Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hattie Big Sky - Kirby Larson

My friend Shannon recommended this book to me, and so did Mrs. Robinson. It's another one that I'd been meaning to read for a long time but just didn't seem that interesting. Wow, was I wrong. I LOVED this book, and I can totally see why it was a Newbery Honor. the writing is delicious, the imagery top notch, and the characterization extremely strong. I felt for Hattie and rooted for her the whole way.

After reading this novel I know for sure I could never have been a pioneer woman, especially as a teenager. Hattie, however, was made of hearty stock, and she put her best effort into every step required for earning her homestead in Montana. I wonder if her uncle who left it to her in his will knew she was so hearty, didn't realize the incredible effort this was going to require from Hattie, or knew this might be her only chance so gave it to her just in case she could make it.

This book was an extremely accurate portrayal, I think, of the difficulties of homesteading and the way communities pulled together and were pulled apart sometimes, as in the case of the German immigrants in this novel. I really liked the parallels the author drew between what was happening in this novel during World War I and some of the things that have resulted from 9/11 in her additional material after hte end of the story.

I would highly recommend this novel. Available in the WOMS library.

The Final Warning - James Patterson

I got to read this book thanks to Colin W. :)

Do you think it will really be the FINAL one? I doubt it. I enjoy this series a lot, so I won't mind if there are more, but I didn't think this was as good as some of the others in the series. Speaking of which...can I just say

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

to James Patterson and the folks at his website for the TEN, yes, you read that correctly, TEN copies of the third book in the series that were sent FREE to our library courtesy of James and his website. They offered free copies to the first 1000 schools that applied, and apparently we were in the first 1000. That is SO cool.

If you have not read any of the other books in this series, you should probably start at the beginning, not with The Final Warning, and you're in for a wild ride. It's quite a series. It's also being made into a movie, I believe, which ought to be pretty interesting. I'm not sure how they're going to portray bird kids because I have a hard time visualizing them myself, but Hollywood has some great tricks up their sleeves, so I'm sure it will be good.

Science fiction fans, suspense fans and adventure fans will all love Maximum Ride. 1-3 currently available at the WOMS library; book 4 will be here in the fall.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Big Over Easy - Jasper Fforde

I really enjoy Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next mysteries, so I decided to give this one a go, but it wasn't nearly as good as the Thursday books, so I was a little disappointed. This author generally writes for adults, although there's no reason a younger audience couldn't read them, I just don't think they'd want to read them. They're pretty literary, with references to all kinds of novels and storylines, which can make them a little confusing if you don't have enough background knowledge. I think that may have been part of my problem with this one. Th storyline in this novel revolves around the NCD, the Nursery Crimes Division, so you need to know a lot of nursery rhymes, and although I have a passing knowledge of many, I don't have a thorough knowledge of them, which really might have helped.

Based on the title, The Big Over Easy, can you figure out which nursery rhyme was the heart of this novel? If you guessed Humpty Dumpty, who had a great fall, you'd be right. Humpty is dead, and it's up to detectives Jack Sprat (who, surprise, surprise, cuts off all the fat from his bacon) and Mary Mary to figure out what happened. And each time they think they've got it, they discover they're not quite there yet.

This book is an ok read, but if you're just trying Jasper Fforde, go for the Thursday next books. The Eyre Affair is the first in the series I think.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Susan Fletcher to speak May 18th

If you have never had a chance to hear Susan Fletcher speak, this is an awesome opportunity. She's a fantastic writer who has had some amazing experiences, particularly in connection with the writing of this book. Her book Alphabet of Dreams which she'll be discussing on May 18th at the Wilsonville Public Library is an incredibly rich story and it's been chosen for the 2008-09 school year OBOB list. I'd highly recommend this as a family outing. But don't ask her to sign your shirt...only some of us get that privilege!