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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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review 2016-01-20 04:34
Finding forever
Paige in Progress (Reluctant Hearts Book 3) - Brighton Walsh

This is book # 3 in the Reluctant Hearts series.  While this book can be read as a standalone novel, for full understanding and enjoyment for the reader I advise reading the series books in the order intended.  There are inside jokes, and light spoilers to the other books that will be missed if you do not read them in order given.



Paige and Adam meet through mutual friends and have an incredible night together.  Now, months later, she is avoiding him since she still dreams of that night they had.  He seems to be everywhere with their mutual friends, and she is avoiding them also.


Adam is determined to see if there is more to this thing between them.  He also knows she is skittish from the past.  He cannot forget about Paige.  Adam is serious about finding a way to make it work.


This was a book full of surprises.  It was also HOT!  Such incredible depth to the characters and the development for some happens right before the readers eyes.  I loved every page and did not want the book to end.  I give this story a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-12-01 06:35
Mine to love
His All Night (Edge of Scandal) - Elle Wright

This is book 2 in the Edge of Scandal series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel, however, the series should be read in order for reader enjoyment and understanding.


Jared AKA "Red" met Calisa when she became best friends with his twin sister in college.  Now they are all family.  Red and Calisa gave in to their attraction and made a "friends with benefits" arrangement and its not working out.


Calisa and Red both have pasts and family from their past who have hurt them.  This causes problems for them to go forward.  It actually causes Calisa to never go forward.  She cannot seem to let go of the past.


Red has more going on in his life as it is.  His twin is having a baby and moving back home.  His job is very demanding as being a lawyer tends to be.  His own dautgher needs to be found and brought to live with him.  Through all this he is loyal and does not want to let go of the love of his life.


This is such a sweet and sexy story.  These characters are so in love that it almost hurts to read.  I loved and appreciated the honesty between them even when it hurts to hear it.  This book is just an all around good choice and a keeper for the shelf.  I cannot wait to read the next installment in this series!  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher in exchange for an honest review only.

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