Island of Fog by Keith Robinson

Eight kids growing up on an isolated island always covered in fog suddenly discover there is something very special about them when they begin to change into magical creatures. When they are told that once they change they will be moved to a place with sunshine and blue skies, they aren’t sure who to trust with their secrets.

Island of Fog is the first book in a series. It took me a bit to really get into the story, but once I did I didn’t want to stop reading because I wanted to know what creatures each kid would become and to find out the truth about why they were on the island. The book has a satisfactory ending but still left me wanting to know what happens next. I recommend it to kids around 12 or so and up.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 112
Pages Read in 2017: 30,637
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (I in PERIDOT)

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Filed under Fantasy

Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick

Along Came Galileo is a biography aimed at upper elementary age kids. It’s easy to read and while short, it covers all the main points of Galileo’s life. It includes quotes from Galileo at the end of each chapter and an index at the end. I recommend this book for kids studying Galileo or famous scientists.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 111 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 30,413
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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Filed under Biography, Children

Politically Correct Holiday Stories by James Finn Garner

Politically Correct Holiday Stories is a collection of several well known Christmas stories changed to be politically correct. There are a few short ones (like Frosty and Rudolph) and then a long one (A Christmas Carol). They are all written in a sarcastic, over the top PC, way. There are two non-politically correct Christmas stories at the end, one about Santa’s childhood and one that was a surprisingly sweet story about a cabbie and possibly talking animals. It’s a fun, quick read. I recommend reading it!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 111
Pages Read in 2017: 30,318
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (P in PERIDOT)

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Filed under Humor

Detour From Normal by Ken Dickson

In 2011, Ken Dickson had emergency surgery that totally changed his life. He ended up with a rare complication (possibly from the surgery itself affecting his brain chemistry, possibly from one of the many medications he took). He ended up going manic. This led to him being put into three different psychiatric wards. Once he was deemed mentally ill, he was just looked at as “crazy” and no one cared to figure out what was really going on. Detour from Normal is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of someone completely manic and also into the world of mental institutions. Dickson told the story mostly from his point of view as he was thinking at the time (occasionally he clarified things with his wife’s journal entries). It was mildly humorous and quite engaging. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in mental health.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 110
Pages Read in 2017: 30,219
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (D in PERIDOT)

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Filed under Annual Wrap-Up

If All the Swords in England by Barbara Willard

Edmund and Simon, orphaned twins, are split up when Edmund enters the service of the king and Simon goes to work for the exiled Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The story covers from when all relations, no matter how distant, of Becket were sent into exile with him through his murder. It took a bit to really get into the story due to many stretches where it dragged a bit. I recommend this book to kids studying Becket or the late 1100s.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 109
Pages Read in 2017: 29,897
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for Next School Year

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Filed under Historical Fiction

There I Go Again by William Daniels

William Daniels has had a very long career on stage, radio, and big and small screen. I loved watching him every Friday as Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World. In There I Go Again, he goes basically chronologically talking about some of the things he has done in his career and through his marriage to his wife. I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy his work.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 108
Pages Read in 2017: 29,773
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (T in PERIDOT)

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Filed under Memoir

The Driscoll Theory by Diana Driscoll

Diana Driscoll and her kids were diagnosed with EDS and POTS. She decided to start testing remedies to see what could be used to help others like themselves. She found several natural remedies as well as a few pharmaceutical ones that help various issues related to EDS/POTS. The book outlines what her research has revealed. I found it very interesting and saw my 17-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with EDS and POTS among other things, in the descriptions. We will definitely be talking to her doctor about some of Dr. Driscoll’s findings. The only thing I did not like about was the excessive praise for Dr. Driscoll and The Driscoll Theory throughout the book. It just wasn’t necessary and felt weird every time it showed up. I highly recommend this book for people with EDS/POTS and their caregivers.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 107
Pages Read in 2017: 29,533
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Ani has EDS and POTS

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Filed under Non-Fiction