Category Archives: Reviews

review: The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Esther Greenwood is a promising, young college student from Boston who had been given the chance to gain real world experience and connections at a month-long literary program in New York City. Somewhere along the way she began to lose pieces of herself, and once she returned home her reality quickly unraveled. She started… Read more »

review: Martha Berry: A Woman of Courageous Spirit and Bold Dreams

Martha Berry: A Woman of Courageous Spirit and Bold Dreams by Joyce Blackburn This young adult biography was first published in 1968 and reissued in 1986 with photos and an author’s postscript. Martha Berry was the founder of The Berry Schools (later called Berry College) in Rome, Georgia. She had an early interest in the “mountain people” at the foot… Read more »

review: Lost in Austen

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Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster A note beforehand: although released a year previously, this book has nothing to do with the 2008 TV Mini Series titled Lost in Austen (of which I knew nothing about until I Googled for a book image.) Book Description: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a… Read more »

review: The Secret Kingdom

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The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola This story follows a boy named Nek Chand as he grows up in the village of Barian Kalan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan. He had an ideal childhood, learning his people’s history and legends… Read more »

review: Mesmerized

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Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved the Mystery That Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno During the American Revolution, an elderly Benjamin Franklin is recruited to journey across the Atlantic Ocean to meet with the King and Queen of France to request funds for the war against their mutual enemy, the British. Ben, a world renowned… Read more »

review: The Woman on the Orient Express

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The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford Favorite Quote: “For the train, like life, must go on until it reaches its destination. You might not always like what you see out of the window, but if you pull down the blind, you will miss the beauty as well as the ugliness.” A fictionalized account of author Agatha… Read more »

review: The Saturday Evening Girls Club

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The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey Four friends–Caprice, Maria, Ada, and Thea–from Boston’s poverty-stricken North End have been members of The Saturday Evening Girls Club for seven years. This club, which was started by a librarian and supported by a wealthy society lady with connections, helped the lower-class girls find meaningful work and even provided education grants for… Read more »

review: I Survived: The American Revolution, 1776

I Survived: The American Revolution, 1776 by Lauren Tarshis This is an excellent young adult chapter book covering the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War. The main character is eleven-year-old Nate, who escaped from an abusive uncle only to find himself in the midst of an army camp. There, however, he reunites with a friend from his sailing days… Read more »

review: Godwine Kingmaker

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Godwine Kingmaker: Part One of the Great Saxon Earls by Mercedes Rochelle England, 1016. Godwine, a Saxon and son of an erstwhile thegn of Sussex, meets Jarl Ulf, who is lost in the woods after a battle against Edmund Ironside. The Danish nobleman rewards young Godwine for leading him back to his men by taking him under his wing and… Read more »

review: Obedience

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Obedience by V. G. Kilgore The story of Noah’s Ark is an important fixture in Old Testament scripture from the Christian Bible, but previous to reading this account (which sparked some interest in further research), I was not aware that it also has ancient origins in religions such as Judaism, Islam and Bahá’í, as well as the earliest surviving work… Read more »

review: Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road by Hays and McFall What if Bonnie and Clyde didn’t meet their end in 1934 as the newspapers reported? This imaginative alternate account of the story extends their tale to a round of further adventures in which the notorious lovers receive a sort of redemption of their past deeds. They’ve been forcefully recruited by a… Read more »

review: The Royal Dollmaker

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The Queen’s Dollmaker by Christine Trent Claudette Laurent, daughter of a prestigious dollmaker in Paris, loses everything to a devastating fire and must begin a new life. In a strange turn of events, she finds herself in London, first supporting herself as a lady’s maid and ultimately finding a way to use the talents her father bequeathed to her: that… Read more »