Monday, December 20, 2010

Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen

In Pride and Prejudice, you will meet the Bennets. A family of five girls, a gossipy mother, and a quiet father. Mrs. Bennet is eager to get her daughters married to handsome, rich men.

Jane is the eldest. She is sweet, very pretty, and thinks badly of no one. She is also very close to Elizabeth and they often confide in one another.

Next in line is Elizabeth, or Lizzy. A witty and independent girl who is every bit as pretty as her sister Jane. As the author, Jane Austen, declared of her heroine in Pride and Prejuduice, "I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print."

After Elizabeth comes Mary. Mary is homely and not as pretty as her other sisters, who are known for their beauty. Because of this Mary works very hard to be good at other things to make up for the fact that she is not pretty.

The two younger sisters are Catherine, or Kitty, and Lydia. Together they are always flirting with officers and looking for future husbands.

Elizabeth, the main character, is determined to dislike the handsome, rich Mr. Darcy, who is the most eligible bachelor in the whole of English literature. He is prideful and arrogant. But Mr. Wickham, on the other hand, is friendly and much liked by everyone. He tells Elizabeth many negative traits about Mr. Darcy that are not necessarily true.

It isn't long before Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, and she refuses. After that she sees Mr. Darcy very little.

Later, while traveling the country side with her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth tours Mr. Darcy's home. By chance, Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy, finding a caring, generous person who dotes over his sister, in place of the proud and arrogant man she thought he was. Her feelings toward him slowly begin to change. Soon she discovers that she is in love with him. But does he still love her?

I would definitely say that my least favourite characters are Mr. Wickham and Mary. I found Mary to be annoying, as with Mr. Wickham. I was trying to get on with the book and read the good parts but Mary and Mr. Wickham just kept getting in the way.

All the girls in the family are searching for happiness and trying to find what their future might be, so I'd say this book is mainly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.

"Pride and Prejudice" is an excellent book. It has a mix of romance and comedy. I think this book is for all ages and hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Friday, December 10, 2010

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs.Basil E. Frankweiler by: E.L.Konigsburg

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away... so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere.

This is a very entertaining book about a girl named Claudia Kincaid and her adventures with her stingy brother Jamie.

Claudia is the oldest in the Kincaid household and feels ignored. The only thing to do is run away. Then the whole family (in about a week or so) would begin to realize that she, Claudia Kincaid, is not to be taken lightly.
Claudia convinced her younger brother Jamie to join her on this excursion. So, with careful planning (done by Claudia), she and Jamie left for New York - Claudia with her violin case full of clothes and Jamie with his trumpet case stuffed with his belongings.

Upon arriving in New York, Claudia decided that she and Jamie were to stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This would nicely fulfill full Claudia's requirements for accommodations as it was large, comfortable, and beautiful. Claudia had a strong dislike of being uncomfortable. She even hated picnics. She also had a theory that night guards only look under the stall door in the bathroom so if she and Jamie stand on the toilet seat the night guards won't see their feet. And the big bed on display would be perfect for sleeping in.

It isn't long before Claudia finds a display in the museum that no one knows the maker of. Whenever Claudia sees the display she feels like she needs to find out more about it. She figures that it's up to her to find out who made it since the museum isn't making too much of an effort. So she explores the library, examines the statue, and talks to people. Then she finds out that one person, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, might hold the key to the entire mystery.

I feel that this book would be enjoyed by ALL age groups.

My favourite character is Claudia. I like the way she carefully plans things through before she carries through with them and how she doesn't let anything discourage her from finding the truth. That is one thing that I learned from this book. Never give up.

9/10 stars

Monday, November 29, 2010

Runaway by:Dandi Daley Mackall

I've runaway seven times - never once to anything, just away from. Maybe that's why they call me a "runaway" and not a "run-to."

Meet Dakota Brown, a 16-year-old girl who is full of bitterness and anger. Dakota has spent most of her life in foster homes, but has never stayed in the same foster home for long. With the help of a friend Dakota has managed to escape every foster home she's ever lived in, and this new home is no different. The moment she sets foot on her new foster parents farm - Starlight Animal Rescue - she begins to plan her escape.

But then something happens. She feels love. She feels God's love. Dakota has never felt love before, until now.
The family has two adopted children and one biological child, and the whole family is animal crazy. Well, not just animal crazy, they are just crazy in general. The family is perfect for Dakota. Dakota can spend time in the barn with the horses, learn about God, and, for the first time, be a part of a family. But will Dakota realize this before it's too late and she runs away with Neil and his friend?

This book is awesome!
I especially like this book because it is about horses. One thing I learned from this book is that God's love can change anyone's heart, even when they seem impossible.

My favourite characters are Dakota and Kat.
Kat (one of the other kids living there) is very sweet and helps Dakota feel God's love, something Dakota had never ever felt and needed to feel. Dakota finds a home and can be around her very favourite thing, horses!

I think this book would be enjoyed by all people who love animals and reading!
Dandi Daley Mackall also wrote the popular "Winnie the Horse Gentler" series.

Definition of Starlight Animal Rescue: A place where problem horses are trained and loved, where abandoned dogs and stray cats find a home, and where people who don't fit in find a place to belong.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Battle of The Labyrinth by: Rick Riordan

"The Battle of The Labyrinth," by Rick Riordan, is the fourth book in his popular series Percy Jackson and The Olympians.

Percy Jackson is a regular boy who one day discovers something fascinating about himself. He has always just accepted the fact that his father was gone, until he discovers that his father is Poseidon, god of the sea.

From here on it's danger for Percy. He is attacked by monsters and has to be taken to a secret camp called Camp Half Blood, for boys and girls who are half human half god. Here at Camp Half Blood they are safe because a barrier keeps out all the evil things that try to get in. But it can't last forever.

In "The Battle of The Labyrinth" a war breaks out between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos. Camp Half Blood must prepare for battle. But so many things happen to get in the way. Before the fight, Percy must first find a way to get through the labyrinth, a maze that is known for how many people go in that never come out.
I found this book very interesting to read. But I would advise being careful when reading this book because of a few things that happen in it.

This book is full of Greek mythology and it would be best before you read this book to know a little about Greek mythology (if I hadn't known some Greek mythology when I read this book I would have found it very confusing).
These books can be a bit dark and there are several bad words in them.

Some people find these books to be really funny but I didn't find them to be that way (they are kind of funny). They are quite interesting to read though and I think that you would like reading them too if you like Greek mythology and magic.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peppermints in the Parlor by: Barbara Brooks Wallace

Eleven year-old Emily Luccock is looking forward to living with her aunt and uncle at Sugar Hill Hall. Vivid in her memory is its vast, beautiful parlor, marble fire place, and the white china cups of steaming hot chocolate.

But time changes things, and Sugar Hill Hall is no exception. Sugar Hill Hall is no longer the warm, cheerful mansion Emily once knew. Evil lurks in every corner. A cruel lady named Mrs.Meeching has taken over the place and enslaved Emily's aunt. How can Emily's aunt be a slave in her own home?

And where has Emily's uncle disappeared to?

Mrs.Meeching has turned Sugar Hill Hall into a home for unwanted elderly people. The elderly people are fed moldy bread lumps and fish head stew, while Mrs.Meeching feasts on tarts, fruit, eggs, and anything else she wants. Everyone is under her command. She makes the people unhappy and punishes them for every little thing, like taking a peppermint from the bowl in the parlor. If that isn't bad enough, Mrs.Meeching also has a special room set aside specifically for punishment, called the "Remembrance Room" which is a plain, dark room with a cot and stone walls. Or is there more to that room then meets the eye? Emily, with the help of the delivery boy, Kipper, must discover the secret of Sugar Hill Hall.

Emily is weak and small for her age, but is still forced to do dish washing, floor scrubbing, and room cleaning. Emily is determined that Mrs.Meeching shall not see her cry, but everyone has to cry sometimes, don't they? This is a story filled with courage, true friendship, and suspense.

I could barely put this book down and hope you'll feel that way about this book too. If you enjoy this book you'll probably like the sequel,"The Perils of Peppermints."

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by:Elizabeth George Speare

It was a mid-April morning in 1687, and Kit Tyler knew as she gazed at the bleak shores of Connecticut Colony that her new home was never going to be like the beautiful, shining Caribbean Islands that she had left behind.

Kit is a free-spirited sixteen year old girl from Barbados who comes to live with relatives in the hard-working, serious town of Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Kit feels caged in under the stern, watchful eye of her puritan Uncle Matthew.

One day, Kit flees to a meadow where she meets an old Quaker woman named Hannah, known as "The Witch Of Blackbird Pond." Hannah is mistrusted because she is a Quaker.
Kit and Hannah became fast friends and began seeing each other often. Then Kit's uncle found out. He forbid Kit from seeing Hannah. But Kit kept on seeing Hannah and even helped a mistreated girl named Prudence find peace at Hannah's house.

But when an epidemic occurs, Hannah is accused of causing it and the townspeople go after her. Kit helps Hannah escape and discovers the consequences when she is charged with witchcraft herself!

I loved this book!
Kit learns many new things in her aunt and uncles house, from making soap to carding wool. She also learns about making choices. Deciding her feelings towards two young men and choosing whether or not to give way to her temper are just some of the choices Kit must make.
Everything she does seems wrong, and the villagers are scandalized at some of the things Kit says and does.
This is a romantic, historical book and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rowboat in a Hurricane by:Julie Angus

In this book you will read the fascinating autobiography about Julie Angus, a lady who attempted to do something that no one else would dream of doing: row 10,000 kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean.

Imagine, living on a 21-foot-long rowboat, with barely enough space to lie down and sleep, for five months. Or as one man put it, "Climb under your kitchen table and don't come out for five months."

Julie Angus did this and more with her now husband, Colin Angus, as part of his quest to circumnavigate the world by human power alone. Together they went through three hurricanes, had a scary visit from a Great White Shark, encountered a lovestruck turtle, and experienced many more adventures.

Julie Angus did something most people would look at and say,"That's impossible! I could never do that." And when preparations for the trip started going wrong, she didn't quit, she kept on going and was rewarded by becoming the first woman to do so.

One of the things that really captivated me about this book was that someone could actually row across the Atlantic Ocean and spend 5 months in that small rowboat and live to tell about it. I also liked that they met all those whales, dolphins, and fish. One thing that I thought was really neat was that they met some pilot fish and made friends with them. The pilot fish followed them from the time they met them to the time that they had to get off the boat and leave them.

This book is one adventure after another and I really enjoyed reading it!
9 out of 10 stars.

Monday, November 1, 2010

White Boots by: Noel Streatfeild

"White Boots," published in 1951, is the story of Harriet Johnson, a girl who must take up ice skating to improve her health.

Harriet was all eyes and legs and hair, so much so that her brothers often told her she had turned into a daddy-long-leg. Her doctor decided that skating would improve her muscles and help her grow strong.

At first Harriet is terrible at skating. She can barely make it onto the ice. That is until she meets Lalla Moore, a young skating star.

Lalla started skating when she was three and soon discovered a talent for it. Of course, this was only expected of her because her father was a professional skater before he died. Lalla decided to help Harriet with her skating and soon the two became fast friends.

It wasn't long before Harriet began to unearth a hidden talent for skating and Lalla became jealous. She was the skating star, not Harriet!

Will Lalla be willing to lose their friendship just because she is jealous of Harriet's new found talent?

I especially enjoyed this book because it's about figure skating. I love figure skating!

This book is best for ages nine and up.
I would give this book 8.5 out of 10.

Little Women by: Louisa May Alcott

You will thoroughly enjoy this captivating tale about the four March sisters.

Meet Meg, a pretty, practical girl, the eldest of the four March girls.
Next in line is tomboy Josephine, or "Jo" as she prefers to be known. Jo dreams of being an author and leaves no space for marriage in her plans.
The third sister, Beth, is a shy, quiet girl who stays at home a great deal and enjoys playing her piano and helping the March's faithful housekeeper, Hannah, with the chores.
Last in line is Amy, an artistic blond beauty who wants to go to Europe and become a famous artist.

Mrs.March has her hands full while the girls' father is away helping with the war. Beth contracts scarlet fever, Jo meets their mischievous neighbor and befriends him, Amy pursues her dream of becoming a great artist, and Meg learns to be content despite her family's poverty. Each girl must choose her life and what her future will be.

The Marches live a hard life after helping a friend and losing all their wealth, but they are still a generous, happy family.

I love this book! It is one of my favourites. My mom used to have to tell me to stop reading it because I read it over and over. The "Little Women" book I have is a two parter, the second book is called "Good Wives."
"Little Women" is a classic and definitely deserves to be. I would give it nine or ten stars out of ten!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Indian Captive by: Lois Lenski

In "Indian Captive," published in 1941, you will hear the true story of Mary Jemison - known as Molly to her friends. Molly lived with her family on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania. This story takes place during the Indian and French war.

On a spring day in 1758 Molly was captured by Indians and her family was killed.
After a long journey, Molly and the Indians arrived in a village called "Seneca Town" where she was adopted into an Indian family to replace their lost child.
At first Molly was scared of the Indians, she even tried to run away a few times. But they were kind to her and taught her things about the earth, its creatures, and its plants.

After a few years Molly was given the chance to return to live with white people. But how could she leave her Indian family and all her Indian friends who had loved her and taught her so much?

This is a very good book full of hope, courage, and friendship.
"Indian Captive" is definitely my kind of story. If you enjoy stories about Native Americans or just history, this would probably be your kind of book too!

I would give this book eight or nine out of ten stars.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Pole by: Eric Walters

In "The Pole", by Eric Walters, you will meet Danny, a fourteen-year-old boy who is offered the adventure of a life time.

Danny is the youngest crew member aboard a ship, the Roosevelt, bound for the North Pole! The crew must race to be the first ever to reach the pole.

As solid ice begins to form, a smaller group is hand picked off the ship to make the last part of the journey, with the aid of some sled dogs. Danny is one of the few chosen. The final part of the quest is the most dangerous of all. Here polar bears, freezing temperatures, strong winds, and thin ice could destroy their goal, and quite possibly their lives.

Will they be the first to reach the North Pole? Will everyone make it back alive? Can Danny prove himself to Commander Peary and Captain Bartlett?
Danny had previously gained favour with the commander by saving his daughter's life. He showed himself to be very courageous and soon grew to be respected by everyone on the crew. Danny's skill was put to the test when Commander Peary fell through the ice and Danny had to rescue him.

This is a great book, it's based on Robert Peary's expedition that happened back in 1909. I liked this book for several reasons. One, I like the setting. I've always enjoyed reading about the North Pole and I am learning about it in school for Social Studies. Secondly, I like the fact it has dogs in it. I love dogs! Especially Huskies. Third, I like the main character, Danny. He is promoted from Cook's assistant to a part of the main crew after he saves a girl's life. Everyone likes him and he makes some good decisions.

Commander Peary is determined to be the first one to step foot on the North Pole. So when Danny and Matt get there before him by mistake, what will Commander Peary say?

I enjoyed this book and hope you do too. This book is good for all ages.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meg Follows A Dream By: Norma Jean Lutz

Step back in time to 1844 and meet Meg Buehler, a plain twelve year old girl who isn't understood by anyone. "Meg Follows A Dream" is the story of how Meg must fight for freedom to follow her dream.
Meg likes drawing, and is very good at it. So why is she not allowed to draw? Her drawing seems to get her in trouble with everyone. Her mother says that it is a waste of time, her brother teases her about it, and her teacher makes her stay after school for drawing a picture in class. Why won't they leave her drawing alone?
Meg is too sweet to complain that her brother's teasing is getting her in trouble when it's not her fault. She only makes excuses for him, even when he deserves to be punished. When her brother's teasing goes too far and Meg gets a serious head injury, she still covers up for him by telling herself that he is still young and probably had not meant to hurt her. With Meg's sister, Julia, parroting everything her brother says, Meg has no one in her family to turn to. Her closest friend, Susannah, encourages Meg to follow her dream and to stand up to her brother. She even lets Meg draw secretly at her house. Can Susannah and a boy named Damon change Meg's life? Will Meg's mother ever see reason?
I liked this book but it kind of bugged me that Meg always covered up for her little brother, even when he deserved punishment. This book is very enjoyable and would be best for ages eight to thirteen.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lead, Kindly Light by: Helen Grace Lescheid

Lead, Kindly Light is the story of Aganetha Loewen, though nicknamed Neta. She is the mother of four children, Lena (Helen), Agnes, Fred, and Katie. This story covers Neta's life from her childhood in the Ukraine, her marriage to Isaac Loewen, her escape from communist Russia during WW II, and her immigration to Canada. This biography, published in 1999, was written by Helen Grace Lescheid (Neta's daughter). In this riveting and inspiring tale, Neta must find courage and strength as she deals with many tragic circumstances. Her husband is conscripted to fight in the German army and eventually is declared missing. Neta never hears from him again. She must provide for her family in nearly impossible circumstances. Through the help of strangers and her faith in God, Neta is able to escape to a refugee camp in Europe. She is eventually reunited with her family and can emmigrate to Canada where she is able to begin a new life in peace and saftey. I liked this story because my grandpa also went through similar situations. God always provided a way out of difficult situations just like He did for my grandpa. Neta Loewen died May 17, 2003. Neta's life began in hardship and oppression, but God brought her to a place of peace and contentment. Whether you are interested in Mennonite history or the plight of refugees during WW 2 this book is a good read. I think this book would be enjoyed from ages ten and up!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bruchko by: Bruce E. Olson

Bruchko, written by Bruce E. Olson is the amazing autobiography of a nineteen year old boys capture by stone age Indians, and his adventures in trying to Christanize them.
This book was published in 1973. Bruchko was a nickname given to him by the stone age Indians (the Montilone tribe). His American name is Bruce Olson. Getting to the Montilone tribe was difficult, but coming close to being killed, having a worm eating out of his stomach, and having "beautiful" yellow eyes (a bad case of pink eye turned his eyes yellow) are just a few of Bruchko's trials. He still goes on though, because he knows this is God wanted him to do, even when he is pierced by an arrow. This courageous story is also very sad. When his friend, the chief of the Montilone trobe, and his fiance, Gloria, dies, what should he do? No one believed that Bruce Olson had visited the Montilone tribe, because when you go in , you never come out alive! Why should Bruchko be an exception? Bruce Olson felt God wanted him to share the gospel to the Montilone tribe so that's what he did. I really enjoyed this book, and I think you will too! I think this book would be enjoyed by all ages!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Review On "A Question Of Loyalty" By: Barbara Greenwood

"A Question Of Loyalty", written by Barbara Greenwood, published in 1984, is a story about Deborah Wallbridge. Deborah must decide where her loyalties lie. Is it with her father, or with the boy she meets in their barn, Dan Peterson? Dan is a rebel, the very people her father and brother, Nat, are fighting against. But Dan is hurt and needs help. Should Deborah help him, betraying her father, or send away this wounded boy? If Dan is discovered her family would be branded with the name "traitor" and have their barn burned down. But, if she turns him in to the sheriff, then Dan would be hanged! Silas Hawkes,a man who never liked the Wallbridge family, is eager and determined to incriminate Deborah's family - even if it means bending the law slightly. What if Silas finds Dan? What if Deborah's parents find Dan? Will Deborah turn Dan away? Dan's plight is in Deborah's hands. Deborah must decide where her loyalty lies. I recommend this book for ages nine to fifteen!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Celtic Knot by: Sioban Parkinson

"The Celtic Knot" is a story that takes place in Dublin, Ireland. This is just one story from the series "Girls Of Many Lands". It was written by Sioban Parkinson and published in 2003. This story is about Kathleen Murphy, an everyday Irish girl, living in 1937, who suddenly discovers an unknown talent for dancing. Her real dream, though, is not to dance but to live with her Aunt Polly(though her real name is Mary)and go to a cafe on Saturday and eat chocolate eclairs without caring about anything or anyone. Mrs. Maguire is the dance instructor, though Kathleen thinks she looks like a potato sack, that can't dance a step. Many problems get in the way of dance lessons though. First of all, Kathleen has to learn with Tess, the school bully, and Tess's friends, also very mean. The lessons cost money, too much money. Plus, how can she dance in the feis, a competition, without a proper dress? Is it true that the dress she has is made of curtains? Will she win the feis? Find all this and more by... you guessed it, reading the book! I found this book very enjoyable and think it is a great read for ages eight to thirteen!