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Reviews - GoodReads.com

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This is a group for library patrons and staff to review books they've read and share what they are currently reading.


Non-Fiction Reviews: (View All)

  • Mao and Me
  • Author: Chen Jiang Hong
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: Teton Co Call No: J 951.056 Chen J
    Julia's rating: 4 stars

    I've long been intrigued with the cover of this book and its placement in the library. A book about growing up in China under Mao - for children? I wondered.

    Finally, I sat down to read this curious picture book. And, I am so pleased that I did because this thoughtful, informative and sometimes sad book serves as yet another reminder that children's literature is simply not just for kids. And, that picture books may not always be aimed at the youngest of children.

    The story, written and illustrated by Chen Jiang Hong, is a memoir about the author's life growing up before, during and after Mao's Cultural Revolution. It's a beautiful story about traditions, family and survival, while also a bracing reminder about sacrifice, survival and mortality. The illustrations are magnificent, too.

    I would recommend this book for high school students - and anyone older - interested in learning about modern Chinese history. It's a brief look but one with depth and scope.
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  • Great Big Book of Children's Games
  • Author: Debra Wise
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: J 796 Wise D.

    Kay's rating: 3.5 stars

    This is a good resource for parents, grandparents and early childhood & elementary teachers. The games included in this book will get children moving and will take them outdoors; perfect for summer time fun.
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Fiction Reviews:(View All)

  • The Map to Everywhere (Pirate Stream, #1)
  • Author: Carrie Ryan
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: TCL Call#: J RYAN C
    Chris’ Rating: 4 stars

    Marrill is used to traveling the world with her family, having wonderful adventures. Then her mother falls sick and she learns that she will likely be stuck in Arizona for some time. Fin, a young master thief from Khaznot Quay, is quite forgettable…as in no one can remember him past a few minutes. While this trait helps in his craft if has left him quite lonely. The two are thrown into an adventure together when Merrill climbs aboard a strange ship sailing into a dry parking lot, which quickly leaves the world she knows, while Fin seeking to discover who his mother is, begins running from a powerful, but rather crazed wizard known as the Oracle. The two join Ardent (a wizard) and Coll (a young sea captain) on a search for the pieces to the map to everywhere, hoping to find their loved ones and maybe save the fate of all worlds in the process.
    The Map to Everywhere is full of quirky humor and fun to read. That being said it took me a long time to get through. Perhaps it was my busy schedule, or that the silly nature of the action didn’t draw me in as much as a more intense book might (that and Merrill annoyed me at first because she seemed to want her mother to get better for selfish reasons). The characters are distinct, and adequately developed for the nature of the book. The action holds to the funny writing style, but is still exciting, and (perhaps one of the most important parts for a book like this) while the story is very open to sequels, it ties itself up rather than starting a quest that dies mid pace. I’d recommend this book for children 8-13 who like humorous fantasy and imaginative quests.
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  • Frindle
  • Author: Andrew Clements
  • User Rating: 5
  • Review: TCL Call #: J CD BOOK CLEMENTS
    Chris’ Rating: 5 Stars

    Nick is a curious boy with ideas…ideas that he feels compelled to act upon. They are generally not malicious ideas, for Nick is not a “bad” kid. But not all of his ideas receive the appreciation they deserve from teachers or principles at school. When Nick enters a new year at school he runs into a teacher with a reputation. His homework stalling skills backfire on him and he is forced to give an oral report on words and language. When Nick learns that words only mean something because people say they do he decides to put this theory to the test by changing the word “pen” to “frindle.” The battle for pen and frindle supremacy is full of fun and excitement as Nick takes on his teacher to preserve the right of every child use their frindle freely.
    Frindle is a clever book that had me laughing at several points. It is not terribly complex or “deep.” The message is more along the lines of creativity and being polite, despite differences of opinion. In all honesty I don’t think I would have joined the “frindle” crowd in the book and feel if the author hadn’t wanted the ending the way it is, “frindle” probably would have faded (in real life) as Nick’s teacher predicted. Despite this Frindle is a rather enjoyable mild read that is likely to delight kids and make them think about the way things are and how they can be. Recommended for children ages 7-11.
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