Tag Archives: 5 Stars

Dear World by Bana Alabed

Eight-year-old Bana Alabed spent six years in a warzone. Known for tweeting during the siege of Aleppo, Dear World is her story of growing up in Syria. It’s written quite simply, sometimes with an overabundance of optimism (she is only 8 after all!). Every once in a while there is a bit written by her mother inserted that explains things Bana didn’t know or understand. Her mother’s parts are written as if it was a letter to Bana. Dear World is heartbreaking and horrifying and also hopeful all at the same time. I highly recommend reading it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 142
Pages Read in 2017: 38,615
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: 52 Books Bingo (Debut Author)

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Filed under Memoir

Forsake by Andrea Pearson

Before she had to save the world, Nicole was just an 18-year-old anxiously awaiting her restart. At a party thrown by her parents, she learns there is a prophecy about her best friend and then she gets accused of murder. In order to put off the evil Hounds of Tindalos from destroying Lizzie, she must travel to England accompanied by her new boyfriend, Conor, to find a magical object.

Forsake is the prequel to the Mosaic Chronicles. It sets up the upcoming series set in the world with Aretes, but focusing on Lizzie this time. I could barely put the book down, finishing it in just two sittings. It is full of action and is very well-written. I only noticed a handful of mistakes (usually a short missing word so it was easy to tell what was meant). I very highly recommend Forsake and the entire Mosaic Chronicles series! This one can be read alone or either before or after reading the rest of the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 141
Pages Read in 2017: 38,390
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I really like the Moasic Chronicles

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Filed under Fantasy

Don’t You Know Who I Am? by Tony James Slater

Tony James Slater travels around the world and writes books about his crazy (always so crazy) adventures. But before he got the travel bug, he tried to become an actor. That didn’t work out so well, but he, of course, had some crazy adventures along the way. Don’t You Know Who I Am? is full of typical self-deprecating Tony humor. He has a way of telling a story that makes you literally laugh out loud. It is well-edited with just a handful of typos (though American readers may “see” more than that since British English and American English have quite a lot of differences). I highly recommend reading this book and all of Tony’s other books, too. You won’t be sorry (though you may have to explain, repeatedly, why you are laughing)!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 140
Pages Read in 2017: 38,240
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I like Tony’s books

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Filed under Memoir

Outcry by Manny Steinberg

Manny Steinberg spent 6 years, from age 13 to age 19, in a ghetto in Poland and then in various concentration camps. Outcry is his story. I’ve read a lot of Holocaust survivor memoirs and I always ask myself how in the world did they survive. There are two common threads. One, they are determined to make it to liberation for some specific reason. For some that is to help a younger sibling, for others, like Mr. Steinberg, it is to be a witness about what happened. Two, there is always a kind German. A German who was only a Nazi because of the country where he was born. A German who disagreed with the Nazi philosophy, but knew they’d be shot, and maybe their family, too, if that was made known. And, so, they gave a few extra crumbs of bread or stopped a beating when no more could be withstood. I think that’s one of the most important takeaway from these memoirs and why they are so important. We need to be that kind German. In writing Outcry, Mr. Steinberg succeeded in his goal to be a witness. Well-written and quick to read, this is a book everyone should read so we will remember and never let such a thing happen again.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 137
Pages Read in 2017: 37,185
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (O in OPAL)

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Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

Emma’s just moved to a new state with her nieces. She’s struggling but can’t handle taking help from others. Kevin is a pediatric dentist who likes things just so and jumps to conclusions about people. When Emma and the girls move in next door, his life totally changes.

Prejudice Meets Pride is an excellent mind vacation book. It’s predictable in all the ways you want a beach read to be predictable. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read something fast and fun.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 136
Pages Read in 2017: 37,009
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (P in OPAL)

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Filed under Realistic Fiction

My School is a Spy Factory by Steven Stickler

Nate Fischer can’t even tell his parents what he’s learning in school. He’s a sixth grader at a school that secretly trains spies. He gets sent on a critical mission to save his school from the Syndicate, but there’s a double agent on the mission, too.

My School is a Spy Factory is a pretty exciting book. My 9-year-old especially enjoyed it. It’s great for kids to read on their own and also makes an excellent family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 135
Pages Read in 2017: 36,762
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Filed under Middle Grades

Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco

Jodee Blanco was bullied through about half of her school years. She was told kids will be kids and that there was something wrong with her. Years later, she went to her high school reunion and discovered, like many bullies, her tormentors had no idea that what they did was a big deal or how it had affected her. Please Stop Laughing at Me is Jodee’s story. It’s sometimes shocking, but also sometimes familiar. It’s a huge reminder that our actions affect others, and often in ways we never realize. I recommend this book for anyone who has children or deals with kids on a regular basis.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 133
Pages Read in 2017: 36,342
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (P in SAPPHIRE)

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Filed under Non-Fiction