Monday, May 18, 2009

Books I Read in 2010

I love reading books meant for all ages.  Any book with stars by it is one I'd consider reading again in the future so presumably you might like it too. If you've read (or wondered about) any of these books feel free to comment! I'd love to chat with you...  Oh and if you love a book I don't (or vice versa), we can still be friends.

***The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom***
Corrie Ten Boom tells of her experience helping Jews escape death with the Dutch resistance in Holland.  Corrie's honest introspection is profound.  Despite all that she and her family went through, God's love was continually revealed.  This is a story of amazing courage and perseverance that everyone should read.

Princess: The Puppy Place, Ellen Miles
Princess is a spoiled puppy in need of a forever home.  Thankfully, Charles has a plan to get Princess adopted.  My daughter got this book for her birthday and recommended it to me after she read it. (reading level grade 2)

The Butterfly Effect -- How Your Life Matters, Andy Andrews
This book is a gift book style which is an easy read.  The examples it gives are American, but regardless of where you're from the point of the book is that the things you do matter and make a difference in the world -- often in ways we could never imagine.

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks
This novel was interesting -- a woman with a secret past, a widowed man, a crazy ex...  I didn't care for the chapters that were written from the point of view of the crazy ex because I felt a little crazy myself after reading the repetitive thoughts he has, but an easy read other than that.

An Amish Christmas Expanded Edition, Wiseman, Fuller, Cameron and Long
This is a compilation of 4 Amish love stories.  You can read my review here: An Amish Christmas Expanded Edition

***Daniel's Story, Carol Matas***
This novel tells the story of a family's experience during the Holocaust.  The story is told from the point of view of Daniel, the oldest child, through the photographs he takes to preserve their story.  This is a novel of hope, love and despair.  (aimed at teens, but I would recommend it for adults as well)

Dancing Through the Snow, Jean Little
This book tells the story of a foster child who was found abandoned as a child.  Min relates to an injured dog she finds and the two of them share a journey towards belonging and self worth.  (aimed at pre-teens)

An Amish Christmas, Cynthia Keller
A family of five with 'the perfect life' is shocked when hidden financial difficulties turn things upside down.  A series of mishaps lead them to live with an Amish family where they learn their customs and do some soul searching themselves.  I'm not sure how likely this would be in real life, but it was an interesting read.

***After Peaches, Michelle Mulder***
10 year old, Rosario, and her family have fled from Mexico as refugees and are starting a new life in BC, Canada.  Rosario is insecure about speaking English, but learns that even though her English isn't perfect she can still use it to make a difference.  Themes include: friendship, acceptance, unsafe working environment for immigrants (aimed at pre-teens)

The Heart's Lonely Secret, Jane Peart
A story of Ivy, an orphaned girl adopted via the Orphan Train, and the friendship she forms with another orphan.  Their lives are significantly affected by an impulsive choice.  The themes include: guilt, loyalty and longing to be loved.

The Trouble with Tink, Kiki Thorpe
This is a chapter book about Tinkerbell which is set after her time with Peter Pan.  It seems like Tink is losing her talent and all she has ever wanted to be is a tinker fairy -- except in the movie Tinker Bell of course.  Aside from that it was a cute book. (reading level grade 3)

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
This is an R rated book (mature theme and some swearing) about two young boys growing up in Afghanistan in the 1970's.  The themes are: father/son relationships, friendship, guilt and redemption.  My husband and I watched the movie recently.  He really liked it, but I preferred the book because it had more detail.

The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans
This novella tells how a young family's relationship with an elderly lady leads to their discovery of the true first gift of Christmas.  A spiritual message within a magical tale.

Smile, Raina Telgemeier
This is a comic style book that tells the saga of a young girls problems with her teeth and braces.  Along the way she deals with the typical struggles of adolescence including wanting to be accepted and crushes.  (aimed at pre-teens)

***The Angel Doll -- A Christmas Story***, Jerry Bledsoe
This novella is set in the 50's and tells the story of two young boys who become friends while sharing a paper route.  One of the boys has a little sister who is terminally ill and the boys work to make her Christmas wish come true.

The Shack, William P. Young
Woah -- can I NOT recommend this book strongly enough?  I have to admit the first four chapters were compelling in terms of story telling, but once the book started to get into theology I started to cringe.  I stopped reading mid chapter 6 and found this review of The Shack at Insight for Living which highlights all the concerns I have myself.  The book, in my opinion, isn't Scripturally sound.

Crispin, At the Edge of the World, Avi
This sequel to Crispin, The Cross of Lead, tells of the ongoing journey of Crispin and deals with issues such as trust, prejudice, love and the desire for freedom.  I preferred this book to the first book. (aimed at teens)

The Nativity Collection, Robert J. Morgan
This gift book consists of 6 short Christmas stories.  You can read my review here: The Nativity Collection.

***Secret Daughter***, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
This novel addresses themes such as inter-racial marriages, cultural differences, adoption and poverty while it follows two families.  The book is set partly in the United States and partly in Mumbai, India.

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fannie Flagg
A coming of age story about a girl growing up in the 50's.  Written by the author of Fried Green Tomatoes.  I liked the first half of the book better than the second half.

The Help, Kathryn Stockett
This novel deals with issues of segregation during the 1960's. This book had more swearing in it than I expected and an R rated scene, but aside from that I liked it. Soon to be released as a movie.  I found out that  the book was racially controversial after reading it -- specifically the "white" author speaking as though she were "black" women.

***Our Canadian Girl -- Elizabeth series***, Anne Carter
Set during 1762, these stories tell of the deportation of Acadians from Nova Scotia and Elizabeth's attempts to fight injustice and racism.  (aimed at pre-teens)

Crispin, The Cross of Lead, Avi
A story of an orphaned boy in 1377 who is forced to flee for his life and for his freedom.
"As God in Heaven knows, both wheat and trust take a full season to grow." pg 101  (aimed at teens)

Animal Farm, George Orwell
A novella about farm animals who start a revolution against their owner and other humans. This book symbolizes the Stalin era and his dictatorship.

Psych: The Call of the Mild, William Rabkin
A mystery novel based on the tv show "Psych". I have to say I much prefer the tv show.  The wit and banter just isn't the same without the facial expressions.

A Girl and Five Brave Horses, Sonora Carver
The true story of a horse diver in the 1920's who is blinded. The life of Sonora inspired the movie: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken which I highly recommend for the family.  

***To Kill a Mockingbird***, Harper Lee
1930's coming of age story about racism and justice. I originally read (and watched) this in grade 10. My husband and I just watched the movie recently and highly recommend it.

Margaret -- A Trilogy, Bernice Thurman Hunter
These novels tell the story of a young girl who is sent to live with her relatives on their farm because of tuberculosis.  While there she develops a strong bond with her horse, Starr.  (aimed at pre-teens)

Booky -- A Trilogy, Bernice Thurman Hunter
Depression era novels of a young girl growing up in a large family in Canada.  Booky deals with crushes and a desire to write while coping with the family's financial troubles.  (aimed at pre-teens).  There are a few movies staring Megan Follows (from Anne of Green Gables) as the mom.  

***Hattie Big Sky***, Kirby Larson
Set in 1918, this novel tells the story of an orphan girl who inherits a ranch and becomes a homesteader.  Thankful for a chance to finally have a place of her own, Hattie takes on the daunting task.  The author was inspired by her own Great Grandma's story.

Go Ask Alice, Beatrice Sparks
This is a supposed diary of an anonymous drug addict, but it seems that it was written by this "editor"/author of other supposed diaries which have come to light as fiction.  I don't recommend it.

Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
This is a sci-fi novel about increasing IQ in a mentally handicapped man. It's interesting to see how his life changes as his intelligence increases.  A Will Smith movie-to-be.  

***Dear John***, Nicholas Sparks
A novel about long distance love with an army sergeant and also father/son relationships. The novel is better than the movie.  You should watch the alternate ending (the novel inspired ending) of the movie if you have the opportunity.

Heidi's Children, Charles Tritten
A novel about Heidi and her children living in the Swiss Alps. (aimed at pre-teens)

New Dawn on Rocky Ridge, Roger Lea MacBride
This is a Little House on the Prairie book which tells the story of Laura's daughter, Rose, and her childhood.  (aimed at pre-teens)

The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks
A novel about daughter/father relationships and young love between an unlikely pair. The novel is better than the movie as the movie has some loopholes in the plot.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
This huge novel, full of black and white illustrations, is about an early 20th century clock keeper. It's an easy read despite it's width. (aimed at pre-teens)

 ~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~


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