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review 2017-04-06 22:47
So Many Opportunities!
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

When my children's lit professor assigned this book, I was not thrilled. I don't want to read a book about a boy who was raised by ghosts. That sort of story doesn't appeal to me at all, but I found myself staying up until 1am trying to finish it. This is a well written story about a boy whose parents are killed when he is a baby and then he ends up getting raised by ghosts, a vampire, and a werewolf. Despite the spooky theme of the book, it actually teaches extremely good lessons. Bod, the protagonist, grows up and becomes his own throughout the story. He learns how to read and write by tracing/rubbing letters on gravestones, he learns about history by the dead people who lived through it, but most importantly, he yearns to learn more. What Bod really wants to do is read and learn as much as he can. This book shows how important education is in a totally different way than most people imagine. I would use The Graveyard Book with upper elementary- no younger than 5th grade- for many reasons. When teaching this book in the classroom, there are obvious lessons you can teach such as figurative language, references, writing styles, etc. But there is so much content that can go beyond that. You could use this to teach about European history (or any history for that matter), early American history, the human body (science), geography, and many others.

If I were teaching this, one of the activities I would do would be to have the students pick out a prefabricated name and birth/death date out of separate piles. I would then have the students do heavy research on that time period (I could give a location if necessary such as the US). They would then write a fictional story about their character and give the character an inscription on a headstone that they would draw. 


Lexile: 820L

Grade Equivalent: 5.4


Wonderful website I found full of The Graveyard Book resources:


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url 2013-10-22 09:54
Welcome To My World: "Do's & Don'ts in Elizabethan London": a Guest Post by Anne Lyle
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1) - Anne Lyle
The Merchant of Dreams - Anne Lyle
The Prince of Lies (Night's Masque, #3) - Anne Lyle

Such fun. :D

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review 2013-05-09 00:00
Night Dreams: A Loveswept Contemporary Classic Romanc - Sandra Chastain

For this review and more visit my blog

I was unsure if I wanted to read this one simply because it was first published in 1992. Recently I have tried reading some old romances and it just hasn’t worked for me at all, but after reading the blurb I just had to give this a shot. It is about a scarred sexy recluse and if I have one weakness in the world it is scarred, sexy recluses (I am the biggest Phantom of the Opera fan in the world, ask anybody) so I gave it a go.

The writing is alright but the storyline is exactly what you would expect from a romance book written in 1992. The romance is unbelievable, it is very cheesy and the male character has Fabio hair although it is dark not blond. (If you don’t know who Fabio is look him up it will make your year.)

Jonathan is a ridiculous man. He lures Shannon up his mountain (not a pun) to help his disabled daughter. He then watches Shannon in her sleep which she is frighteningly ok with, he then refuses to meet her for a day or two, then blackmails her into staying. When she says no he cuts off all the phones and takes all her clothes, replacing them with fairy/leotard type outfits. He won’t go out, especially in the day because he belongs in the darkness or something (except he does go out and has meetings with people). He also barely sees his child whom he professes to love so much.

I know what you are thinking, psycho. But apparently Shannon thinks he is a dream boat because she falls in love with him.

This book could have easily ended up in my ‘worse books of all time’ pile, but it had a saving grace, DeeDee or more specifically Shannon’s relationship with DeeDee.

DeeDee is Jonathan‘s daughter and she is quite frankly adorable. It is hard to get kids right in books but Chastain managed it. I LOVED the bits when DeeDee and Shannon were together they had bundles of chemistry and the dialogue between them was extremely sweet and at times extremely touching. It is this and this alone that saved this book.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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review 2013-05-06 00:00
Night Dreams: A Loveswept Classic Romance
Night Dreams: A Loveswept Contemporary Classic Romanc - Sandra Chastain Night Dreams by Sandra Chastain is a sweet, fun and entertaining read.

Shannon Summers grew up with the imaginary Kaseybelle, the only person who showed her love and helped her when she was a child. Now an artist, she sold Kaseybelle to a chocolate company and she makes stories, which are then turned into cartoons of Kaseybelle the fairy.

When Shannon is summoned to Dream Castle as an artist, she does not want to go, but her friendship with her boss and her gratefulness for his help will not allow her to deny him this favor. She plans to be there one day only, but Jonathan Dream has other ideas. Read More...
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