

 

It broke my heart to listen to Cujo’s thoughts as the disease progressed and he gradually went mad. But it was easier to read/listen to than it was to watch the movie. All I really remember from the movie is the part with Cujo and the car. I might have to watch it again just for comparison.

 

So, is an Evil force controlling the events that lead to the heartbreaking conclusion, or is it just coincidence? Does it even matter?

 

I'm using this for "C" in the Goodreads HA A-Z challenge.

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review 2019-01-17 02:49
Pet Sematary - audiobook
Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook

Library Copy

 

 

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened..."

- beginning of first sentence

 

The first sentence sounds so innocuous, and yet this is the novel that Stephen King himself has called his scariest. Perhaps because it centers on death and how fear of death can compel people to do the unthinkable.

 

I am currently rereading Stephen King books that I haven't read in decades. I listened to IT a couple of years ago because I wanted to refresh my memory before I saw the movie. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try the audios of more of his books. When I saw that the Pet Sematary movie is being remade, I decided this should be my next listen. I am glad I did. This book was scary and totally immersive - I was obsessed with listening to this. Michael C. Hall gave an amazing performance. I was constantly picturing him as Louis Creed, even while I kept seeing Fred Gwynne (from the original movie) as Jud Crandall.

 

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good scare. :)

 

I'm using this as "P" for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.

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review 2019-01-15 20:30
Daba's Travels from Ouadda to Bangui by Makombo Bamboté
Daba's Travels from Ouadda to Bangui - Makombo Bamboté,George Ford

Like apparently most of the people who read this book, I read it for my world books challenge and wasn’t particularly impressed. It seems to be aimed at middle-grade readers (ages 9-12), and recounts the childhood experiences of a boy named Daba as he leaves his village in the Central African Republic to attend school in a larger town and spends his vacations traveling around the country with friends and relatives.

As you would expect, this is a quick and easy read that even includes some illustrations. It’s a pretty gentle story, including adventures such as attending a boarding school and tagging along for a crocodile hunt. However, it is disjointed, prematurely ending events that could have been exciting if fully-developed – like the crocodile hunt, which gets less page time than a neighbor telling the boys a story – and including more episodes than fit comfortably within its brief page count. It does little to immerse the reader in Daba’s feelings or experiences; in the second half of the book, he seems to fade into his group of friends, who are indistinguishable in personality and experiences (except for the French pen pal who somehow is able to fly to a Central African Republic town alone and spend the summer wandering from village to isolated village with the local boys).

Daba grows older – the book appears to cover a couple of years – but he doesn’t really have struggles to overcome or seem to change or learn more about life. At times, knowing the story to be based in some way on the author’s childhood, Daba’s portrayal even comes across as self-aggrandizing: a star pupil, always cool and confident, beats adults at games, liked by everyone except for one classmate who’s condemned by other children and adults alike. Meanwhile, for adult readers, the language is perhaps too simple, and some of the events are eyebrow-raising or could use more explanation (the pen pal trip, Daba’s being awarded a scholarship to study abroad without any apparent effort from him or consent from his parents, etc.).

At any rate, this isn’t too bad if you’re doing a world books challenge – Daba travels around his country, giving the reader a sense of the landscape and the culture in the places he visits, and quick reads are always valued for big challenges – but those searching for diverse books to give to the children in their lives would be better served looking elsewhere.

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review 2019-01-15 18:44
Review: A House for a Mouse
A House for a Mouse - Rebecca Westberg

The story of the two mice is a sweet one. Though it really does not really have much of a story to it. The story is how to get a house for a mouse. I like it but it not much of a story. The author does a wonderful job with the pictures in telling the story to a point.

The pictures could be down a bit more. There is not much of adventure to this story. The development of the characters is not there much. This need some work. This is best for children under the age of 7. Children that can read will be able to read it. It good for young children a bit for the picures for children under 5.

The author would have told the story as how the owner of the home came about and then found the mice or mouse and had a bit more of an adventure to how it ends. I say this book would have gotten a better rating. It an okay book to me. Maybe to you it will be better for you. You decide if you want it for your children or not. Like I said it an okay book. Great for children.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-review-house-for-mouse.html
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