Life's hard.

It's even harder when you're stupid.

John Wayne

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede ★★★★☆

Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1)A princess who can rescue herself and her friends.
Fiction – Juvenile – High Fantasy
Age Range: 10 and up Grade Level: 4 - 8
212 pages
Publication Date: 1990
Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1

Literary Awards: Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award Nominee (1993)

Princess Cimorene isn’t your typical fairytale princess despite her family’s attempts to make her one.  Nor does she want to be.  Cimorene wants freedom to choose her own path, so when her parents arrange for her to marry she decides to it’s time to run away.  Told to head to the Enchanted Forest by a frog Cimorene begin the adventure of her life.  And the ending is anything, but typical, just like Cimorene.

So it is fairly obvious that while this book takes place in a typical fairytale book world, Cimorene, as a nonconformist, couldn’t have a typical story.  This story has no rescue, no knight, no happily-ever-after, because Cimorene actually volunteers to be a dragon’s princess.  Cimorene as a heroine is strong, independent and most importantly bored with normal princess life, and she has the gumption and courage to take chances.  Now the thing I really valued about her is even though she wanted to choose a different path from the norm she gives others to follow the normal one without scorn.  She gives them the freedom to be who they are.  Also it was nice to see that her princess upbringing did help her out in her new role.  So her upbringing did have value even if she didn’t like it at the time.

Charming, whimsical and fun this book is nice light read, with interesting characters set in a familiar world that keeps turning custom on its ear.  This is a book I can confidently that all ages will enjoy

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis ★★★★☆

The Blind Side: Evolution of a GameA real life hero’s tale.
Non Fiction –Biography/Sports
352 pages
Publication Date: September 17th 2006
Literary Awards: ALA Alex Award (2007), Iowa High School Book Award Nominee (2011)

This is the story of Michael Oher, a man who went from a homeless teen to a football phenom.  Taken in by a wealthy family while in high school he benefited from their financial resources, but mostly their love.  With their help Michael a new support system and his God given talent Michael was propelled into a beyond everyone’s hopes and expectations for his life.

This well done account, which is mostly told from people’s perspective of Michael, was a story with a lot of heart.  Mr. Lewis is very talented and a wonderful story teller with great material.  His pacing was perfect while the writing was crisp and clear. This fascinating and true story just carries you along without over loading you right from the beginning of the well done intro.  There is of course a lot of football history which I got lost in a bit.  I mean, I did find the football part interesting but Michael was the real draw.  If you are into football however I think that it would definitely add to the enjoyment, but I didn’t find myself at a real disadvantage for not being a fan.  I found the conclusion a little sad, but frankly I don’t truly believe that it is the conclusion of the story.  Life keeps moving and each forward step we take in loving others has ripple effects even if we can’t see them clearly.  A great story about how people can positively affect others when they care.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Book suggestions needed!

Hello Fellow Readers,

I hope your holiday season was blessed this year with many great new memories.  Ours was amazingly busy, but definitely worth it.  With a new year upon us I find myself open to book suggestion, especially of the writing variety.  So if you have discovered any new gems or just want me to do the work of reading a selection to find out if it is worth your time let me know.

Happy 2014,