Wrap Up

Wrap Up | March 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up for March. This month I was very happy with the amount of books I read, I am keeping up with my pattern of double digits! I don’t want to make a huge introduction because I am not really in the mood to write currently, but here are the books I read this month!


Read 2

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African StoryJourney to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

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. Full Review: Book Review | Journey to Jo’Burg by Beverley Naidoo

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Angel MageAngel Mage by Garth Nix

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the Sabriel series and his writing. Even in this book I enjoyed the writing a ton, but I just couldn’t really get into the story and I am having a hard time pin pointing why. It was a unique and unlike anything I have read so I wasn’t bored by the predictability or anything like that.

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Nothing to See HereNothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just could not get into this book, it was a very interesting idea though. It just did not pull me in and I had to kind of trudge on instead of reading fully because I was enjoying it.

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The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)The Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I was really expecting to not like this book so much because it is always said to be the “adult harry potter”. I mean a lot of people say a lot of books are like harry potter and I have always been disappointed. So, my expectations weren’t very high.

Well, I ended up really loving this book, that description was very accurate. I was surprised by how many years were in this book and how unlikable some of the characters ended up being, but I really enjoyed the ride. I also loved the nods to Terry Pratchett and Narnia. This really was a magical book and I am excited that I have the boxset waiting for me and that I am buddy reading the rest of the series.

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Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I bought book 2 of this series. I will be honest the netflix adaptation didn’t really pull me in, but I really liked the idea so I gave the book series a shot. Well, I loved it so much more. The flow was a lot bette and I was able to track things.

Also, the writing is just wonderful and so imaginative. I feel like if I keep writing this review I will just keep blabbing on about how much I loved it.

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HamletHamlet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book. Full Review: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

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Middle Mark Books 2

Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, my rating: 3 of 5 stars

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, my rating: 2 of 5 stars

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar, my rating: 4 of 5 stars


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 22


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 12
  • Number of Pages: 4,296
  • Fiction: 12
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook: 0
  • Paperback: 7
  • Hardcover: 6
  • Library: 1
  • Owned: 11
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 6
  • 3 Stars: 2
  • 2 Stars: 3
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in March?

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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

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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