Tag Archives: 5 Stars

Journey by James A. Michener

Just before the turn of the century gold was discovered in the Klondike. Journey tells the tale of a group of Englishmen plus one Irishman as they attempt to take an all-Canadian route rather than go through Alaska to find gold. Ill-prepared, they experience many hardships along the way. As with all Michener novels, sometimes you aren’t sure if it really is fiction or actually non-fiction because of the way he wrote. Even though it’s fiction, I still learned a lot about that gold rush. I recommend this book to historical fiction that is heavy on the historical fans.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 100
Pages Read in 2019: 25,574
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Juniper by Kelley and Tom French

Juniper French was born at just 23 weeks 6 days after a placental abruption. This book is the story of her many months in the NICU, full of triumphs and setbacks, combined with a lot of thoughts and feelings from her parents as they tell it in alternating chapters. Both of her parents were journalists and so they easily wove facts and statistics in among the terror, grief, excitement, and love they went through having such a tiny, sick baby. I enjoyed the book a lot. It was very well-written and even knowing that Juniper survived, I was completely engaged wondering what she would have to overcome next. I recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 99
Pages Read in 2019: 25,373
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Good Man, Dalton by Karen McQuestion

Good Man, Dalton begins with two very different stories that eventually converge in a fantastic way. It’s very much a story of “things are not always as they seem,” particularly on the internet. The author is able to hit you right in the feels like John Green, but without the heart in a blender pain typical of John Green. Once I got about 2/3 of the way through, I could not put it down. The ending is predictable, but it’s predictable in all the best ways, ending exactly how I hoped it would. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 95
Pages Read in 2019: 24,159
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Crushing on a Capulet by Tony Abbott

The sixth and final Cracked Classics, Crushing on a Capulet, is based on Romeo and Juliet. Devin and Frankie fall into Verona and try their best to give the tragedy a happy ending. As with all the Cracked Classics, this one is super fun and gives middle grade kids the chance to learn the story without having to dive right in to the difficult language of Shakespeare. My 11- and 13-year-old sons enjoyed it a lot (as did I). I highly recommend Crushing on a Capulet (and all the Cracked Classics; you can read them in any order).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 93
Pages Read in 2019: 23,619
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa

Born in Japan, the author and his family were “repatriated” to a country none of them had ever been to before: North Korea. They soon discovered the promises of utopia and free healthcare, food, shelter, and a job were pretty much all lies. A River in Darkness tells a sad tale of trying to survive (and sometimes trying not to survive) and starvation under a brutal regime. It’s told simply and is relatively short so it read fast, but it’s an important story to help those on the outside know what life in North Korea is like. I recommend it to people interested in North Korea.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 91
Pages Read in 2019: 23,121
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

X Marks the Spot by Tony Abbott

Devin and Frankie learn about characters in X Marks the Spot, the fifth Cracked Classics book. Based on Treasure Island, the friends are once again sucked into a book. The Cracked Classics are a clever introduction for middle grade kids to classic books. They are fun and funny and just might inspire your kid to read the real thing. I highly recommend X Marks the Spot and all the other Cracked Classics, too (you don’t need to read them all or in any particular order). They make a great family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 90
Pages Read in 2019: 22,966
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001 is a fictionalized account of the son of a FDNY firefighter and what happened to him and his dad on September 11th. It portrays the feeling and emotions of the morning without being too graphic since it is aimed at children. I highly recommend it to kids learning about 9/11.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 89
Pages Read in 2019: 22,822
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Filed under Middle Grades, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian