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review 2017-02-14 05:02
Charlotte's Web- Lexile level 680L
Charlotte's Web - Garth Williams,E.B. White,Kate DiCamillo

Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White, is about a little girl named Fern who saves the "runt" pig that her dad wants to get rid of. She raises the pig, and names him Wilbur. Wilbur is moved into the barn and begins to make friends with a spider named Charlotte. They go through many trials and tribulations as such strange friends. Eventually Charlotte dies, but leaves behind children. This is a great story to use for grades third through fifth where they can learn how to cope with death and the way of life. You can use this book as a whole group reading book where you assign certain amounts of chapters a week, and we discuss them later in class with incorporating multiple activities. You can also incorporate science by using it as a life cycle lesson, or even a lesson on spiders life spans. It would be a great book to keep them engaged and excited about reading. You could even incorporate poetry by having a themed poem sheet in the shape of a web, spider, or even a pig. You could do many different kinds of poetry lessons using this book  and it's characters, setting, and theme. I would use this book for grades third through fifth. 

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review 2013-11-28 22:15
Transported Me to a Different Place and Time
The Lotus Eaters - Tatjana Soli

This was a terrific read, which came through despite my not reading it in the usual way. I tend to be a fast, voracious reader. I'd have ordinarily made my way through this book in a few days, not a few weeks, but lately I've been forced to put my spare time and energy elsewhere. I'm not sure if that was to the benefit or detriment of the book.

The book is set during the Vietnam War and is centered on, Helen, an American woman photojournalist and her two lovers--Darrow, an American, Linh, a Vietnamese. I love books like this--one that can open up to you another world, and in these cases two, or rather three: Vietnam. The Vietnam War. Photojournalism. The book starts with a ferocious overture--like <i>Private Ryan's</i> D-Day landing--though in this case the Fall of Saigon, as we watch Helen stay for one more story and try to get out alive. By the time that beginning ended, and we then go back to her days as a tyro journalist in the early days of American involvement in the war, I was thoroughly hooked--and that part I read fast. The prose is strong, by turns visceral and lyrical--painting a picture of Vietnam beautiful, horrifying and mesmerizing. And I certainly cared about the central characters. In a way, my slow reading of the rest built on that, as I took time to get to know the characters, let them sink in.

The end did feel a bit to me like an anticlimax--or at least not enough--too abrupt after all this time spent with the characters. I do have another problem with the book--even if for me a minor one--but one that, for instance, would keep me from gifting this to a friend of mine for which it's a pet peeve: holding point of view. Soli doesn't. Now, yes, I know there's such a thing as omniscient. But well-done omniscient has certain hallmarks and quirks that ground you in that point of view. A certain narrative attitude, a bit intrusive in voice and opinion, statements about the future, and of course shifting points of view. When instead what you have in essentials a limited viewpoint mostly told through one character, but then you suddenly abruptly shift to a statement or thought or sight that couldn't come from that character, it feels jarring--worse I feel it's a violation of a contract with the reader. In this case, what was strong in the book--the characters, the sense of place and time--meant I found this a minor point I could overlook--but certainly did notice. But yes, I would recommend this to anyone for whom the subject appeals. As you might guess from the setting and theme this is not a light, happy book--but it does take you on a journey--one I was happy I made.

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text 2013-11-12 21:50
Top 10: Books That Have Made Me Cry
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas - James Patterson
Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
The Time Traveler's Wife Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reprint edition - Audrey Niffenegger
The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson,Donna Diamond
The Book Thief - Trudy White,Markus Zusak
By Sue Monk Kidd: The Secret Life of Bees - -Penguin (Non-Classics)-
By David Nicholls: One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original) - -Vintage-
Marley: A Dog Like No Other - John Grogan
A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks

Top Ten Books That Have Made Me Cry:


1. Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

2. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

3. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

4. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

7. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

8. One Day by David Nichols

9.Marley & Me by John Grogan

10. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (and about half of his other books)






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review 2013-10-26 15:52
Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas
Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold) - Sandra Dallas

This book was so heart warming and cute that I wouldn't mind rereading this again and again. So many feels towards this book and I wouldn't mind buying it as a stand alone, I have four books in one. 


This amazingly sweet story is about a woman name Hennie who befriends a 17 year old married woman name Nit. The two met while Nit was looking at Hennie sign that said prayers for sale. Then the girl left with a prayer "bought" and Hennie provided one for her. The two became close and Hennie knew that she had to leave to live with her daughter. So Hennie tells Nit her story and many of them, plus taught her where the best of fruit for making pies were. Hennie and Nit love spending time with each other and Nit loves to hear Hennie's many stories. A lot of things has happen to Hennie and in the end was a bit of a twist. But it was a very good ending.


So like I said very heart warming and cute, plus, had a lot of feels. This story is totally worth the read if you are looking for all feelings. Well that is the end!

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review 2013-10-12 00:00
The Reading Group: A Novel (P.S.)
The Reading Group - Elizabeth Noble DNF. Thinking about reading this book made me depressed.
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