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Showing posts from October, 2010

229. Tower of Treasure by Scott Chantler

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Tower of Treasure by Scott Chantler (Canada) - (USA)
Three Thieves, Book One

Pages: 112
Ages: 8+
Finished: Oct. 28, 2010
First Published: Aug. 1, 2010
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: graphic novel, children, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

Look alive up there, you louts!
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from the Calgary library while on vacation.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

This is a cute adventure story filled with excitement and derring-do. Dessa Redd is an acrobat in a traveling circus but she has a past she vividly remembers. As a little child her mother and father disappeared while she and her brother hid under the house, when all of a sudden one of the king's guards broke through the floors and scooped up her little brother exclaiming he'd found him. Orphaned and on her lone, she has traveled with the circus hoping to find the man who was there that night ordering the search for her brother. She sees h…

228. Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson

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Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson (Canada) - (USA)
Faery Realms, #2

Pages: 296
Ages: 12+
Finished: Oct. 27, 2010
First Published: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA, fantasy, faeries

Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

The Queen is dying.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Wayfarer continues the story started in Spell Hunter (Knife UK). The publisher has upgraded the recommended age range to YA which I find more appropriate, though this book is tamer than the first. The story however, if very detailed and intricate.

The entire cast of book 1 returns, including Knife and Paul but this time the main characters are Linden and Paul's nephew, Timothy. Now that the Queen is on her deathbed it is time to find the other faeries and see if the Oakenfolk can get their magic restored to them so they may survive as a people. The Queen transfers half her magic to Valerian, her chosen successor as Queen, and the other half to Linden, the chosen on…

227. Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol. 1

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Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephanie Meyer. Adaptation and Art by Young Kim (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 224
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 26, 2010
First Published: Mar. 16, 2010
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: graphic novel, paranormal romance, YA
Rating: 1/5

First sentence:

I'd never given much thought to how I would die - though I'd had reason enough in the last few months ...
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from the Calgary library while on vacation.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

When reading a book as a panelist, we are only required to read the first 50 pages and my time would have been better served had a stopped then but no, I did actually read the whole thing. First off, I am not a fan of the books (having read Twilight, New Moon and quickly bailing on Eclipse) and have not seen the movies, nor do I have any desire to. However, when I heard about the graphic novel I thought that perhaps this might be the m…

226. Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs

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Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs (Canada) - (USA)
Temperance Brennan, #13
Pages: 306
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 26, 2010
First Published: Aug. 24, 2010
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: mystery, thriller, forensics
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentence:

The air smelled of sun-warmed bark and apple buds raring to blossom and get on with life.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Kathy Reichs is in top form with this latest entry in the Tempe Brennan series. The first chapter starts out with an obscure and uncomfortable crime scene and continues on from there with an intricate mystery. One case leads to another, a fresh body leads to skeletal remains and soon Tempe and Ryan are trying to identify and determine the deaths of several bodies which send them to Hawaii. Tempe then finds herself called in by the local ME to help identify some odds & ends of human remains found from shark attacks. The addition of both daughters for the first time, making …

225. Famous Players by Rick Geary

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Famous Players: The Mysterious Death of William Desmond Taylor by Rick Geary (Canada) - (USA)
A Treasury of XXth Century Murder, Vol. 2

Pages: 80
Ages: 18+ (YA crossover 13+)
Finished: Oct. 25, 2010
First Published: Aug. 1, 2009
Publisher: NBM Comics Lit
Genre: true crime, graphic novel

Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

As the 20th century dawns, the community of Hollywood is a sleepy village nestled in the foothills north of Los Angeles ...
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from the Calgary Library while I was on vacation.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

It's been a while since I've read Geary and what a wonderful treat to delve into one of his graphics again. I love Geary's artwork and he shall always remain one of my favourite artists. His style is simple b/w drawings but very detailed. This story is about the murder of a great early silent movie director whom I've never heard of before. The world of early Hollywood and silent movies is explored. Something I, myself am familiar with h…

224. The Sons of Liberty, Vol. 1 by Alexander Lagos & Joseph Lagos

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The Sons of Liberty, Vol. 1 by Alexander Lagos & Joseph Lagos. Art by Steve Walker (Canada) - (USA)
The Sons of Liberty, Vol. 1

Pages: 176
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 24, 2010
First Published: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Random House
Genre: graphic novel, historical fantasy, science fiction, YA
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

Bitter cold ... After so many miles of living forest and farmland, so quiet ...
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from the Calgary library while on vacation.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a panelist.

An unusual story, not what I was expecting going into it. Set in pre-revolutionary America the story revolves around two young runaway slave boys, their cruel owner and his son, and a vicious slave hunter. Then there is the lone Quaker who decries slavery and helps slaves to try to escape and Benjamin Franklin, famous for his experiments with electricity among many things, and also the friend of slaves; also his mean-spirited son who seems t…

223. Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

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Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (Canada) - (USA)


Pages: 299
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 22, 2010
First Published: (Sept. 30, 2010 USA) Oct. 5, 2010 CAN
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, fairy tales
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:


Once upon a time, fairydust came from where you'd expect. From fairies.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group (Canada).

Reason for Reading: I'm a big fan of books with fairy tale characters in a modern setting.

The publisher's summary had me believing that this fantasy was going to be some sort of mystery adventure as the son of the big bad wolf tried to prove his innocence. I was not prepared for the gritty, urban fantasy world that I was about to enter! This is a dark, harsh world that imagines what would have happened if Grimm's medieval fairy tale characters had evolved into bi-pedal, speaking creatures integrated with the human population. Henry Whelp, whose father is in prison for killing a girl and her grandmother, is in de…

222. Mr. Badger & Mrs. Fox #1: The Meeting

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The Meeting by Brigitte Luciano. Illustrated by Eve Tharlet. Translated from the French by Catrol Klio Burrell (Canada) - (USA)
Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox, #1

Pages: 32
Ages: 5-7
Finished: Oct. 22, 2010
First Published: (2006) Apr. 2010, English trans.
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Genre: graphic novel, children, easy reader, picture book
Rating: 2/5

First sentence:

Bristle! Grub! Dinner!
Acquired: Borrowed from the Calgary library while on vacation.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee. As a panelist for Graphic Novels this is required reading for me.

Such a little insignificant book which I could write a lot about, but I won't as it's not worth it. I found the story very didactic, hit you over the head with 'you are being taught lessons here children', didactic. Anyone over seven will be wise to this right away and eyes my roll. Themes covered: arguing siblings, manners, racism (via animal species), single parents, blended families. The book is oversized softcover, pic…

221. Bone: Tall Tales by Jeff Smith with Tom Sniegoski

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Tall Tales by Jeff Smith with Tom Sniegoski (Canada) - (USA)
Bone, Companion Book (short stories)

Pages: 108
Ages: 10+
Finished: Oct. 21, 2010
First Published: (1998-2000) Aug. 1, 2010
Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, children, YA
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:


What do you think, Bartleby? Acquired: Borrowed my step-mother's copy.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a panelist.

I have never read a Bone book in my life before this. I actually have reading the series as one of my goals for next year. Fortunately, Tall Tales is a collection of short stories that happen before the events of the Bone series making them entirely readable for someone who hasn't a clue about the series itself.

The book, which calls itself a "Companion" to the series is set in the here and now as Smiley and Bartleby take the Bone Scouts camping. As they sit around the campfire, Smiley tells some rather Tall Tales about th…

We Interupt This Blog ...

Just popping in to mention that I am away in Calgary for a few weeks and won't be around the blogosphere 'till Nov. 11. I'm here for rest so lots of reading getting done and I'll be posting reviewa every day but I am not reading blogs, commenting or answering much email. I'm keeping a low profile in that respect, so I'll get a rest from the computer too. Enjoy the reviews here and I'll be back chatting on your blogs when I get home.

220. Bad Boy by Peter Robinson

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Bad Boy by Peter Robinson (Canada) - (USA)
Inspector Banks, #19

Pages: 336 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 20, 2010
First Published: Aug. 24, 2010 US (Sept. 14, 2010 CAN)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Genre: mystery, British police procedural
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:


By the end of August, the waterlogged Yorkshire countryside was a symphony of green and gold under a blue sky scribbled with white clouds.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series

Peter Robinson is always a character writer. The identities and motivators of his main characters are an important role in each of his novels and each character has developed through the books, especially Inspector Banks who has been with the series for all nineteen novels. Bad Boys relies heavily on the personal stories of the main characters plot wise. There is a crime, a couple really, and they all involve Inspector Banks at a personal level. Enemies from the past show up, an old cold case…

219. End of Days by Max Turner

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End of Days by Max Turner (Canada) - (USA)
Night Runner, #2

Pages: 318
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 18, 2010
First Published: Aug. 16, 2010 CAN (Sept. 28, 2010 US)
Publisher: Harper Trophy Canada
Genre: YA, paranormal, vampires
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:



I'm told vampires are popular in books these days.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

That a sequel to Night Runner was coming out came upon me fairly close to its actual publication. I was thrilled and couldn't wait to read the new book as I had been out of the loop about the sequel being a go!

The very first thing I want to say to US readers is that the US cover is awful! This book is aimed at teenage boys and is *not* a vampire romance like the usual fare out there. Sure girls will love it too, but please don't let that girl-appealing US cover let you think that it's not for boys, spend the little extra and get the awesome Canadian cover, if you have to!

Everybody is a…

218. Heart of Glass by Vivian French

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Heart of Glass by Vivian French. Illustrated by Ross Collins (Canada) - (USA)
The Third Tale from the Five Kingdoms

Pages: 244 pages
Ages: 8+
Finished: Oct. 15, 2010
First Published: July 13, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

"If I were you, kiddo," the bat remarked, "I'd close your mouth."
Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series

This is another series I read simply because it is a whole lot of fun. The Tales of the Five Kingdoms have a fairy tale quality to them and follow the adventures of Gracie Gillypot, living with the Ancient Crones who weave the tapestry of life. Gracie is not always the main character in each book, though. This time around, almost every one of the main characters we have met so far and their families are part of the story as a wedding is under preparation. The bride's sister, Princess Marigold is the jealous sort and lacking attention tak…

It's Not About the Crumbs! by Veronika Martenova Charles

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It's Not About the Crumbs! by Veronika Martenova Charles. Illustrated by David Parkins (Canada) - (USA)
Easy-To-Read Wonder Tales

Pages: 64
Ages: 5+
Finished: Oct. 13, 2010
First Published: Oct. 12, 2010
Publisher: Tundra Books
Genre: children, easy reader, fairy tales
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:
On Saturday, Jake's mother said, "We're going to visit Uncle Mike at his new house."Acquired: Received a review copy from Tundra Books. But then also won it through the Library Thing ER program! The publisher only sent me the one copy, though, thankfully.

Reason for Reading: My son read aloud to me as his reader.

First I'd like to mention that the cover is not the neon green that it appears to be in the picture. All on-line images have the same shade, but it is actually a leaf green in real life, much more attractive! I loved this reader! My son loved this reader! Three children, who appear to be 9 or 10 year olds are doing something and talking and one of them mentions a few el…

217. The Backwoods of Canada by Catharine Parr Traill

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The Backwoods of Canada: Selections by Catharine Parr Traill. Introduction by Clara Thomas. General Editor Malcolm Ross (Canada) - (USA)
New Canadian Library #51

Pages: 128
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 13, 2010
First Published: 1836 (this edition 1966)(this printing with introduction 1971)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Genre: letters, Canadian history
Rating: 2/5

First sentence:

I received your last kind letter, my dearest mother, only a few hours before we set sail from Greenock.
Acquired: Bought it somewhere, most likely a book sale.

Reason for Reading: Reading letters, journals and diaries is one of my most favourite types of genres whether they be non-fiction, as here, or fictional.

McClelland & Stewart's New Canadian Library series is a staple of Canadian Literature publishing. The series started in the 1960s and continues to this day re-printing the classics of Canadian authors of the past. This version I read of The Backwoods of Canada is New Canadian Library's original edit…

216. American Vampire by Scott Snyder & Stephen King

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American Vampire, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder & Stephen King. Art by Rafael Albuquerque (Canada) - (USA)
American Vampire


Pages: 200 pgs
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 12, 2010
First Published: Oct. 5, 2010
Publisher: Vertigo
Genre: graphic novel, horror, vampires
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

I was eight years old the first time I saw a moving picture.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: Vampires? Stephen King? The Old West? The 1920s? Everything I love in one book. I was so there!

If you are ready for the return of "real" vampires then get ready because they have returned in American Vampire. In fact, we've got a new breed of American-made vampire that doesn't have all the same restrictions as the old European breed, one that not anyone knows the complete differences in power or weaknesses, yet.

What an absolutely fantastic volume of story, background, character and gruesome horror! Coupled with probably the best artwork I have ever seen in …

R.I.P. Barbara Billingsley

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Barbara Billingsley died yesterday at the grand age of 94 after suffering a long illness with rheumatoid disease. She will always be remembered for her role as the loving mother and wife June Cleaver on "Leave it To Beaver" and though she never gained stardom outside that role she was a part of the Hollywood industry appearing in movies from as early as 1945 and as recently as 2003. A long life and a long career to a wonderful woman who will forever be remembered for her iconic 1950s housewife and mother role. Rest in Peace, dear Barbara.

215. Harmony by Project Itoh

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Harmony by Project Itoh. Translated by Alexander O. Smith (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 252 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 11, 2010
First Published: 2008 Japan (July 20, 2010, English Trans.)
Publisher: Haika Soru: Viz Media
Genre: Science Fiction, post-apocalyptic, Utopian, dystopian
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:

I have a story to tell.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels and at the same time I was very intrigued in reading a Japanese novel in translation. So far my Japanese reading has been confined to manga.

This book won the Japanese Awards: the Seiun Award and the Japan SF Award and is a highly literary piece of work. A brilliant work of dystopia that looks at a future world that is unlike anything I've ever read before and is also completely viable. The publisher's summary does not do justice to the story at all and I was not prepared for the deep philosophical, scientific, ethical, soc…

MUST SEE: The Butterfly Circus Inspirational Video

Grab a coffee or smoothie and put your feet up for 20 minutes and watch this amazing inspirational movie short set in the 1930s, staring Nick Vujicic (the Australian man with no arms or legs). Oh, grab some kleenex too! This is one of the most beautiful little movies I've ever seen.

The Butterfly Circus

214. Black Gate by Yukiko Sumiyoshi

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Black Gate (Vol. 1-3) by Yukiko Sumiyoshi (Canada) - (USA)


Pages: 640 pages
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 10, 2010
First Published: (2007,2008 Japan) Sept. 28, 2010 English Trans.
Publisher: Tokyopop
Genre: manga, YA, fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Is a person's life ... set in stone?
Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: The publisher's summary had me very interested plus I liked the idea of reading a small mangas series all in one go.

Dare I say it? I think this is the best manga I have read to date. What a compelling, epic saga that covers many years through flashbacks and skipping forward into the future. When a person dies a white gate opens in which their soul goes through to the other side (which the story does not explore) but on rare occasions a black gate will open and these gates are not satisfied with just one soul, they will try to suck the souls out of the nearby living and often cause mass destruction such as fires to gather as …

211-213. Three Cybil Nominations from Stone Arch Books

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Each of the following books was published by Stone Arch Books and received by me for review purposes. These three have been nominated for the Cybils Award so I am reviewing them together. They can be used as easy readers for young children and reluctant readers as well as high interest - low reading level for older students.

211. Avalanche Freestyle by Scott Ciencin, illustrated by Aburtov. Aug. 1, 2010, 56 pgs. - Outstanding illustrations by a (former?) Marvel comics illustrator. The book has been professionally drawn and styled and it shows. This is definitely a high-low reader, with a reading level of 0.9 and interest level up to 14 yo. The plot is basic in scope: rich boy & poor boy are both awesome snowboarders but poor boy can't afford to enter competition. Poor kid has aggressive attitude to rich kid. Rich kid is actually a nice dude who is impressed with the other's skills but rich kid is surrounded by "friends" who all want something from him beca…

210. Blimpo: The Third Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye

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Blimpo by Dale E. Basye. Illustrations by Bob Dob (Canada) - (USA)
The Third Circle of Heck

Pages: 446
Ages: 10+
Finished: Oct. 8, 2010
First Published: May 11, 2010
Publisher: Random House
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:
Virgil's stomach rumbled like a gastric earthquake, registering somewhere between a 6.7 and 9.4 on the digestive Richter scale.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

I read this series for the pure fun of it and for Basye the third time is the charm. Blimpo is the best book yet of this series. As anyone reading the series knows, when we were told at the end of book two that the next volume would be called Blimpo, my eyes lit up knowing we would be returning to the character Virgil from book one. Virgil, who became Milton's best friend in the first book, is the central figure in this volume earning him the position of hero.

Milton and Marlo are right where we left them at the end of Rapacia

The Nightwood by Robin Muller

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The Nightwood by Robin Muller (Canada) - (USA)


Pages: 32
Ages: 6+
Finished: Oct. 7, 2010
First Published: 1991 (new edition Oct. 12, 2010)
Publisher: Tundra Books
Genre: Celitic folktale, children's, picture book
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Long ago there stood a forest deep, green and beautiful.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Tundra Books.

Reason for Reading: I love traditional fairy tales and gorgeous illustrated ones even better!

This is a wonderfully lyrical re-telling of the classic Celtic tale of Tamlynne (Tam Lin). Elaine, the daughter of the Earl of March, knows not to go into the woods as The Elf Queen has set up residence there and young men and women have disappeared in those woods for years now. But denied attendance to her father's first ball since she has become a woman, she resolves to attend the Elfin Queen's Ball that night. It is upon her way that she meets and falls in love with Tamlynne, one of the Queen's knights, a mortal who has been cursed. Elain…

Monday: Books in the Mail

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Only two came in last week, but that's ok. Makes me feel like I'm actually making a dent in the tbr pile when I read more than came in!


From Harper Collins Canada:

The world's most powerful hero, Plutonian, has leveled entire countries and continues to systemically destroy the allies he once called friends. How can the world defend itself against a vengeful god? Volume 4 presents the stunning resolution to the series' explosive first year. Get all four volumes of this Eisner Award-nominated series and see why Irredeemable was named one of 2009's best comic book debuts!







From Simon & Schuster Canada:

In a searingly candid memoir which he authored himself, Grammy Award-winning pop icon Rick Springfield pulls back the curtain on his image as a bright, shiny, happy performer to share the startling story of his rise and fall and rise in music, film, and television and his lifelong battle with depression.
In the 1980s, singer-songwriter and actor Rick Springf…

209. The Amulet: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi

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The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi (Canada) - (USA)
Amulet, Book Three

Pages: 199 pages
Ages: 10+
Finished: Oct. 5, 2010
First Published: Sept 1, 2010
Publisher:GRAPHIX
Genre: Children, graphic novel, fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentence:

Luger.
Tr-Trellis. Have you come to finish me off?

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Finally, the year long wait is over and Book Three is here and well worth the wait is was! The Cloud Searchers is the best book in The Amulet series to date! Kibuishi keeps taking this story further and deepening the plot with each book. Much happens in Book 3 that brings the storyline to new heights. We learn some background of the world they are in, Alledia, and more about the stones and their powers and purposes.

In this volume Emily and the gang are in search of the fabled lost city of Cielis, which some say may have taken to the skies to hide. Emily joins forces with a previous enemy, she looses two dear fri…

208. The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen

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The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen (Canada) - (USA)


Pages: 307 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 3, 2010
First Published: June 24, 2010
Publisher: Viking
Genre: historical fiction, family drama
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentence:

They had strung their shoes by the laces from a solitary elm before entering the woods edging the back field.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group (Canada).

Reason for Reading: The early 1900s time frame and the New Brunswick setting appealed to me right away.

This book was brought to publication by Beverly Jensen's family after her death in 2003. The book consists of interconnected short stories which tell the tale of two sisters who grew up in New Brunswick, poor, on a farm where their alcoholic father raised them on his own. A couple of the stories had been previously published.

From the beginning chapter (ie. story) I was taken into this book and immersed into the lives of the Hillock family, not to come back to the reality of my own famil…

207. Tegami Bachi, Letter Bee Vol. 3

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Meeting Sylvette Suede by Hiroyuki Asada (Canada) - (USA)
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Vol. 3


Pages: 178 pages
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 3, 2010
First Published: Sept. 7, 2010
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: YA, manga, fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentence:

What do you mean?!
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

I love this series! Immediately upon arriving in Yuusari, Lag is told that Gauche is no longer a Letter Bee. He lost his job and hasn't been heard from in 4 years. Lag finally takes his exam to become a Letter Bee himself. He visits Gauche's sister Sylvette Suede whom we've been hearing about since Vol. 1 and this new female character is a blast. She's aggressive and takes on Niche with no problems, yet will cry at the drop of a pin, just like Lag. Some humour comes from these "crybaby" sessions. Lag is sent out on some letter deliveries including one very important one that takes up the whole las…

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo

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Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline (Canada) - (USA)


Pages: 32
Ages: 5+
Finished: Oct. 2, 2010
First Published: 2007 (new edition 2010)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children's, picture book, Christmas
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

The week before Christmas, a monkey appeared on the corner of Fifth and Vine.
Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher.

Reason for Reading: I am a fan of the author.

This is a lovely Christmas picture book that, aside from a religious aspect, captures the true essence of Christmas. First of all, the illustrations are absolutely breathtaking paintings done in acrylic gouache. They place the story in the past sometime, but it is not until we see the photograph of the man in uniform do we place the story as being during, World War II. This book is worthy for its pictures alone. Yet, it has a text equally breathtaking to match. The story of a little girl who has compassion for the organ grinder she sees across the street ea…

206. Death on the Ice: The Great Newfoundland Sealing Disaster of 1914

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Death on the Ice: The Great Newfoundland Sealing Disaster of 1914 by Cassie Brown with Harold Horwood (Canada) - (USA)


Pages: 217
Ages: 18+
Finished: Oct. 1, 2010
First Published: 1972
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Genre: non-fiction, Canadian history, sealing, disasters
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

On a black midnight, March 9, 1914, the S.S. Newfoundland ground her way through the loose ice of St. John's harbour heading for The Narrows and the ice-fields beyond.
Acquired: Won from John Mutford at The Book Mine Set.

Reason for Reading: I read the book a long time ago and knew it was a good read.

This book is a chilling tale of how 132 men were stranded for two days and nights during a freezing storm on the ice-fields of the North Atlantic with only one-third of them surviving to be rescued. First, though, it is the story of the harsh life of the early 20th century Newfoundland fisherman who scraped a living from the sea. Fishing when it was warm and sealing at the end of a long winter when t…