Monday, 27 May 2013

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Summary: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir...and a penetrating look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who hated anything to do with domesticity. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

 I LOVED this book.  It is the memoir of a girl growing up poor with totally dysfunctional parents in rural USA.  Her dad is an alcoholic and her mother has several undiagnosed mental disorders but they truly love and care for their four children the best way they can.  While I'm sure some people would call them abusive, I say they are unconventional.  They do not raise their children in a "normal" way - but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Yes, they probably should have fed and bathed them more often but they are an extremely close and loving family. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer

Summary:  Twelve-year-olds Duncan Dorfman, April Blunt, and Nate Saviano meet at the Youth Scrabble Tournament where, although each has a different reason for attending and for needing to win, they realize that something more important is at stake than the grand prize.

I loved this book!  I'm not sure if it's just because I am a huge fan of Scrabble or because it had great characters, story, and writing.  I suppose it could be for all of those reasons!  This book isn't very long but there is still plenty of time to fall in love with the characters and get invested in their stories.  Bonus : lots of new Scrabble words to learn so that I can hopefully beat my sister!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Dewey by Vicki Myron
Front Cover

Summary: Dewey was left abandoned as a kitten on the coldest night of the year stuffed in the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library in Iowa. He won the heart of Vicki Myron, the librarian who found him, and for the next 19 years he charmed the people of Spencer.

I had wanted to read this book for years and I was so disappointed by it!.  I figured, how could it go wrong?  It combines my two passions - cats and libraries - how could I not love it?  I didn't.  The writing wasn't the greatest and only about half of it was actually about Dewey.  The rest was about Iowa (boring!) and the librarian (not boring but not relevant either).  I wanted more stories about the Dew - he lived for 19 years there must have been more stories to tell.  Vicki Myron has written another book about him that she says contains more stories about Dewey but I'm afraid to read it in case I get another boring history of small town Iowa!!

Sunday, 28 April 2013


books.jpgGraceling by Kristin Cashore

Another great book about a strong (physically and mentally) young woman.  I love these books because they are so empowering and even though Katsa is "Graced" with special powers it still shows what women are capable of.  This book has great adventures and wonderful characters - both good and bad.  It is one of those books that are hard to put down because you just have to know what is going to happen next.


Shattered by Eric Walters

This book, about a teen who is forced into volunteering at a local soup kitchen in order to pass a class, was marvellous.  It dealt with of a lot of very important issues, such as the homeless and war, that most people either don't realise are such huge issues or ignore them altogether.  It will change your perception of what it means to be homeless as well as what kind of people become homeless.  We learn along with Ian that all sorts of people become homeless for all sorts of different reasons.  One man he meets was in the army and was present during the atrocities that occurred during the Rwanda genocide.  Like Ian, most people do not realise what went on there because for some unknown reason it didn't make the front page news.  I believe everybody should read this book!

Saturday, 13 April 2013


Cut by Patricia McCormick

I've actually owned this book for quite awhile but never got around to reading it.  I was forced to read it now because a teacher in my school had a problem with it being in my library - that it was inappropriate for students to read.  I think because it deals with a sensitive issue that people do not understand they think if they ignore it, it will go away.  This book was great.  It is about a young girl who has been committed to a psychiatric hospital because she cuts herself.  This book does not glorify self-mutilation (how would it be possible?) but makes it known that it is a very real problem but there is also help and that you are not a freak or crazy if you hurt yourself.  I wish this book had been around when I was younger, but even reading this book as an adult made me feel better about myself.  This is a very important book that should be included in all libraries for young adults.

What Happened to Serenity?

What Happened to Serenity? by PJ Sarah Collins

Summary: Katherine lives in complete isolation in a post-apocalyptic community.  Knowledge and the search for truth are not permitted.  A haunting story about growing up and searching for truth.

Another book that had potential but fell miserable short.  This is a post-apocalyptic story with a twist.  I won't say what the twist is but the reader figures it out pretty quickly and we have to painfully watch for the majority of the book as Katherine tries to figure it out for herself.  Of course I had to finish reading it to see how it ended but at least the ending was decent and was worth finishing.