Hauls

BOTM Unboxing | July 2019

Unboxing

Hello and welcome to another BOTM unboxing! This choices this month were so wonderful, it took me quite a bit to pick the one I wanted. I have to say I am so happy with my choice. Right after I made my choice I started seeing more and more people talk and post about this non-fiction novel, I just coundn’t wait to get my hands on it. Here is the book I picked this month!


 


-Blurb-

It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts, destroys our lives, and it’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored—until now. Over the past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year.

We begin in suburban Indiana with Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. She passes her days cooking and cleaning for a man who refuses to kiss her on the mouth, protesting that “the sensation offends” him. To Lina’s horror, even her marriage counselor says her husband’s position is valid. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks. When she reconnects with an old flame through social media, she embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming.

In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who finds a confidant in her handsome, married English teacher. By Maggie’s account, supportive nightly texts and phone calls evolve into a clandestine physical relationship, with plans to skip school on her eighteenth birthday and make love all day; instead, he breaks up with her on the morning he turns thirty. A few years later, Maggie has no degree, no career, and no dreams to live for. When she learns that this man has been named North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year, she steps forward with her story—and is met with disbelief by former schoolmates and the jury that hears her case. The trial will turn their quiet community upside down.

Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane—a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner—who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. He picks out partners for her alone or for a threesome, and she ensures that everyone’s needs are satisfied. For years, Sloane has been asking herself where her husband’s desire ends and hers begins. One day, they invite a new man into their bed—but he brings a secret with him that will finally force Sloane to confront the uneven power dynamics that fuel their lifestyle.

Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone. -via goodreads.com


-Why This Book?-

The main reason I decided to pick this book was because it didn’t just follow one person or different women who are the same age.  I really liked how the author talked to women who have different live experiences and are at different points in their lives. I also liked that a personal experience led to the author exploring this topic because it shows how passionate the author is. I am really looking forward to hearing the stories of these women.


Would you ever read this book? Is this a topic that interests you?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | July 2019

Middle Mark

I feel like my reading was dragging so much this first half of the month. I had a lot going on and I was pretty stressed out that I didn’t really want to read, which says a lot since that is normal what I do when I want to destress. Anyway, I did manage to read some and I found myself kicking myself for not reading some of them sooner. Also, I am doing better in the stress department so the rest of the month will hopefully will be better reading wise. Here are the books I have read the first half of the month.


Read 2

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This held true to the little blurb on the cover, “Grisly World of Victorian Medicine”. This book goes into great detail into what victorian medicine was, so if medical talk and such bother you, stay away from the book. If you would love to learn more about the progression of science and medicine, please read this.

Lindsay Fitzharris I think does a great job turning this non-fiction topic into a narrative. It read very nicely and flows. I never felt bogged down by fact and stats, even though I learned a ton. The way she broke the novel into chapters also made a lot of sense and were natural breaking points, not that I stopped I read this in one sitting.

I also appreciated that the end notes were organized by not just in order, but labeled by chapter as well. The only thing I wished was that were labeled by a number or letter and not just by the page number since there can be three or more from a single page and I had to flip back and forth from the chapter to the end note to make sure I was looking at the correct source.

Overall, I recommend this book if medicine, history, victorian era and science are something you are interested in, I actually already have this going to a friend of mine.

View all my reviews


War and PeaceWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am finally getting to this review, thanks for waiting!

I have to say, this novel is long, but It not one that can be read slowly. If you take your time details will begin to fall away and it may leave you lost and confused. It is helpful while reading to have a list of characters, I know I needed mine.

I have previously read works by this author, such as Anna Karenina, and loved it more and more as time passed. I found myself thinking about the characters and empathizing and realizing more and more. I really don’t think that will be the case with War and Peace. While I did enjoy reading this and I do not regret it in the slightest, I just feel like I wont think about this book again. I could very well be wrong.

At times I was bored and kept saying, “alright get on with it already” while other times I was laughing so hard at something or very really engrossed. This book was a bit all over the place in that sense for me, that is why I decided to give it 3 stars.

View all my reviews


Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

View all my reviews


The Two Dead GirlsThe Two Dead Girls by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The feeling of this book is really haunting. Part one has really set the tone of this serial (6 parts). It depicts a pretty horrendous crime so you know what type of people our narrator is dealing with, but I am thankful that he has not shared more than he has needed to. I really am enjoying the narrators voice, it is oddly calm, but I can tell something big is going to be shown to me. I am going to be jumping into part 2 as soon as I can.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)

I just started reading this book last night since I somehow managed to finish two books yesterday, woohoo! I have not started a new series in sometime so I am in a way excited to be reading this, but also not looking forward to the wait  for the next book.  So far I am enjoying the world that I have seen so far. Like I said, I started this book pretty late last night so I am not very far in, but so far so good and I don’t see that changing unless something ridiculous happens.

 


What are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2019

Read 5 Buy 1.jpg

Hello and welcome to another kind of blog post series I am adding to my blog. Nearly a year ago I shared by Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge, you can find that here: Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In this post I explain how I challenge myself when I feel that my Owned TBR has gotten a bit out of hand. Well, This past month with Book Con I decided that having nearly 50 books at one point was way to high for me to be comfortable with. So, I decided to reinstate the Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In the linked post it goes into detail of what it is and what it entails, but I will give you a little summary.

Pretty much for every 5 books you read, you get to buy 1 book. No book buying bans needed with this, but it does help you cull your TBR and get it under control. I have used it quite a few times over the year. My last run of it I got my TBR down to the high teens, which is within my happy place of owned TBR. Anyway, each month I am going to give a little summary of how it is going and share the books I read and the book I bought.


Read

Buy


Since I started this in the middle of the month I only have one book hauled through this challenge. Now, I need to get reading so I can get my TBR down and buy some books! Any questions about this challenge I am happy to answer.

Divider 2What does your TBR look like?

Have you ever done a book buying ban?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Coffee and a Classic June 2019

Unboxing

This month I decided I would give a new book box a try. I have tried many in the past and only one to this point has been one I have kept for over a year. The others were wonderful, but I no longer read a lot of YA so I was on the hunt for a book box that fits my current reading habits. With my youtube and blog searches I came across this lovely box called Coffee and a Classic.

If you know me I love classic literature, I find it a wonderful way to look into the past without reading non-ficiton, which I also love. On top of that, you get some delicious coffee to sip while you read. An entire experience!

Now, this box has a few customizable things going for it as well. You can pick coffee or tea, and the type of classic you would want to read. They have children’s classic, classic literature, and then a non-fiction classic. Which, I love that they give the subscribers so much choice in the box. On top of that you can can pick from starter ($29.99)  or standard (40.99). Which, if you want to know more please check out their website. www.coffeeandaclassic.com.

Anyway, I picked the classic literature starter box here is what I got this month!


Can I just say I am a sucker for cute simplistic packaging? This logo is just so cute and I love it. I also loved how everything was packaged in a box that was appropriate in size. Everything fit safely and snuggly inside nothing was shifting all over and there was unneeded stuff.

I am so excited to try this coffee, I am also so happy that it happens to be themes as a Grand Adventure because I am currently rereading The Fellowship of the Ring and I feel like it would fit in perfectly. On top of that it smells heavily.

Here are the two bookish goodies I got this month. The first are two absorbent car coasters. I feel like these people are spying on me because I said a few weeks ago I needed some of these and I was on the look out for them. Looks like I don’t need to keep searching. The second is a beautiful lined notebook, which is in a beautiful blue color. I love that both of these have artwork that actual applies to the book that is in this book instead of just something generic. You can see the thought that goes into this.

Last, but certainly not least we have the bookmark and the book. Can I just say I love that they send  a bookmark with a book. I never understood when book boxes never came with a bookmark. Anyway, this bookmark is made of Sassafras and features art pertaining to the book. I have never had a wooden bookmark that I can remember, but I love the feel of this. Then, we have the classic! I am happy to say I have not read this classic, but I have heard quote a lot about it. I am excited to dive into this, sip my coffee, and maybe take some notes.

I have to say I am really happy with this book box. The items inside are usable and not just knickknacks and all have to do with the book that was sent not just a generic theme. I can see the hard work that was put into this and I want to say well done. I am going to continue on with this box!


What did you think of this book box?

Do you subscribe to any bookish boxes?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2019

Recs

Hello again! Welcome to my monthly peek into my bullet journal. This month, much like last month I took a lot of inspiration from Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I took her theme and quote and then added in my own style to it and my spreads that work from me. If you have never seen her stuff before, I suggest taking a look. She is very talented.


First off I loved her use of peaches for July, I know I am eating a ton of fruit this time of year so I loved this. I drew her images on my into page and then used my stamps for the month. I also decided to keep my spreads mainly monotone, but with a splash of peach. Which, you can see on my calendar overview.

I absolutely loved this quote that she used this month, so I decided to add it to mine as well. If I am not mistaken it is a quote from Dita Von Teese. I changed the font to just my hand writing and added in a little pop of color instead of going all out with the coloring. In the past I have noticed when I add color I tend to ruin my spreads by over doing it. I really loved this new social media calendar that I tried last month so I added it again. I wish I had used this spread sooner to track by blog and insta posts.

Next is my much loved book tracker. I have used this tracker through two different bullet journals and I am going to keep it for a long while I think. It is just really satisfying to see how long it takes to read a book and how often I actually read.

Here is my TBR for the month of July. You may have seen my TBR post, if you have you will notice I added another book in there. Since I loved Good Omens so much when I read it last month I wanted to read more works by Terry Pratchett so on the guidance of quite a few people I decided to start with Mort.

Last, but the most useful to me on a daily basis would be my weekly spreads. At this time I have not added the hours in the little squares on the left side of the day because my schedule has recently changed and I need to find a new balance with that.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

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TBR

TBR | July 2019

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We are officially in the second half of the year, I can’t get over it. But, I am excited to share another TBR with you. This month I am reading a few books by adored authors, continuing a reread of a series I love, and then throwing in a few books written by new to me authors. In other words I am reading a little bit of everything. Without a huge introduction, here are the books I am going to do my best to read this upcoming month.


-The Books-

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

Each month I have been trying to read the book I have had on my owned TBR the longest. At this point in the that would be The Bird’s Nest. I picked it up in July, so this would be a year so it is time to read it because I don’t really keep books over a year because I have not read it by then I am never going to read it. I do love Jackson’s work, I just know I read a lot of them last year and that is most likely why I have put this one off.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Last month I started my reread of the LOTR series and this month I wanted to continue along with that. I feel like reading one a month leaves me at a good pace while not neglecting the rest of my TBR.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

I was lucky enough to get this as an eARC via netgalley. Ruth Ware is one of my top thriller writers so I am very excited to get to this and review it for all of you. Thank-you Gallery Books!


-TBR Jar Pick-

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

This is a fairly recent addition to my TBR I got it as my bonus book of the month book in May since I was gifted a free book from them since I have been a member for so long. I am very interested to see where this novel goes because I opened the inside flap and it says “A Girl…A Prince…A Monster” in large type, how could I not want to know how these three fair together?


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2019

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June was a very crazy month for me, I am so I am very surprised at how much I ended up reading this month. I was expecting to read maybe only 4 books, but I ended up reading much more than that.

I will say this month I was very bad about sticking to my TBR, June TBR | 2019, I ended up only reading 1 book on that list until the 24th of the month. Then, I kinda tried to binge the rest of the list. The main reason I did not do to well with sticking my my TBR was my mood reading and the books that became available from my library. Library books always take precedence with me because I can’t keep them and I might not be able to extend my time with it if someone else is in line.

Anyway, I overall liked a lot of the books I read this month, but below is some more details about the books themselves and my thoughts.

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Read 2

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the time period this was set in and how it was true to that time period. It showed the hardships that African Americans faced and the horrible treatments that were thrust upon them. I enjoyed the writing style and the theme of bees throughout the story.

I think I have come to realize though, that I do not like stories about young girls who lose their mothers at a young age. I think it is because I have read it so many times or what, but I am just not in the mood or enjoy stories with that plot line.

View all my reviews


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with MeLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have not read a lot of books or comics or anything in a while that dealt with HS aged people. But, I am very happy that I read this. I started reading this as a preview from the publisher on their website, when the preview ended I needed more and got it from my library that thankfully had it. I finished it in one sitting.

The story line was heart wrenching, but heart warming at others. I loved that the characters were raw at times, but the issues that were hinted at and full on explored are real issues that are dealt with every day. I really enjoyed reading this.

On top of the storyline/plot being amazing, the art work was beautiful. I enjoy the style that is used and the color pallet and use of color to highlight certain aspects of the story. You can clearly see a lot of time and hard work went into this graphic novel.

View all my reviews


Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started to read this I started to feel like I was mislead by the title of this book, but that quickly turned around for me when I was about 70 odd pages in. This story had me really engaged for a few reasons. The first being the time period, how can you not want to hear a story about a rock and roll group in the 1970? The second being the format of this novel.

I didn’t know that this was set up as an interview the entire book and I think it really lent itself to the story. I feel like the story would not have been as powerful and I would not have felt as much as I did if it was written another way. Also, if you are into audiobooks, I think this is one of the best I have ever listened to. They have an entire cast and it makes the voices so much more distinct, even through they would be without the audio.

This story talks about a lot of different struggles and it really is a roller coaster, but not the one you would expect from a rock group.

View all my reviews


The Woman in the DarkThe Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am kind of struggling to pin point why this book didn’t blow me out of the water. I think the main reason is because I was able to predict a lot of what happened from very early in the book. I think once I made an assumption and it started to be proven correct I was just kinda meh about it.

I think if you have not read a lot of thrillers this is a great place to start. It is shocking and has quite layers to it. The writing style itself is good and it flowed for sure. One thing I really liked is the fact that I was debating throughout that maybe this is actually happening or it isn’t happening at all. What is reality?

View all my reviews


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I still don’t like Shakespeare, I am not sure why I keep trying at this point.

View all my reviews


The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great reread and adventure! Not really much to say other than I love this book and this story. It is filled with quirky wonderful characters and takes place in a very imaginative world.

View all my reviews


 

Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 45

Backlist TBR: 6

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What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Women Talking by Miriam Toews

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* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

Women Talking
Description:

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

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What I Liked

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because it was based upon real events. I enjoy reading non-ficiton and historical fiction and I felt like this book would be enjoyable. This book tackles dark events dealing with an established religious group and how the women must either come to terms with the status quo or make changes. As you can see from the description the status quo is not something I think many of us would want to endure.

I really enjoyed that the author did put this struggle into words and I feel like it could be applied to many other situations. While this story very dark and very extreme in its content, if you are triggered by rape or the discussion of it please do not read it boils down to women in a very bad situation determining if it is worth living with the devil you know, or chancing it with the devil you don’t know in a world you don’t understand. In other words,  you can either endure traumatic treatment and stay with what you know and fear, or go off and try to get away for your hope of a safe situation in a world you have no idea how to navigate. On top of that the fear of what might happen if you are not successful. Obviously, every situation is different and each needs to be thought of on its own merits, but I can appreciate that this author was willing to have a discussion about this.


What I Didn’t Like

I didn’t like how slow paced this book was. I kind of had to push myself through it. I am not sure if this is because I was expecting a lot to happen based upon the description, but I felt that for the size of the book it was a slow mover. At times I felt it was rambling and I would grow bored.


Overall Thoughts

I feel like this was a good topic to discuss and should continue to be discussed. The topic was interesting for sure. I just don’t know if the topic was enough for me to fully enjoy this book. For me personally I do not enjoy slow moving books that are more talk than action. So, I feel like if you enjoy that type of writing style, you would easily like this book more than I did. 3stars

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Author Links

Miriam Toews

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 2nd 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

List Price: $24.99

ISBN: 9781635572582

Pages: 216 pages

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking · Uncategorized

DIY | Enamil Pin Display

DIY12:17So, I recently realized I have a ton of enamel pins, but they are all sitting in the bottom of a drawer or in a cup of some sort. I love pins and have since I was young. I started my collection when I was in 3rd grade…. so it has been a LONG time. I personally really enjoy collecting them because they are small and compact since I don’t have a ton of space. But, at this point I hide them away. I would prefer to display them and have the ability to look at them.

The main reason I would love to look at them is because I only buy them when I am visiting a new place or on a special occasion. I would love to be able to walk into my space and look at the happy memories. So, I went to google and typed in “Enamel Pin Display” and found the following inspiration.

image 0

This turns out to be from the Etsy shop PinnyslugDesign. So, if this DIY does not workout for me, I will be buying them. But, I am hoping it does work out because I can actually say I have everything I need think I need to make these myself! How often does that actually happen?

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Materials needed

  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Fabric
  • Exacto knife

Optional

  • super glue
  • needle
  • thread

Progression Images

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I am so happy with how these come out. I ended up leaving the ends raw until I fill them up until I am satisfied. When I have all the pins I want on them I am going to sew the edges in with some embroidery floss that I have laying around as well as put some glue around the edges so they don’t shift to much when I sew them.

I love how simple and cute these are and how I can easily add different sized hoops as my collection grows. I also don’t have to worry about finding the exact same frame or whatever. Raw hoops are always around and don’t really ever change.

How do you think I did recreating this DIY?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Little Guides to Great Lives: Anne Frank by Isabel Thomas

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

Little Guides to Great Lives: Anne FrankDescription:

Anne Frank was an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times. Forced to go into hiding to escape the Nazis’ persecution of Jews in World War II, Anne kept a diary that would become one of the most famous books in the world.

Meet one of history’s most inspiring figures in this beautifully-illustrated guide to her amazing life.

From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way.

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What I Liked

First off I have to say that the story of Anne Frank and the holocaust as a whole is not an easy topic no matter how you look at it. But, these are both important stories that need to be shared. I read this book two times before writing this review, for a few reasons.

The firs being that this author did a wonderful job telling this story. It is done in such a way that it does not hide the truth, but gently explains what happened to Anne Frank and others who were victimized during WWII. It explained the steps leading up to the labor and concentration camps in a factual way, but in a very respectful manner. I have to say that this is one of the most gentle, but truthful children’s book I have read on the topic personally.

The second reason I read this multiple times was the art style and illustrations that are present throughout. While I hate to say that this story is beautiful, because it is so heart breaking, this book is beautiful and is a work of art.

Another thing I loved about this book was that it just did not tell the story of Anne Frank, but it was so much more. It talked about the global economy and the rise of the Nazi to give the story context. There was also a lot of helpful information such as key character descriptions, timelines, and a glossary to aid young readers in learning and making sense  of the complex story. But, the best thing they had in there was further reading. You can tell the author cares about the topic and is passionate about learning when they share where readers can learn more.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there is nothing bad I can say about this book. It was well structured, it covered a difficult topic in a very accessible way to children.


Overall Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed reading this, even though I am not a child I found it to be informative and interested without being overwhelming. This is a great way to expose young children the the holocaust and the story of Anne Frank without being overwhelming in my opinion.  I even bought a copy for a friend of mine for her to read to her children.

5stars

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Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Publisher: Laurence King Publishing

List Price: $11.99

ISBN: 9781786273987

Pages: 64 pages

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