Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April 2019 Reading Log

April was a very busy reading month.  I read some great books with my guided
reading groups in school as well as some wonderful books on my own.  My
favorite book this month was The Beantown Girls.  I highly recommend the book
if you love historical fiction with a little romance thrown in.
My favorite middle grade book was Sadako and the Thousand Cranes, which
was based on a true story.  

The Beantown Girls  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Book of Speculation  ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Firefly Lane  ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Music Shop  ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Us Against You  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Words in Deep Blue  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Because of Winn Dixie  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
George’s Marvelous Medicine ⭐️⭐️⭐️
My Father’s Dragon ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sadako and the Thousand Cranes  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“When you get to the end, you see that love and family are all
there is. Nothing else matters.”
 K. Hannah

I am reading Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah for a buddy read with
@jesikasbookshelf and @rosie_tinted_books this month.  I missed the
first chat but I hope to remember the the second one. I don’t know
about anyone else but I had to read the complete book.  I can not
just read bits and pieces throughout the month. It is too
confusing especially when you are reading several books at a time.  

Anyways Firefly Lane has been on my unread shelf for a long time so I
was excited to see the buddy read.  It was the perfect reason to pick
up the book and get going. I have LOVED several of the other Kristin
Hannah books that I have read so I knew that this book was going to
be emotional and unexpected.  

Kate and Tully develop a friendship in middle school and They plan out
their lives together.  They go to college together and they work at
the same place. Tully is clearly the driving force in their lives
and you can see that Kate is unsure of their direction but she doesn’t
want to hurt Tully.

I was a bit disappointed in the character Kate.  She didn’t seem to
take charge of her life and decisions until the end.  Up until that
point she sort of let life happen to her with her job, motherhood and
her friendship with Tully.   She had everything she always wanted but
she didn’t seem happy with it especially when she compared
herself with Tully. She was always jealous of Tully but at the same
time she didn’t want what Tully had.   

Tully on the other hand didn’t realize what was important until the end
was there.  Then she realized what she was missing in life and started
to make changes.

“I wish you courage
I wish you rushing blood
A heart that beats too hard
Feelings that make everything too hard
Love that gets out of control
The most intense adventures
I hope you find your way out
I hope you’re the kind of person
Who gets a happy ending.”
 --F. Backman

My friend Cheryl talked me into reading Us Against You by Fredrik
Backman and to be honest after reading several reviews on bookstagram
I wasn’t really looking forward to it.  However, my friend really
wanted to read it and so I read it with her. I was surprised, I
really enjoyed it. Mr Backman is an excellent writer.   I have to be
honest I loved Beartown and gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and Us Against You
was good and I would say only ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.   

I was totally into the storylines of Benji, Mia and Anna.   I even was
interested to see what would happen with Leo. I liked how Peter ended
up but didn’t care for his character throughout the story.  I don’t
want to spoil the story for anyone but I was a bit disappointed
in Benji’s game decision.

“It’s supposed to live for a thousand years. If a sick person folds
one thousand paper cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her
healthy again.”
E. Coerr

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr is a beautiful
book about a young girl who lived in Hiroshima, Japan during WWII
when the Atom Bomb was dropped by the US.   Sadako is a brave little
girl who just wants to run on the school team, but an illness will
sidetrack her running ambitions. This book deals with some serious
topics: effects of war, cancer, and death.  It is a captivating story.

I read this book with one of my reading groups at school and we had
some wonderful discussions.  I love this time of the school year,
everything you have taught all year starts to come together.  I’m
only sad that the school year is almost over because I will
miss these discussions.
“There ain't no way you can hold onto something that wants to go,
You can only love what you got while you got it.”

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is an adorable story of a
young girl who moves to a new town but is very lonely.  Opal has no
friends and she is missing her mama, until one day she finds a lost
dog. With the help of her new dog Opal begins to make new friends
throughout the town.  Things change for Opal, her dog, and all the
people she meets in the town. It is a great story of friendship,
community and second chances.

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett is a book that takes some
time to warm up too.  The first time I read it I was not too engaged
in it. I’m not a big fan of fantasy stories.  However, now that
I read it two more times and had several book discussions with
different groups of students I’m starting to change my mind.    
First of all the kids love all the different animals and their
personalities. The kids love how Elmer tricks the animals. They also
think it is random that Elmer just happened to pack those things.   
Big topics we discussed were plan ahead and be prepared and use
your mind to get out of difficult situations.

“It is completely unimportant. That is why it is so interesting.”
Agatha Christie

This quote sort of sums up my feelings about this book.  Unimportant…
That is how I feel about the clues for The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by
Agatha Christie.   Roger Ackroyd is stabbed in a locked room but by
who and his fiance was murdered? Or was it suicide two day before.  
OH and she was being blackmailed but nobody seems to know
by whom. In enters Hercule Poirot, the new neighbor, who is a retired
investigator.  Step by Step and clue by clue he figures out who has
committed the murder. It will take you to the very end to figure it
out because Agatha Christie wrote so many clues and suspects with
motives it takes until the very end……...but once again I do have to
say I did guess this one too, even though it was somewhat tricky.   
I give this mystery ***/5 stars.

“But I love you, and before you say it words do matter. …”. C. Crowley

How could you not love this book?  First the cover is adorable.
Second it is a book about books.  Third, it is a love story. Rachel
has always loved Henry. Henry has always loved Amy.  Henry and Rachel
were always best friends. When Rachel comes back home to find a job
after the death of her brother, she doesn’t understand how her best
friend has never reached out to her especially after the letter she
left where she declared her love.  

Henry is devastated when Amy breaks up with him again.   Then Rachel
comes to town and takes a job at Henry’s failing bookstore and she
has a chip on her shoulder.  Why is she being so mean to him? She
is the one who left and never responded to his letters. Why is she
acting like he did something wrong?   

Henry and Rachel decide to be friends again, until the kiss.  Things are
going well and then Amy decides she wants to get back with Henry.   
Who will Henry choose this time Rachel who is always there for him
or Amy?

“Never grow up……..always down”.
R.  Dahl

George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl is a humorous book.  
I am reading this with one of my fourth graders at school and another
group of third graders practicing for Battle of the Books.  I was never
really a fan of Roald Dahl however his books are starting to grow on me.
The kids just love the humor in them.

George is a little boy who is tired of being ordered around by his
grumpy and mean old grandmother.  So he decides to make a medicine to
create some kind of reaction and maybe an explosion. His medicine is
so amazing grandma goes right through the roof.  This is a cute little
story. Even my reluctant readers are enjoying this story and that says
a lot.
“How best to honor those we’ve lost? By not being afraid to live
life and take risks,
by daring to open your heart to possibility.”
J. Healey

Jane Healey delivers a wonderful story about the Red Cross Club
mobiles during WWII.  I have read a lot WWII books fiction and
non-fiction however, I have never heard of the Red Cross Club Mobiles.  

In The Beantown Girls, Healey tells the story of three young ladies
who volunteer during WWII and serve in the Red Cross to serve coffee
and donuts to the allied troops in Europe.  Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie
are three college friends from Boston who volunteer together. They
expect the job to be hard but they are unprepared for the emotional
hardships they will see and endure so close to the front line of a war.
They are doing more than just serving coffee and donuts to the troops
they are providing the troops a bit of normalness in an unreal
situation. They talk to the troops and listen to their fears and hopes
and stories of families. They sing and try to cheer them
up and let them know that they are loved even if their family can not
be there to remind them.   The girls make some wonderful friendships and
even develop some romantic relationships but they also suffer loses as

The Beantown Girls will strengthen their friendship as well as develop
personal confidence and courage to move to the next level of their
lives. This is a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read.

This is the first meeting of the book club my friend Cheryl and I are
started. So far we have invited teachers from the school where we
taught to be part of the club.  I think this club will be fun and
hopefully it will grow as time continues.

“I think that loving another person and being kind is about the
best thing you can do.”  R. Joyce

I have had The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce on my TBR list for several
months now and I finally read it.  It was an enjoyable story about
Frank who owns a Music Shop that sells Vinyl records in 1988 on a
dead end, run down street.  There are a couple other small shops on
the street and the vendors all stick together and watch out for
one another.

One day a beautiful young lady in a green coat passes out in front of
the Music Shop and the
mystery begins.  Who is this woman? Where is she from? Why did she
come to the music shop?

Ilse Brauchmann wants music lessons.  She has lost her joy of music
and she wants to find a new way back.  Frank has a gift of matching
people with the perfect song to help them move on passed their problems,
however he can not deal with his own emotional problems.  It is obvious
that Frank and Ilse are attracted to each other but Ilse has many
secrets and Frank is afraid of relationships.

Once you’ve held a book and really loved it, you forever remember
the feel of it, its specific weight,
the way it sits in your hand.
E. Swyler

Simon’s home is falling apart and he just lost his job.  Then one day he
receives a book in the mail with no note.  It is a really old book
and it has his mother’s name and his grandmother’s name in it.
Simon begins to read and research the book and begins to realize it
is his family’s history.  He figures out that all the women in his
family died the same way, before they were 30 and some on the exact
same date.  Now he is on a mission to make sure his sister does not fall
into that same fate.

I purchased the Melissa and Doug Grocery Store for my grandkids.
I did not purchase food for it yet so we changed it into a bookstore.
Every since I saw the movie You Got Mail I wanted to own a little
bookstore just like Meg Ryan's. This could be my new career.

When I let my little buddies play with it my one grandson was using
the top shelf as a book drop. He was sliding the books through to
the other side. I think he was confusing the library with the
bookstore. So cute!!

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