Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Cook Camp by Gary Paulsen

It is war time--WW2 to be exact.  Paulsen's father has been sent off to war.  Paulsen's mother is restless and a certain man starts hanging around a lot more.  Paulsen's mother decides that she needs some time, so she sends him to his grandmother.  So, he goes by himself on a train to see his grandmother who is a cook at a camp where men are building a road as part of the war effort.  Paulsen gets the opportunity to spend time with his grandmother, and he is very grateful.  But, he misses his mother.  
This story is heartfelt and beautiful even through his pain.  I loved this book because it was this great story about a boy and his grandmother, but I learned so much about the war effort in the U.S. This is the first in a trilogy, and I had to read all three.  The other two posts are forthcoming.

Book 10 in summer reading challenge.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Rich Wallace

Babe was a fascinating athlete who was fabulously talented.  She loved sports; I mean she really loved sports.  She would see a sport that she wanted to play, and she worked at it until she was the best.  I mean, for real, the best in the field.  Her goal was to be the best athlete that ever lived.  It was amazing to read about her many athletic feats.  She even got a job in a company so that she could play on the team.

If you like reading sports stories, this is a cool story about how her drive and uncanny ability helped her rise to the top of the field.  The history of Texas was interesting to me.  Even though I am a native Texan, I do not know that much about that part.

When I first saw the title of Babe Conquers the World--I thought it was talking about Babe Ruth.  Then I read the rest of the title and I realized it was about a female athlete.  I learned so much from this book.  I really had no idea about Babe Didrikson.  Honestly, at first, I was not too thrilled with the book because Babe seemed so self-absorbed.  I know...I am probably the only one who felt that way.  But, the way she was described reminded me of reading about Steve Jobs. Just my opinion, but I am entitled to it.

Book 9

Searching for Silverheels by Jennie Mobley

Pearl is a precocious teenager who works in her mother's cafe.  She also makes a few extra bucks by giving tours and entertaining tourists with her stories about the legendary Silverheels.  However, a local suffragette, Josie challenges her story which leads Pearl on a journey to find the truth about what happened during the 1861 smallpox epidemic in Colorado.  Pearl is convinced that Silverheels was a heroine, but Josie tries to convince her that Silverheels was a con artist who was so good that she was still conning people years later. Fantastic read as you hope that Pearl will find the truth--but will she like the truth she finds?  There is the issue.

The book is set during World War 1, and there is much talk of not trusting the Germans because of what is going on in Germany.  Interesting story of a girl who sets off to discover the truth about a legendary figure and she must face the truth about herself.

Highly recommend this book.  It will be on sale in September, and we will have it in the library as soon as I can purchase a copy.

Book 8 in Summer Reading Challenge.

cover_image  Don't judge a book by its cover.  It may not look that interesting, but it is great.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Salt by Helen Frost

James and Anikwa were fast friends who played together, hunted together and shared together.  The time is 1812, and the American and British armies are getting ready to square off, and the Native Americans--members of the Miami tribe--are coming in to offer support to the side that would benefit their people.  The boys are caught in the middle of prejudice and ignorance, and their friendship is tested.  They are told by some that they should have nothing to do with the other, but they must make the decision for themselves.

This was a cool story told in the two different perspectives.  It is a quick read, and it fills a hole in literature for this time period.  I was so glad to learn more about this time in history.

Book 7 in Summer Reading Challenge.