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review 2019-09-01 03:41
Review: Dawn: Diary One by Ann M. Martin
Dawn: Diary One - Ann M. Martin

Title: Dawn: Diary One
Author: Ann M. Martin
Series: California Diaries, 1
Format: ebook
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Can Dawn find a life in California to match the one she left behind in Connecticut—or has too much changed between her friends?
At Vista, eighth graders are required to write personal journals about their experiences. Meet thirteen-year-old Dawn Schafer, the crunchy and health conscious member of the Baby-Sitters Club, who has returned to California to live with her father, stepmother, and brother. Dawn is thrilled to be reunited with her old friends Sunny, Maggie, and Jill.
It’s not always easy to keep the group together, though—things are changing fast since they moved the eighth-grade classes into the high school. With new social demands and decisions to make, Dawn sees just how much her old friends have changed since she moved away. Or is she the one who is different now? It’s time for this independent girl to let go of the life she had across the country and figure out just where she belongs now.


Favourite character: Ducky
Least favourite character: Sunny


Mini-review: This series follows Dawn Schafer, formerly of the Baby-Sitters Club, as she moves back to California. So this takes place while Abby's with the BSC. It's a bit more mature, with parties and drinking and guys checking out the girls boobs, along with a censored swear word or two.

So Dawn could now careless about babysitting and doesn't miss Mary Anne or Kristy or any other members of the BSC. So every fan of the BSC is getting defensive and it made me struggle a lot with Dawn.


Fan Cast:

Dawn Schafer - Addy Miller

Sunny Winslow - Samantha Bailey

Maggie Blum - Morgan Lily

Jill Henderson - Brianna Daguano

Ducky McCrae - Zachary Gordon

Amalia Vargas - Isabela Moner

Mandy Richards - Bella Thorne

Jack Schafer - Max Martini

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review 2019-09-01 03:21
Review: Mandie and the Midnight Journey by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Midnight Journey - Lois Gladys Leppard

Title: Mandie and the Midnight Journey
Author: Lois Gladys Leppard
Series: Mandie, 13
Format: ebook, bind-up
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Mandie has mixed feelings when she returns home from boarding school to find a new baby brother. Her mother seems to be so wrapped up in the new baby that Mandie allows herself to wonder if her mother doesn't love her anymore. Feeling sorry for herself, Mandie packs her few belongings to leave, despite her Uncle Ned's advice.


Favourite character: Riley
Least favourite character: Mandie


Mini-review: Man was Mandie a brat in this. I wanted to shake her a couple (make that a few) times. Also, I can't believe Elizabeth's letting her go to Europe after everything she did. Like I get that Mrs. Taft already paid for everything, but they should've sent Sallie or Polly or something.


Fan Cast:

Amanda "Mandie" Shaw - Emma Rayne Lyle

Elizabeth Shaw - Malin Akerman

Uncle Ned Sweetwater - Zahn McClarnon

Riley O'Neal - Domhnall Gleeson

Dr. Woodard - Gideon Emery

John Shaw - Robert Downey Jr.

Joe Woodard - Diego Velazquez

Liza - Genneya Walton

Polly Cornwallis - Nikki Hahn

Morning Star Sweetwater - Irene Bedard

Grandmother Taft - Meryl Streep

Mrs. Woodard - Danica McKellar

Celia Hamilton - Sadie Sink

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review 2019-09-01 02:52
Review: Mystery at the Ski Jump by Carolyn Keene
The Mystery at the Ski Jump - Carolyn Keene

Title: Mystery at the Ski Jump
Author: Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew, 29
Format: ebook
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: When Nancy learns that the Drews' housekeeper has been duped by an elegantly dressed woman into buying a stolen fur piece, the young detective starts a search for the clever swindler. To Nancy's astonishment, she discovers that the woman is using the name Nancy Drew. The dishonest acts of the impostor point the finger of suspicion at Nancy herself and result in her being questioned by the police. Nancy's determination to capture the elusive, dangerous Mitzi Channing takes her to northern New York State and Canada. At a gala winter event Nancy meets this situation and turns the tables on Mitzi Channing and her fellow thieves makes another thrilling Carolyn Keene mystery. 



Mini-review: Good. Liked that it was set partially in Canada (and Quebec at that). The whole mink stole aspect was interesting, as you don't often hear of them as much as you'd think in books. Or at least the books I read.

Liked Ned's slight jealous rivalry with Chuck.


Fan Cast:

Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara

Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin

George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand

Carson Drew - Max Martini

Hannah Gruen - Mary Steenbergen

Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort

Burt Eddleton - John Boyega

Dave Evans - KJ Apa

Chief McGinnis - Vincent D'Onofrio

Eloise Drew - Elizabeth Banks

Mitzi Channing - Evangeline Lilly

Chuck Wilson - Grant Gustin

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review 2019-08-20 19:37
The transatlantic experience
Locomotive - Brian Floca

First of all, Locomotive by Brian Floca has absolutely beautiful illustrations. [A/N: It was a Caldecott Medal Winner and a Sibert Honor Book so you know I'm not just whistling Dixie.] This could be a potentially dry subject (a 19th century family's cross country journey to a new home) but the illustrations really take it to a whole other lever. This is best categorized as classic picture book meets historical fiction. It reads as if it could be a nonfiction story of a family journeying by the newest technical innovation, the transcontinental railroad, across the country. This would work best either with a child who loves trains or to a slightly older group of kids (maybe in a classroom) who want to know more about this period of American history. 8/10


What's Up Next: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo with pictures by Mike Lowery (translated from the Swedish by Tara F. Chace)


What I'm Currently Reading: The Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2019-08-20 07:56
Find the Best Scenic Road Trips in America

Road trips have always been a favorite pastime in America and will continue to do so as the open road beckons and what better way to experience the best of what America has to offer than behind the wheel of your own automobile. With the windows down, wind blowing through your hair, company and music of your choice, this kind of intimate and personal experience is by far the best. Some are well-known destinations and others are off the beaten path. Several are steeped in history, while a few pursue remote, wild beauty. Best of all, most of these routes make for great drives all year long.

Here is the list of 10 Best Scenic Road Trips in America


1. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia

The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles along the southern Appalachian Mountains and links two national parks – Virginia’s Shenandoah and North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. Drive the entire length if there's time - but remember the speed limit is 45 mph in most parts. For a shorter jaunt, fly into Asheville, N.C., and follow the parkway north for about 2 hours to Boone. Not a single interstate crosses the parkway. Instead of gas stations and motels, it’s flanked by picnic areas and hiking trails lined with dogwood, tulip trees, and red maples, with the mighty Appalachians as the backdrop. Highlights include Grandfather Mountain, a U.N.-designated International Biosphere Reserve, and the gardens and winery of the magnificent Biltmore Estate, a 19th-century Vanderbilt château near Asheville. Most sightseers do this road trip in spring and fall for the wildflowers and foliage, but the summer brings fewer cars, and the breezy, dry weather is near perfect.


2. Big Sur, California

Iconic Route 1 extends almost the entire length of California, but a favorite stretch for road trips is through Big Sur, which comprises 90 or so miles along the central coast from San Simeon to Carmel. Big Sur’s beauty is not overrated: Sandwiched between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific – redwood groves on one side and rocky beaches with sea lions on the other – it’s remarkably unspoiled, partly because the only access is via the two-lane Route 1, or Cabrillo Highway. Devote a long weekend, ideally in May or September for fewer crowds. Start out in San Jose, which has the closest major airport, and head south 74 miles on U.S. 101. Merge onto Route 156 and pick up Route 1, cruise through Monterey and Carmel, and then enter Big Sur. There are no big towns, only small clusters of roadside restaurants and stores, so fill the gas tank in advance. The road twists along precipitous cliffs and it can be a relief to stop for impromptu hiking, picnicking, or beachcombing.

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