Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WWRW: Winners for the school age set.



Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O'Connor is a story about lying.   Pride, Nightingale, and Baby are left at 80 year old Miss Addie's trailer one night, while their guardian-recluse-grandfather takes himself to the hospital.  Pride, aka Kathleen Star, keeps the family together, even caring for Miss Addie and the farm animals, but cannot help telling some fibs and some whoppers along the way.

The grandfather, Old Finn, has encephalitis, and is taken far away to a hospital in Duluth.  The children start a "pony rides and popcorn" business to make money for their groceries, Miss Addie's medicine, and their bus fare to Duluth.

Their plan might have worked if that mean woman and her kids weren't threatening to sue their pony business, or if that reporter and his kid hadn't hung around day after day.   Set against the backdrop of President Nixon's resignation, Pride fears her lies could get her impeached and that she and her siblings could end up back in the children's shelter.

This book is not without some political bias.  Old Mick "has a file" and actively helped draft dodgers.  The children were raised in a commune before their father died of cancer and the mother was killed in a car accident with the commune leader and others.  As a former college history professor, Old Mick is quite vocal about his opinion of the commune and the (lack) of education his grandchildren received there, and justly so.

Central to the plot is the bundle of letters that Pride finds in her grandfather's drawer.  The letters tell the children all about his romantic relationship with an artist, Justine.  It is clear that Justine used to spend every summer with Old Mick, and she had been hoping to be a mother to the children, but Old Mick dumped her just before the children arrived.  He did not want them to have too many changes for the children to deal with.  Nothing of a physical nature is revealed in the letters.  Of course, we haven't seen the last of Justine.

Keeping Safe the Stars is about struggling to stay together and survive in the face of great adversity, a 70s version of the Boxcar Children. Though Old Mick might disagree, the truth is that sometimes you have to share your troubles with others.



Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein is a wonder!  Charlotte reviewed this book a few weeks ago, and I am thrilled that she introduced me to it.  Mr. Lemoncello's library is like The Mysterious Benedict Society meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but for bibliophiles.  If they make a movie of it, I want to be Dr. Zinchenko.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is appropriate for any child who loves to read or play games.  The only problem I see is that you will not see your child until he or she has finished the book. (Please be a series, please be a series, please be a series.)

I completely agree with Charlotte that Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a keeper.  Put it on your Christmas list right now.  You know, that Amazon wish list where you store all your ideas so you don't forget what to get?  Get right on that after you link up.



*BTW, if you didn't see it on the Housewifespice Facebook page, I just want to give you a heads up.   I have it on good authority that the newest Rick Riordan novel, House of Hades, includes the coming-out of a major character as homosexual.


11 comments:

  1. THANK YOU! My 10 year old just rereads all the books in our house because I never know what to give him next. And now I know he can't keep reading Rick Riordan...ugh!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think my kids ever thought about the possibility of a series! Dare I get their hopes up? Did you figure out the final puzzle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and I'm not surprised by the Riordan news.

      Delete
  3. I wanted to read it based on Charlotte's review as well but it isn't in my library system. But since last year I bought my 6 month old the complete Magic Tree House Series (and have since read it to him) my guess is he won't mind his book collection growing for Christmas. And now I know to avoid the Riordan books. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dang it Riordan! I'm so ticked off, I can't see straight. My eldest was anxiously waiting for this.
    On a separate note, we just finished Peter and the Starcatchers, and its two sequels. You all will love it. If I knew how to blog, I'd link for all of this, but definitely check it out. It is a prequel to Peter Pan by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Really well done, big, fat books that lasted us several months as we passed them around. Yea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely fell you about the whole Riordan thing! I was really upset because I came across it while reading (I hadn't seen this post yet). I decided to put it aside and pick up a different book instead. Along with the Peter and the Starcatchers books, I have found that the Kingdom Keepers are really good and clean, although they can be a bit dark now and then.
      Thank you for letting everyone know about Riordan,

      Delete
  5. Interesting about the Roirdan "reveal." Authors are drawn to creating as much variety as possible in their characters, and to selecting the unusual over the mundane, in part because that helps the "cast" of the book seem colorful and vivid. That might be part of his choice.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the heads-up on the "reveal"!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the "reveal" from me, too. I don't have any young readers anymore--but I have up-and-coming young readers to worry about now (my grandchildren), and this is a good head's up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay for Mr. Lemoncello! Adding it to my Amazon wish list now! Wow, that lost is really filling up thanks to this link up. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much for doing these link-ups, Jessica! I just picked up a copy of Mr. Lemoncello for me and my firstborn to steal back and forth from each other. Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WWRW: Winners for the school age set.



Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O'Connor is a story about lying.   Pride, Nightingale, and Baby are left at 80 year old Miss Addie's trailer one night, while their guardian-recluse-grandfather takes himself to the hospital.  Pride, aka Kathleen Star, keeps the family together, even caring for Miss Addie and the farm animals, but cannot help telling some fibs and some whoppers along the way.

The grandfather, Old Finn, has encephalitis, and is taken far away to a hospital in Duluth.  The children start a "pony rides and popcorn" business to make money for their groceries, Miss Addie's medicine, and their bus fare to Duluth.

Their plan might have worked if that mean woman and her kids weren't threatening to sue their pony business, or if that reporter and his kid hadn't hung around day after day.   Set against the backdrop of President Nixon's resignation, Pride fears her lies could get her impeached and that she and her siblings could end up back in the children's shelter.

This book is not without some political bias.  Old Mick "has a file" and actively helped draft dodgers.  The children were raised in a commune before their father died of cancer and the mother was killed in a car accident with the commune leader and others.  As a former college history professor, Old Mick is quite vocal about his opinion of the commune and the (lack) of education his grandchildren received there, and justly so.

Central to the plot is the bundle of letters that Pride finds in her grandfather's drawer.  The letters tell the children all about his romantic relationship with an artist, Justine.  It is clear that Justine used to spend every summer with Old Mick, and she had been hoping to be a mother to the children, but Old Mick dumped her just before the children arrived.  He did not want them to have too many changes for the children to deal with.  Nothing of a physical nature is revealed in the letters.  Of course, we haven't seen the last of Justine.

Keeping Safe the Stars is about struggling to stay together and survive in the face of great adversity, a 70s version of the Boxcar Children. Though Old Mick might disagree, the truth is that sometimes you have to share your troubles with others.



Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein is a wonder!  Charlotte reviewed this book a few weeks ago, and I am thrilled that she introduced me to it.  Mr. Lemoncello's library is like The Mysterious Benedict Society meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but for bibliophiles.  If they make a movie of it, I want to be Dr. Zinchenko.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is appropriate for any child who loves to read or play games.  The only problem I see is that you will not see your child until he or she has finished the book. (Please be a series, please be a series, please be a series.)

I completely agree with Charlotte that Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a keeper.  Put it on your Christmas list right now.  You know, that Amazon wish list where you store all your ideas so you don't forget what to get?  Get right on that after you link up.



*BTW, if you didn't see it on the Housewifespice Facebook page, I just want to give you a heads up.   I have it on good authority that the newest Rick Riordan novel, House of Hades, includes the coming-out of a major character as homosexual.


11 comments:

  1. THANK YOU! My 10 year old just rereads all the books in our house because I never know what to give him next. And now I know he can't keep reading Rick Riordan...ugh!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think my kids ever thought about the possibility of a series! Dare I get their hopes up? Did you figure out the final puzzle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and I'm not surprised by the Riordan news.

      Delete
  3. I wanted to read it based on Charlotte's review as well but it isn't in my library system. But since last year I bought my 6 month old the complete Magic Tree House Series (and have since read it to him) my guess is he won't mind his book collection growing for Christmas. And now I know to avoid the Riordan books. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dang it Riordan! I'm so ticked off, I can't see straight. My eldest was anxiously waiting for this.
    On a separate note, we just finished Peter and the Starcatchers, and its two sequels. You all will love it. If I knew how to blog, I'd link for all of this, but definitely check it out. It is a prequel to Peter Pan by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Really well done, big, fat books that lasted us several months as we passed them around. Yea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely fell you about the whole Riordan thing! I was really upset because I came across it while reading (I hadn't seen this post yet). I decided to put it aside and pick up a different book instead. Along with the Peter and the Starcatchers books, I have found that the Kingdom Keepers are really good and clean, although they can be a bit dark now and then.
      Thank you for letting everyone know about Riordan,

      Delete
  5. Interesting about the Roirdan "reveal." Authors are drawn to creating as much variety as possible in their characters, and to selecting the unusual over the mundane, in part because that helps the "cast" of the book seem colorful and vivid. That might be part of his choice.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the heads-up on the "reveal"!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the "reveal" from me, too. I don't have any young readers anymore--but I have up-and-coming young readers to worry about now (my grandchildren), and this is a good head's up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay for Mr. Lemoncello! Adding it to my Amazon wish list now! Wow, that lost is really filling up thanks to this link up. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much for doing these link-ups, Jessica! I just picked up a copy of Mr. Lemoncello for me and my firstborn to steal back and forth from each other. Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete