What a storm!

The Children’s Blizzard

A Novel

by Melanie Benjamin

ng #TheChildrensBlizzard #NetGalley

Melanie Benjamin has written a number of works of historical fiction. One of my favorites was The Aviator’s Wife which told the moving story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I recommend that one highly. I also recommend The Children’s Blizzard.

The novel is based on a harrowing situation that occurred on The Great Plains in the late 1800s. As can be guessed from the title, a huge blizzard took place on a day that had been warm and gave no indication of what was to follow. Decisions had to be made by the teachers about how to best help their students. Should their pupils be sent home or should they remain hunkered down in the school? Each choice had potential and real repercussions.

The novel tells the story of two young sisters who made differing decisions for their classes. How did these choices impact them, their students and their community? What other stories arose from the incident and what other characters were affected? Read this engrossing novel to find out.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Help! True Stories of Animal Heroes: Fluffles

The Brave Koala Who Survived a Bushfire

by Vita Murrow

#TrueStoriesofAnimalHeroesFluffles #NetGalley

Pub Date 02 Mar 2021

This story for children is based on what really occurred during the fires in Australia. Adorable, human like Fluffles is a happy young koala until…a bushfire! How does Fluffles survive? Who helps? Children will be relieved to find out that Fluffles is okay and reunited with her fellow Koalas.

The illustrations in this story are very appealing. Children will love seeing Fluffles throughout the text.

This book also raised the issue of protecting the koalas habitat. The author refers readers to the website http://www.savethekoala.com.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Now out: A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals

Over 90 fun and fabulous festivals from around the world!

by Claire Grace

#AYearFullofCelebrationsandFestivals #NetGalley

This title is bright, colorful and packed with celebrations. It is organized by seasons. To give a few examples, spring occasions include St. Patrick’s Day, Hanami, Easter and Earth Day among others, while summer has entries on International Children’s Day, Barunga and Palio di Siena, for example. Autumn holidays include Diwali, Thanksgiving and The Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival among others and a few of the winter times include Bodhi Day, Chinese New Year and The Festival of the Dancing Masks.

Young readers can find out more about holidays they know while also broadening their knowledge of world culture and holidays. All in all, this is a very nice and inclusive title and a good one for home or school libraries.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.This title is bright, colorful and packed with celebrations. It is organized by seasons. To give a few examples, spring occasions include St. Patrick’s Day, Hanami, Easter and Earth Day among others, while summer has entries on International Children’s Day, Barunga and Palio di Siena, for example. Autumn holidays include Diwali, Thanksgiving and The Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival among others and a few of the winter times include Bodhi Day, Chinese New Year and The Festival of the Dancing Masks.

Young readers can find out more about holidays they know while also broadening their knowledge of world culture and holidays. All in all, this is a very nice and inclusive title and a good one for home or school libraries.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Will she live there? Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built

by Susan Hughes

#CarmenandtheHouseThatGaudíBuilt #NetGalley

pub date: March 15, 2020

This lavishly illustrated title will be enjoyed by adults as well as children. It tells the story of a house that was designed by the famous architect, Gaudi. His unique artistic vision is explored through the story of Carmen, a child who at first did not want to move to her parents’ new home. What changed her mind? Enjoy this story as you find out!

Note: The book ends with an author’s note that lets readers know more about Gaudi.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

How do we get there? Love by Night

A Book of Poetry

by S. K. Williams

#LovebyNight #NetGalley

Pub Date 02 Feb 2021  

This collection of poems tells a story. The subject is the evolution of a relationship with all of the inherent vulnerability, revelation, hope, fear, acceptance and more that come to light. The poems are from the perspectives of two people and reflect their growing connection to each other. This title will perhaps make readers think back to when a relationship began or wish for the start of one. It is a tale well told.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Getting to know her: Jane Eyre

A Guide to Reading and Reflecting

by Charlotte Brontë; Karen Swallow Prior

#JaneEyreAGuidetoReadingandReflecting #NetGalley

Pub Date 09 Mar 2021

Jane Eyre is, of course, a classic and one that many have read or plan to read. This edition includes the full text of the novel along with some added sections. These include a biographical essay on the author. One thing that became clear from reading this was the number of losses that Bronte faced.

This title also includes sections on reading the novel. A number of topics are covered including to what extent the book was autobiographical and other influences on the author as she wrote. The evolution of the novel and Bronte’s originality are also covered as are themes in the work. In addition, there is background on the Gothic novel and Romanticism.

This title is published by a Christian firm. So, there is also a part of the book on reading the novel “as a Christian today,”

Overall, I feel that this edition will be welcomed by readers looking for some insight into Jane Eyre before they read or reread it. There are even some questions for discussion included after each of the novel’s volumes.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

What makes him great? The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

#DreamscapeMedia #NetGalley

The Great Gatsby is an American classic and a book that is well worth one’s time. Each time I have read this novel, I have gotten more from it. Sometimes I think that it reads deceptively simply but there is depth here. With its characters, setting, longings and look at America it speaks to those who take the time to engage with it. This time, for the first time, I listened to The Great Gatsby. Listening to the story helped me to go slowly and really hear all the nuances of the book. I recommend the narration by Sean Astin. He hits just the right tone.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

An e book bargain for January 12, 2021

My earlier review

For me, this novel provides a perfect escapist read; it has appealing settings, multiple characters and plot lines, complications, resolutions…and of course, love.
Settings: The story opens and ends in France at a beautiful chateau that has become a hotel. Much happens between two visits to that countryside. The rest of the novel takes place in the U.K., partly in Cornwall, a place that comes vividly into being with the water, the cafes, the shops, etc. Readers also spend time in other locations including Bristol. (I enjoyed my visit back to the suspension bridge via the book.)
So many characters: Lainey and Kit: Good friends who come to work for a family in Cornwall. They pretend to be a married couple to get the job. Will they be discovered? What will happen then? Who does each belong with?
Sir Richard: an eighty-year old well-loved actor who is egotistical, eccentric and was a playboy. What surprising new relationship will come to him?
Majella: the widow of Sir Richard’s son. She does her scattered best to take care of her children while hoping to move on to a new romance. FYI: She has some real clunkers of dates. Majella’s children are secondary characters and each has his/her own personality.
Seth: he runs a tourist agency that readers will wish was real. A ladies man, he has never found “the one.” Will he by the end of the story? Also, is there something to know about his parentage?
Wyatt: He proposed to the lovely Penny who turns him down. Why? Will he ultimately be happier? Will she?
There are many strands to tie together over the course of the novel as readers watch the characters deal with the secrets in their lives. Throughout, Ms. Mansell has a light touch and kept me happily turning the pages.
Many years ago when I first ordered a book to be sent to me via the wonders of the internet and international purchasing, I picked a Jill Mansell title. This author’s ability to combine humor and heart have not diminished over her many publications.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.