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review 2018-05-23 21:17
Love Pies and Apple Picking
The Recipe Box: A Novel - Viola Shipman
Excellent narration
Recipes excellent
Sweet, heartwarming this book brought back so many fond memories of my youth in upper Michigan. This is a book with strong family ties, great relationships, honesty and courage, not game playing. I felt good, peaceful and happy while reading it. A fabulous summer feel good read.
I loved this tale of upper an Upper Michigan woman/pastry chef and the orchard her family owns. She was raised on her family's orchard, a multi generation owned business. She wants to make her own mark on the world so she leaves and goes to NY to work under a famous pastry chef. Things happen, life changes, and she finds herself heading home for some thinking and her grandmother's 75th birthday celebration. Once there she is drawn into the power of family and food, and re-centers her life and her heart.
Pie, pie, pie, oh the pies in this book ! There are recipes, good ones I've tried three so far. The only downfall to the audio version is that I had to write them down while play pause/play pause it took some time. I ordered the hard copy so I'll have them soon.


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review 2016-11-14 00:00
Johanna: Bride of Michigan
Johanna: Bride of Michigan - Clara Kinca... Johanna: Bride of Michigan - Clara Kincaid This series was my first experience with multiple authors working together to write a series on a large scale. I enjoyed every book in the series and found several new authors that I hadn't read before.
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review 2016-11-08 21:36
The Watsons go to Birmingham
The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 - Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watsons go to Birmingham seems like it would be a good book to incorporate Reading and Social Studies. I have not read the book but for some reason, I remember my mom referencing the book when I was in her 5th grade classroom. The book is about a family that lives in Michigan and ends up moving to Birmingham, Alabama. I haven't read the book but I would love to! The book would be great to use in Reading. You could use Compare and Contrast between the two cities. You could also se the book in Social Studies about learning how times were in the 1960s. The book is a level of 5.5 but I believe grades 5 and 6 would be able to comprehend the book for the desired reason.  

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review 2016-05-18 13:05
The Turner House
The Turner House - Angela Flournoy
  This probably wouldn't have come across my radar without the Detroit connection and might have languished on my TBR shelf if it hadn't turned up at my local library in the front area new book shelves--one of the best (and most dangerous) areas in the library.

The Turner House is the story of a family and the story of a city both undergoing extreme changes. Viola Turner is the matriarch of thirteen children, who's been forced to leave the family home of 50 years on Yarrow Street and live with her eldest son Cha-Cha and his wife Tina. This of course, is only temporary until she recovers from some health issues she's been having.

The home is no longer in a desirable neighborhood and sadly only worth 1/10th of it's mortgage, so the kids have to decide what they are going to do. Lots of suggestions but nobody's happy with any of them. And it's becoming more and more obvious as time passes that Viola will end her days at her son's home--regardless of her wishes.

Told between the two time frames of 1944 when the Turner patriarch Francis first arrived in Detroit from Arkansas to 2008 and mostly following the oldest son Cha-Cha and the youngest daughter Lelah with appearances by the other siblings along the way this is a bittersweet story with lots of heart.


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review 2016-02-26 05:05
Weweni (Made in Michigan Writers Series) - Margaret Noodin

Recently, poetry has fallen victim to a slew of misconceptions and stereotypes. Many still avoid it, believing it to be written in a way that purposely confuses the reader, while others are worried of finding the same repetition of themes and images. Noodin’s “Weweni” puts to ease both of these worries in a stunning collection that not only presents an original set of poems but, more significantly, acts as a learning experience for the reader by introducing the complex and sadly overlooked culture of the Anishinaabe people.


I have had no previous experience with reading poetry about or by First Nations peoples, and coming across “Weweni” felt an instant fascination with the topic. I was delighted not only to find out that the collection was bilingual, but to also be eased into it with an informative and not very heavy preface. A significant portion of the fun came from trying to read the original Anishinaabemowin versions of the poetry, sounding them out using some of the pointers given in the preface. It allowed for a much more personal and deeper appreciation of the language and culture, one I knew nothing about and which isn’t discussed much either.


The translated versions of the poems left a warm and uplifting feeling after reading them, offering a starkly different atmosphere of forests, stars, and berries that felt so different to the European and contemporary North American poetry. There was a certain honesty to it, a balance of innocence and wisdom, that’s impossible to describe without having read some of them. One shouldn’t be fooled by their apparent simplicity. The collection leaves room for thought and meditation, offering a glimpse into the very tip of a complex culture. I wish there were more poetry collections like this.

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