Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:44 AM
Monday, June 29, 2009
Last night I finished the book I keep with my on my elliptical bike: The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow. This is a non-fiction account of eleven friends who are now in their mid-forties and have known each other since they entered elementary school. Their story is not extremely exciting or dramatic - someone could have written a book about you and your friends much like this one. It is interesting to see how lives unfold and I did especially enjoy how close these friends remain over time. My mother has a group of college friends that continue to get together every couple years now that their children are grown and they have more time to do that, so it is my mother and her friends I thought of as I read this book. Zaslow perhaps makes everyone seem a bit too perfect - they are all beautiful, they all have wonderful husbands, etc. - the drudgery of real life is not really revealed. I liked knowing the setting from personal experiences of my own, and I am guessing that many book clubs will want to read this title about friendship enduring through time.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 8:56 AM
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Lydia, the owner of A Good Yarn yarnshop and her husband Brad are ready to adopt an infant. Over the summer they take in Casey a twelve year old foster child who is in need of a home. Phoebe has just broken up for the final time with Clarke, her no good fiancee, after he was arrested for soliciting for a second time. She meets Hutch at a knitting class and the two hit it off, even though she initially deceived Hutch by telling him her fiancee died. Anne Marie and Ellen have just returned from their trip to France when Anne Marie has an unexpected visitor at her book store - a man who claims he may be Ellen's biological father. And Alix is busy trying to quit smoking so that she and her husband can start a family. A few other characters take a backseat in this book, but do make brief appearances as well. While this is not considered Christian fiction, it reminds me very much of Jan Karon's Mitford series, or Thomas Kinkade's Cape Light series. From time to time I feel that these books are too predictable, or too "nice" but sometimes it feels good to read a book where the characters are all good people and living ordinary lives.
I am sure Macomber is not finished with this Blossom Street series, and as always, I look forward to the next installment.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:26 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:27 PM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:56 PM
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Natalie and Naughtily are sisters, and the title suggests that one might have a hard time behaving. While this is depicted in the pictures, it is never overtly stated in the text. In fact, I had to go back and re-read it myself and look at the pictures to really see if Naughtily was naughty. These girls live on the top floor of a department store their family owns, and they have some fun adventures on each floor. We have checked this book out from the library twice now and it is still being chosen as the one we should read before bed.
Arathusala in Topsy Turvy Bedtime gets to act as the parent, and her parents the children. She discovers what it is like to try and put children to bed when they whine, complain, and generally waste time in the process. Maybe my children can see a bit of themselves in the parents as they try to avoid bedtime. And Arathusala's annoyance with them is also comical. Tony Auth, who illustrates Topsy Turvy Bedtime has created pictures we have had a lot of fun looking at....Arathusala is awfully small and her parents quite tall--something both my older daughters have commented on at different times.
I have been working on a few other grown up books as well as looking over my stack (or stacks there are sooooo many) of books I brought home from school and checked out from the library. The problem is now that I have too many choices. I am hoping for a little leisure reading time tonight, and probably another re-reading of some favorite picture books.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 10:51 AM
Friday, June 19, 2009
Yes, I Know the Monkey Man is the sequel to this first book and just as interesting as the first. This time the story is told in TJ's perspective - I hate to be a spoiler- but TJ is what Sam's twin sister, Sarah, goes by. The T stands for Tara. TJ and her father live in Minneapolis where they finally seem to be living with some sense of normalcy. Her dad has a reliable job, they are living in a real house, and her grandmother is in a nursing home there. When her father sustains a disabling injury at work he asks TJ to lie for him so that they can continue to be together. During the time her father is recovering in the hospital TJ leaves for a scheduled visit to her newly located mother, Suzanne, who is getting married and wants her long lost daughter with her for her wedding. While she is gone TJ has to decide if she is going to continue lying about her situation at home, or whether she will let her new family try and help her.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:10 PM
Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration by Ann Bausum is a National Geographic book covering the topic of immigration. I enjoyed this nonfiction selection a great deal. This book includes an introduction and closing as well as a chapter on three different immigration issues in United States history. The first happened to be the European refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and featured one family in particular who was on a ship that the United States refused entry. This ship had also tried entering Cuba ony to have almost all of the refugees refused entry into that country as well. Considering I had never heard of European refugees fleeing to Cuba before Tuesday, it was especially noted. One chapter discusses Japanese immigration and how the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent deportation of Japanese Americans to camps occurred. The final chapter centers around the immigration of Mexican Americans and how this has changed over the course of years. A timeline is included in the back as are a resource guide and index. The black and white photographs are wonderful to look at and helped me connect a face with the story each chapter tells. This book will be a great resource in my elementary library for students interested in immigration. While the reading level will be too high for some of them, I could see them being very interested in the topic.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
To find out more about the Gilbreth family, check out this website.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:41 AM
Monday, June 15, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:30 PM
I have enjoyed reading the numerous posts about children reading at their grade level or not. From the posts I have been reading, those of us book lovers all seem to be in agreement - it is not a race. People of all ages can enjoy picture books, and you really don't have to outgrow them. When I was growing up I distinctly remember expressing some concern that my sister, who is two years younger than me, didn't read chapter books yet - and at the ripe old age of seven. My mother was quite firm in her lack of concern. And, lo and behold, this has not held my sister back at all. While I would never admit it to her, she might even be smarter than me. Today she reads chapter books all the time. I also had a high school co-op student working for me a few years ago in my school library. She was a precocious reader and absolutely loves books. However, she does admit that she may have enjoyed some of the books more had she not decided to read them at such a young age. For example, she read To Kill A Mockingbird in second grade. Enjoyable, yes. Did she get everything that the story offered? No. When I pick out books to read to my own children I hope that I am not pushing them to hear a story they would enjoy when they are older, or enjoy reading to themselves more than they enjoy listening to me read to them. It seems at my school I rarely have the problem of children trying to read things too far above their grade level, so while this is something to consider, I feel like I am constantly trying to push kids beyond Junie B. Jones so they can find books that are more challenging. If you want to read more about this issue, visit the following blogs: Jen Robinson's blog, Here in the Bonny Glen, and Booklights.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:12 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 8:42 PM
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 5:34 PM
Monday, June 8, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:35 AM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:36 AM
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:02 PM
Friday, June 5, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 11:32 AM
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 9:11 AM
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:47 AM
Monday, June 1, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 8:09 AM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:44 AM