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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)

  • Whittington
  • Author: Alan Armstrong
  • User Rating: 2
  • Review: TLC CALL #: J CD BOOK ARMSTRONG

    Chris’s Rating: 2 Stars
    A cat who calls himself Whittington, no longer has a home. Wanting friends, he petitions the barnyard animals to let him join their family of unwanted animals, cared for by a farmer whose heart won’t let him abandon them. The farmer’s grandchildren visit the barn, conversing with the animals who help a young boy with dyslexia pursue reading, all the while being inspired by Whittington’s tale of the boy from the past (and his cat) whose name he has chosen as his own.
    First off, despite the low rating I didn’t hate this book. It was, as Goodread’s ratings put 2 Stars, “okay.” The story of Dick Whittington was interesting (although the narration left something to be desired) and Ben working to overcome dyslexia could be inspiring (but I don’t know enough about dyslexia to know whether or not this struggle/effort/method was realistic beyond the very basics). The fact of the matter is that the writing just didn’t appeal to me. There were too many stories mixed in (not necessarily a bad thing if they are interesting and important) which seemed disjointed and somewhat half-hazard. I found myself more interested in the Dick Whittington thread (a retelling) than the everyday barn itself, or the farmer and his grand kids. Overall, I kept wishing that I was listening to something else, although my young daughter probably enjoyed it more than her poor bored dad. To be fair...I didn't make it all the way to the end of the book (uncommon for me). This book might be good for young readers who like animals, don’t like scary stories, and who don’t mind, or get slightly confused, when the story jumps to a different storyline, via different view point or narration.
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  • The Secret History of Tom Trueheart CD
  • Author: Ian Beck
  • User Rating: 3
  • Review: TLC CALL #: J CD COOK BECK

    Chris’s Rating: 3 Stars
    Tom Trueheart is the youngest of seven brothers (all some variation of Jack). While his older brothers are brave and adventurous (and often called on by the Story Bureau to participate in partially fabricated and lightly directed adventures in the Land of Stories), Tom is not outgoing and tends to think too much about things. Then one day Tom receives word from the Story Bureau that his brothers (who have not finished their adventures) have gone missing and that he is being called on the adventure of finding and rescuing them. Tom sets out immediately, with the companionship of a talking crow, happy and frightened that his turn has finally arrived.
    The Secret History of Tom Trueheart is a clever, humorous fractured-fairy-tale. Definitely cheesy at times (which is common with fairy tales and “love at first sight”) this story plays on making fun with fairy tales more than story or character depth. Overall the story is enjoyable, although Tom seemed rather unwise to constantly tell everyone what he was doing when his quest was supposed to be confidential. Good for young readers who like a light read dealing with fairy tales.
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