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Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh

The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh.

The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh

Calkins Creek Books
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $16.95
ISBN-13: 9781590787540

Review: In what ways do you honor veterans? Do you donate money to assist them? In the book The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, it shares the amazing story of Moina Belle Michael, the giving main character, who can't find enough ways to honor the veterans. She does all she can for them, but always feels the need to do more. If you want to know how she honors the veterans, you will find out soon.

Moina is very dependable and always helps anyone in anyway she can, and because war is announced she knows she has to help the young men going to fight. She does all she can, she makes them socks, sweaters, lets them stay with her but she doesn't feel like she has helped enough. She is there when they leave for war. She opens a place for soldiers to stay; she fills that room with flowers. One day, a soldier who is staying with her leaves a poem one of the lieutenants has written honoring the soldiers who died on the battlefield. At last Moina knows the one act of kindness she should do that would top all the other ways she helped! Moina has helped honor the veterans in many ways, but with the help of the poem she does the most honorable action she could. To find out that humble actions have a significant impact, look for the book The Poppy Lady.

The Poppy Lady is an incredibly meaningful book. Reading the title, The Poppy Lady seems like a picture book for younger kids. However this book is fairly long picture book and is better for older children. However, at some level, anyone would enjoy The Poppy Lady. Everyone can enjoy the wonderful paintings by Layne Johnson the illustrator of The Poppy Lady. Plus this book is very inspiring for some readers and it will make them want to do good deeds now and when they are older. The book The Poppy Lady was written to honor the veterans so the author choose a wonderful way to do so. The Poppy Lady has incredible details. Some people may skip the prologue, but it is important to at least read the last paragraph. If a parent reads this book to their younger child, they may enjoy the lesson from the book the kids are getting and they themselves may enjoy the touching story of Moina Belle Michael.

So the next time you are looking for an inspiring heart warming book to read, make sure you check to see if they have The Poppy Lady.

Review written by Ashley (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Raab Associates for providing a copy of The Poppy Lady for this review.

Have you read The Poppy Lady? How would you rate it?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Strangelets by Michele Gagnon

Strangelets by Michele Gagnon.

Strangelets by Michele Gagnon

Soho Press
Publication Date: April 2013
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9781616951375

Review: Three unconnected teens around the world plunge into death at precisely the same time find themselves in an abandoned hospital with no understanding of their whereabouts or how to leave. Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon explores an alternate reality in which the earth has been nearly destroyed, and a horror awaits those that try to fight the evil that lies beyond the hospital doors.

Sophie, Declan, and Anat awake in separate rooms in a stark hospital that has long since been abandoned. Discovering that three other teens are also held hostage in the hospital, they all set out together to find a way past locked doors. Once they reach the outside world, they find that it is not what they expect. Instead of the green, grassy earth with wildlife and beautiful architecture, they are faced with destruction. It becomes abundantly clear that something or someone has brought them together, but why? Off in the distance, a horrifying sound emanates. It is the sound of a beast - a beast with the power to kill and the need to consume human flesh. Trying to make sense of their purpose and the world that surrounds them, the six teens head out on a terrifying quest for answers. But, will the answers be ones they want to hear?

Michelle Gagnon has written an intriguing alternate-reality novel. Teens will find themselves identifying with the main characters who experience the breadth of human emotions as they seek answers. A love triangle, a boy seeking his father, and angry teens just wanting to return to their real lives are easy characters to appeal to the target audience. Some characters however are nearly annoying. It doesn't take long before readers wish the beasts would remove Anat from the story. Undoubtedly, Gagnon created Anat to add dissonance between characters. But, the dissonance may have been too much. Additionally, Gagnon creates a world that can only be found in a nightmare. Readers will find themselves gripping onto the book as they forge ahead into the wee hours of the night awaiting the anticipated moment when all the questions will be answered and life will return to normal. A complex science lies at the center of the explanation, which might be confusing for readers; however, it is the only logical way to explain their fate. Strangelets is the epitome of creepy and weird, and it is perfect for teens who enjoy reading horror novels that stretch beyond reality.

Review written by (th grade student).

We would like to thank Soho Press for providing a copy of Strangelets for this review.

Have you read Strangelets? How would you rate it?