Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review 50: Bringing the Boy Home by N.A. Nelson

Finally I am done with the Mark Twain nominees. This was an interesting change from the other books. The main character is Tirio, who is from an unknown tribe in the Amazon called the Takunami tribe. This is pretty much all fiction, the author says she made most of it up, only the fact that there are actually unknown tribes and that there are rituals that could be similar, and of course the actual wildlife is true. When Tirio was 6 years old his mother put him in a coffin in a raft and sent him down the river. He was discovered by a woman named Sara who took him back to America with her and raised him. He was abandoned by his tribe because he had some kind of handicap on one of his legs. The whole book is about him and another boy named Luka, from the same tribe. We learn about Luka's life and family as part of the tribe waiting for the ritual to become a man. It is not until the oldest son of the family passes this ritual that any children in the family can know who their father is. Luka has an older sister and a domineering mother who is doing everything to make sure her son passes. Back in the states, Tirio has been "cured" in a way by an orthotic, and at the age of 12, almost 13 is beginning to feel he needs to go back to the Amazon and pass the ritual. Fortunately Sara is actually taking Tirio back there on a trip at just the right time.

There's kind of a twist about the relationship between Luka and Tirio, a little different than what I was thinking it would be. But a good twist. I really liked this book. I hope this makes the list, I would definitely recommend it to any kids at the store or at school.

So glad to be done with the list, even though the books were all good ones. Now, on to adult books. Currently reading a nonfiction called "How to Build a Dinosaur" by Jack Horner. After that I will jump into the Sookie Stackhouse series again, or possibly read the new Stephen King before that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Twilight series thoughts

As I'm waiting on the last book on my Mark Twain list to either show up in the library, where I'm 2nd on the list, or else I ordered it into the store I work at, I went ahead and dove back into New Moon in preparation for the movie release next week. Of course, once you begin, well, once I begin, I can't put them down, and am now all the way through to Breaking Dawn. As I read New Moon, I also began listening to the Twilight movie soundtrack in my car again. The song Supermassive Black Hole reminded me of probably my 2nd favorite part of the movie, the vampire baseball scene. It begas as such a fun scene, just kind of no worries, good music, enjoy the craziness. I began thinking that I can't imagine any scene in the New Moon movie fitting quite the same feeling. Don't get me wrong, I have never in my life been as excited about seeing a movie as I am about seeing New Moon. I love the book, and the previews look like they've done a hundred times better than Twilight. I haven't bought the soundtrack yet, waiting until I see the movie. The songs on it are probably not my "normal" type of music, but once I can "see" the scene in the movie that they're from, I'll love them for bringing those feelings to my mind.

Also, I'm totally Team Edward, that is who Bella belongs with. But I don't understand how anyone can hate Jacob. He makes me smile. I just love him to death. In fact, I really couldn't wait as I was re-reading New Moon until Jacob began being a big part of Bella's life. And as for the actors playing Edward and Jacob, while I think Rob Pattinson is much cuter in the face, Taylor Lautner looks hot without his shirt!!! Can't wait for that.

So right now I'm on pins and needles just waiting for next week. There's a good possibility I may get to see New Moon on Tuesday night with my friend Kim and her mom, because her mom works for AMC and they have these special previews. Plus, I already have tickets for the midnight show a week from tonight. So by this time next week, I could be just about ready to see it for the 2nd time. I also have a friend I'll be going with the weekend of Thanksgiving because she doesn't want her friends to know because they'll make fun of her, but she wants to go. So I of course agreed. I'd really like to do my once a week showing of the movie again, but now sure I can afford it this year. So broke right now, not even funny. I'm just really looking forward to tax return time. Guessing due to money issues I may not attend the MASL conference, can't really afford it since I have to pay for it all myself. That's kind of sad since I'm reading for both Mark Twain and Truman lists, but what can I do? It doesn't seem like it's been a very good investment for my money seeing as how I'm still not a librarian and don't seem to be any closer to getting that type of job. Oh well.

Hopefully in the next week I'll be back giving my final review for the Mark Twain books.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Review 49: thank you, Lucky Stars by Beverly Donofrio

This was a pretty good book about girls and their friendships. I have to admit at first the whole, Lucky Stars, being capitalized and said constantly was kind of annoying. But I got used to it. I also at first had trouble because the girls were so young to me, 5th grade, and totally behaved that way. However, since the Mark Twain books are for 4th-6th graders, a book about 5th grade girls is about right. It starts at the beginning of the school year when Ally realizes her best friend Betsy has left her for a girl that they both used to hate. Betsy has gone on to be a part of the more mature girls, while Ally is still very imaginative and young. A new girl moves to the school named Tina, and she's weird. She keeps trying to be friends with Ally, and Ally at first doesn't want to be seen with her. But soon she learns what a good friend Tina can be. The big talent show is what Ally had always been so excited to perform in with Betsy. And it doesn't look at first like that's going to happen. But soon another chance comes up for Ally to start hanging with Betsy and the cool girls. Ally must decide if she'll keep Tina as a friend, or line up with the clique and become one of them.

The sadness and loneliness Ally feels is written so well, that I can feel it, and the book got me emotionally. So, all in all, a pretty good book.

Only one book left on the Mark Twain list for me to read. Unfortunately I am still on a waiting list at the Mid-Continent Public library for it. It is called Bringing Home the Boy by Nelson. So, while I had hoped to be completely done with the list by the middle of this week, it may be a few more days. So I picked up New Moon and decided to go ahead and get to reading the series again to get ready for the movie in 3 weeks.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Book Review 48: Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

This was a major tear jerker. And to think the fact that it was a sports themed book made me not want to read it. And again, as I commented on another book from the Truman list I believe, some of the "accents" were a bit annoying. This is about a family from Brooklyn. The main character is Maggie, called Maggie-o by her dad after Joe DiMaggio. The family, and whole neighborhood are really big into baseball, specifically the Dodgers. This is right at the time of the Korean War. Maggie's dad is a fireman, or was until he was injured in a fire. So Maggie hangs out at the fire station a lot. She meets a new guy there named Jim. He teaches her how to keep score of the games, so she always can tell people what has happened and not forget. She gets really into it and starts keeping notebooks for the whole seasons. She begins to like the Giants because of Jim, especially Willie Mays. Even though she still is loyal to the Dodgers. Jim gets sent off to Korea. At first Maggie writes him all the time and he writes her back. He tells her about the boat ride over, and a young Korean boy who is the tent boy. He even sends her a picture of them. Then, all of a sudden, the letters stop. Maggie doesn't know what has happened. And no one tells her until after a while, it finally comes out that Jim was at a terrible battle and while not hurt, when he went to lay down and rest, he did, but then just stayed there, not moving, not talking. He came home the same way. Maggie comes up with a scheme to try to get him talking again by saving up her confirmation money and allowance long enough to take her whole family and Jim and his sister and her family to see the Dodgers play the Giants. but Jim and his sister don't show up the whole game.

Maggie's prayers for Jim, the teams, all of it is heartwrenching. How she feels when some of her prayers seem to work, but others don't is the way I know I feel all the time. Her feelings of helplessness and frustration I feel a lot, and so I was in tears through a lot of the last half of the book.

It's a great book. So glad I read it.

On to the 2nd to last book, Thank you, Lucky Stars by Beverly Donofrio. Only one more after that, but still waiting on it from the library.