Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel C. Brill

With her mother and father away, 14-year-old Madeleine stepped into the commander’s role when a group of Iroquois attacked. Because of her bravery, a statue of her stands on the St. Lawrence River about 20 miles downriver from Montreal. Madeleine Takes Command is her story, based largely on her own written account of that week. The story is fascinating and impressive, though at times the narrative drags. I recommend it to people studying or interested in Canadian history.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 73
Pages Read in 2018: 17,357
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Caring for a Colony: The Story of Jeanne Mance by Joanna Emery

Caring for a Colony is about the founding of what we now call Montreal, focusing on Jeanne Mance and the tiny hospital she founded. It is aimed at kids so it is simple. I don’t know much about Canadian history so this book was quite interesting and educational. I highly recommend it to children learning about Canada.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 72
Pages Read in 2018: 17,129
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

A Lady Writing by Vermeer goes missing during a transfer between art museums. Strange letters pop up trying to get the public on the side of the art thief. Calder and Petra, sixth graders at the University School in Hyde Park, find patterns and coincidences that just don’t seem like mere coincidences in their quest to find the missing painting.

Chasing Vermeer is a cute book. It’s completely fiction, but sprinkled with real facts about Vermeer. It’ll get kids minds working trying to solve all the puzzles (including letters written in code) along with the characters. I recommend this book to middle grade kids. It makes a decent family read-aloud. Just have paper and pencil handy to solve the coded letters when you get to them.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 71
Pages Read in 2018: 17,057
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Cyrano de Bergerac is a classic play about a man with an abnormally large nose who uses his skills with words to help another man woo the woman they both love. It is sad, but has a lot of humor sprinkled throughout. I highly recommend reading it to adults.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 70
Pages Read in 2018: 16,790
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Filed under Play, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Sound by William C. Robertson

Aimed at people who need to teach someone else, Sound covers waves and instruments and why we hear what we hear. It’s packed full of information, but reads fast and is still easy to understand. There are lots of experiments included to help you really get the science being explained. It’s quite dated, though, particularly the section that talks about how anyone over about 40 will have a record player laying around. I recommend this book for people who want to understand or need to teach the basics about sound.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 69
Pages Read in 2018: 16,572
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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is really, really strange for the first half. The second half is also strange, but a little less so. My 10-year-old son liked it. I don’t think it’s especially worth taking the time to read, though.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 68
Pages Read in 2018: 16,465
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Set in Scotland, Macbeth tells the story of an ambitious man, a woman’s descent into madness, and the end of many people along with some witches and prophecies. Typical Shakespeare tragedy. I recommend reading the play to anyone interested in Shakespeare.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 67
Pages Read in 2018: 16,296
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Play, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron