Reviews

Book Review | Journey to Jo’Burg by Beverley Naidoo

Book Review*Book given by the publisher via aWunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review*

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Description: 

Mma lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother, Tiro, call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know that they need to bring their mother back in order to save their sister’s life. Bravely, secretly, they set off on the long journey to the big city to find Mma.

It isn’t until they finally reach Jo’burg that they see up close what life is like for black citizens across South Africa—and begin to really question the unfair and dangerous laws of apartheid. –goodreads.com 


What I Liked

This is a middle grade novel for children ages 8-12. This story following a sister and brother on a mission to find their mother and bring her home when their sibling is very ill and not getting better. I really liked that this story focuses on family connections and the young children determined to find their mother and help.

I also liked that this book opened up children to the lives of others and what they go through. One of the things that stuck out to me is the fact that these children walk an to school. I felt like this was something many children in this age range could relate to and it really brings the contrast to light. It would really help children understand that not everyone lives the same way.

I also liked that this book did not shy away from tough discussions, but did it in a way that children could understand. This book takes place during the apartheid in South Africa, which ran from the 1940s till 1990s. It was a time of extreme oppressiona and systematic racism. This book talked about the need of passes, the miss treatment of individuals regardless of their pass was right or if they were the right age. It also talked about segregated buses and the like. It did this through the eyes of the young children coming into the city for the first time so as the characters are learning about this injustice so are the young readers. 


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there was not something I can pick out that I did not enjoy about this book. I thought it was a very good way to explain the treatment black citizens in South Africa during the apartheid. It gave a peek into the world and framed it very nicely. It didn’t just show that their was unjust treatment, but also commented on it and a major event as well.


Overall Thoughts

If you are looking into a read that would help expose your children to this part of history, I would say that I think this is a good option to explore further. It was a quick read, the plot was well done and I felt like it handled the explanation of this part of history well for the intended audience.

5stars


Author Links


Book Information

Publication Date: December 30th, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

List Price: $6.99

ISBN: 9780062881793

Pages:112 pages


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Reviews

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

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* 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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Tags

The Cake Book Tag

So I was watching some booktube instead of reading today and I saw PeruseProject do this tag and I thought would be fun to do. I did make it a bit more challenging by making myself stick to books I have read in the last 12 months. Time to mix all the ingredients together and make a great book cake! P.S. All titles are linked to go to the books goodreads pages if you are interested in learning more about the books. 

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source: Princeton Public Library

 

FLOUR: A book that was a little slow to start, but really picked up as it went along.

Euphoria by Lily King 

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Euphoria by Lily King is a great book, when I finished it I knew it would be a book I would revisit. But, it didn’t start off that way. At first it was a little slow even though it was interesting, but I almost put it down for good. Then, the story picked up and I couldn’t put it down. Talk about a 180. 

Blurb: “Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is the story of three young, gifted anthropologists of the 1930s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.” via goodreads

BUTTER: A book that had a rich, great plot. 

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was one of the best books I read last year. I was so engrossed in the story and invested. It had an interesting concept and the plot took unexpected twists and turns. The sequel, Waking Gods, came out not that long ago and I cannot wait to get to it. 

Blurb: “A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.” via goodreads

EGGS: A book you thought was going to be bad, but actually turned out quite enjoyable. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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While the description of this classic sounds interesting for some reason I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it at all. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed it. It was the perfect mixture of having the classic critiques, gothic style, and it can still be related to the modern world. 

Blurb: “Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890” via goodreads

SUGAR: A sugary, sweet book.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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Ah, the sugar in this book cake, The Rosie Project. I have to say I just adored this book, I think mainly because it speaks a lot to my personal life and I made a connection to it. I fell in love with this book nearly right from the beginning. 

Blurb: “Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project.” via goodreads

ICING : A book that covered every element that you enjoy about a book.  

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter 

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The Jackaby series is an auto buy series for me, I even have the next book on preorder. From the three that are currently out I have loved every single one. For my personally, that has never happened before. Even with my beloved (and most likely a lot of other peoples) Harry Potter series. There are books I am just meh about, but still enjoy. But Ghostly Echoes is great and so is the rest of the series, it is a mixture of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. I know I should not be comparing this series to other series (TV and books), but it really is. 

Blurb from book one: “Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose.” via goodreads

SPRINKLES: A book series that you can kind of turned back to for a little pick me up when you’re feeling down.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

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Do I really need to explain this one? lol.


THE CHERRY ON TOP: Your Favorite book you have read so far this year.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel 

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So far The Stranger in the Woods has been my top read. Mainly because it has a sense of adventure, justice, psychology, and a wonderful story that is not intimidating at all to read. This book is with well researched and has personal touches that make a great narrative. 

Blurb:”In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.” via goodreads

If you have made it this far into this post I congratulate you, it was a bit of reading for sure. This posts question is…

What book would be your butter in your Cake Book Tag?

Thank you for reading, have a great day and happy reading!


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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Funny Book Stories

Since this weekend is filled with family I thought it would be fun to share some funny book related stories or antidotes dealing with my family.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling

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So when I was younger for some reason I refused to read the Harry Potter series. I am not sure why I did not want to read it, but I was determined not to read it. On the other hand my Aunt Patty who I called Uncle Patty, because it sounded better, was determined to get me to read it. She started reading them as they were published and recognized them as something I would love, I was just a suborn child lol. She bought be a different edition nearly every time she came over. I had a first edition, large print, UK edition, mass market paper back, paper back, and probably more. She was trying her best to get my to read my now beloved series. Then one year she decided to take another approach. She bought me to a midnight release party at a legit castle. It was the most magnificent thing I have seen. The castle was lit up just like Hogwarts, everyone was in costume, and there was even a Diagon Alley set up where you could buy pets, brooms, and your supplies for Hogwarts. It was here I began to want a pet toad so I could be like Neville. My Aunt rightfully said, “I think you should ask your mom first”. Sadly, I was so young I cannot remember if it was the 4th book or not, but I do know that it was a magical night that bought the books to life for me and I have absolutely loved the books since. So moral of the story is, I am stubborn and the only way to make me read something is to bring me to a castle.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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Alright, so this one is another story of where I boycott a book also dealing with my Aunt Patty. When I was younger I would spend weekends at my Aunt’s house. At this time she did not have her son, but often watched my older cousins and I. Even though she LOVED to read, she only had one children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Well, every night that I slept over she would read it to me. Once I was all tucked in she would pull it out and sit  beside me a read. Week after week, month after month, quite frankly even though I have “heard” the story so many times I cannot remember what happens, I think I tuned it out. Anyway, it got to a point I would pretend to go to sleep so she would stop reading the story. I would put my head facing away so she could not see my eye, incase them moved. In my defense, you can only listen to the same story so many times before it gets boring. The funny part is my Aunt and I talked last year about this and she had no idea I was pretending to sleep. Then she told me I never really heard to entire story because she would change a particular part as she read because she didn’t want to scare me. So as it turns out we were fooling each other in a way. When we finally talked about it we had a really great laugh.


I hope you enjoyed this funny little stories, do you have any funny bookish stories? If you do I would love to hear them!

 

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