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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Leisel saw the first book she ever stole near her brother’s grave. She quickly grabbed it, hid it and continued on her way to Molching to her new foster parents and her new life. It was there with the help of her foster father, Hans Huberman, that she learned to understand the words and her thirst for more books only grew. It was also here in the middle of Nazi Germany that she was given two books by the Jewish man, Max, who came to hide in the Huberman’s basement in the midst of World War II. She would speak her stolen words to calm neighbors during bomb raids. She would share her stolen books with her friend in the basement. She would grow during this time of turbulence in Germany all while Death stood among her, among everyone, watching and waiting to capture another soul.                 This novel showed the life of a young girl during World War II, in a town she was not accustomed to, who found solace in books. But it is so much more than that. It’s…

Banned Books: 1984 by George Orwell

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1984 by George Orwell


Winston Smith, age 39, lives in a world where every move he makes is monitored. The telescreens in his home, work, and in the streets not only broadcast news but relay information back to Big Brother who is constantly watching. Newspeak is continually removing words from the English language, in what has become a successful effort of narrowing the ideas of the population. The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war. The Ministry of Plenty keeps the majority poor. The Ministry of Love is a place most fear. The Ministry of Truth, where Winston works, dispenses lie. Winston knows this because he remembers, even though he is forced to change the records in his line of work, a time when Oceania was at war with Eurasia not Eastasia. But to say such a thing could get him arrested by the Thought Police and thrown into the Ministry of Love where he may never be seen again. The world has changed drastically since Winston’s youth. Now you’re either for the Party, or again…

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead

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A Train In Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead

A Train In Winter tells the story of the many women who were part of the resistance in France during the German occupation. Each woman has a different story, whether they transported Jews across the demarcation line, were writers in underground newspapers, or messengers, they each took part in resisting those who were controlling their country. They took a stand and 230 women were arrested, placed in jail and transported to extermination camps. Only 49 of those women would make it through the war and find their way home to fight a new battle of recovery where nightmare ravaged their sleep and the horrors they saw never left them. Many would testify against the Nazi’s and the conditions that encountered at Auschwitz during their imprisonment. Many were now widowed, having lost their husbands to the war in extermination camps or jail. Some would remarry and have childre…

Banned Books: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

                What is the measure of insanity? You’re insane if you fly a plane dropping bombs on people, while the enemy shoots counter fire at you. You’re sane the moment you refuse to fly because you fear for your own safety. It’s a Catch-22. In fact it is the Catch-22 that Captain Yossarian, the bombardier, has found himself stuck in during World War II, when he asks to be sent home and refuses to fly any more missions. Yossarian thinks everyone else is insane because they continue to fly without any concern for their own safety. Here they are, stuck on the island of Pianosa, because the Colonel in charge keeps raising the amount of missions required to return to the states. After watching planes being shot down, friends lose their life and having to escape some close calls of his own, Yossarian has had enough, but the country or at least his Colonel still wants more. Catch-22 was a hilarious novel, filled with wit, sarcasm and amazing wordplay that foll…

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth


I am not one to disclose spoilers so if you have not read Divergent or Insurgent I suggest doing so before continuing with this review.
        Insurgent left us at the end of a rebellion. The Factionless and Dauntless have attacked the Erudite headquarters to destroy the technology causing the simulations and Jeanine, the Erudite leader, is now dead. Evelyn now has complete leadership after disarming the Dauntless and disbanding the factions. And thanks to Tris and Marcus’ effort, the truth Jeanine was trying so hard to conceal has been released: there are others that live outside of the walls of the city. People chose to begin a new within this city, leaving their memories and other lives behind to try and heal the problems with mankind or more precisely human nature. But now is the time for the isolation to end with the emergence of more and more Divergent. Allegiant begins after this revelation. Tris and many others are awaiting trial. Tobias is playing t…

Banned Books: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm by George Orwell


It all started with an emotional and moving speech by the old boar Major. A rebellion was necessary. The animals of the Manor Farm needed to rebel against the humans and work for themselves. Major believed that animals should benefit from their labor not humans. Man was the root of all their problems. The animals could work together, oust the humans and run the farm themselves. Major died, but leaders emerged in two boars, Snowball and Napoleon. Through meetings in the barn they created Animalism, based off Major’s teachings, and eventually the animals banded together and rebelled against the humans taking the farm as their own. The pigs, who learned how to read and write, created seven commandments for the animals to live by. All animals were equal. All decisions were to put to a vote. The farm was prosperous. Then greed and opportunity stepped in and those who could take power did. The commandments slowly began to change. Accusations and fear ran rapid th…

Children's Time! My Face: The Many Adventures of Donald by Dominique Penn

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My Face by Dominique Penn



If you are looking for a book specifically for your little reader then look no further. My Face by Dominique Penn is a great place to start! My Face is the first book in a series of five titled The Many Adventures of Donald. This first book takes a look at Donald and how the differences he may see in the faces of his friends don't take away from the fact that they are all the same, which makes them all special! 
           My five year old, Jonathan, was able to read 85% of this novel by himself! It was a great, simple read that engaged my son with visuals depicting children having fun, which is the easiest thing for a child to relate to. He also enjoyed the story and as a parent I did too. I want to raise my son loving people for who they are, not what they look like and this story emphasized that point. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and would definitely recommend it. 


Dominique Penn is a self-published author so if you would like to pur…

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth


I am not one to disclose spoilers so if you have not read Divergent I suggest doing so before continuing with this review.
Divergent ends with an attack by the Dauntless on the Abnegation. The Dauntless were being controlled through a simulation created by Erudite leader Jeanine and the majority of the Dauntless were acting under this mind controlled stimulus. Most of the Abnegation are dead including Tris’ father, Andrew, who helped her rescue Tobias. Those with Tris are now on their way to the Amity in hopes of finding sanctuary. Now everyone is trying to figure out why this attack took place. It is well known that the Erudite and Abnegation factions do not get along. Articles had been written by Jeanine discrediting many of the Abnegation leaders and arguing for a different form of government where more than just the Abnegation are in charge. But does that mean killing or trying to destroy an entire faction. Marcus, Tobias’ father, a leader in Abnegation d…

Banned Books: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

George and Lennie have been traveling together, working different jobs and moving from place to place for a while now. George looks out for Lennie, who is a hard worker but not the smartest man you’ll ever come across. There have been accidents and situations that have arisen along the way that have forced Lennie and George to leave jobs quickly for their safety. It’s unusual to see two men traveling along together, but that’s how it’s been for Lennie and George and that’s the way it will be. Here they are again, at a new job, this time in Salinas Valley. George has it all planned out so there wont be any trouble this time. But plans don’t always work out. Between Curly, the boss’ son, aggressive ways and his wife’s flirtatious manner, George smells trouble for him and Lennie. Trouble just seems to be something Lennie and George can not avoid. This novel is an honest look at the life of a man who doesn’t understand the world he lives in. Two men, yet o…