Saturday, June 20, 2009

Julianne's 9th birthday!

Grandpa comes for a visit!

Friday night pizza and movie with the Researchers!

What can I say? Our Friday pizza and movie tradition is so popular that even some of Trent's co-workers wanted to join us in the fun. Reilly, Jennifer, and Tracy made the train ride out to see us. Our girls were in heaven!!! We watched High school musical 3, had pizza (of course!) and Trent made his famous cookies for everyone! So if any of you ever need a fun Friday -- you know where to come! Consider this an invite to all of you!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Criss Cross

Criss Cross Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
I picked this book up at a used book sale and grabbed it because it had the newberry medal winner seal stuck on it. As I held the book the seal started to unstick and roll. I was having a hard time liking the book and started wondering if it had really won the Newberry medal or if someone had haphazardly stuck the sticker on this book by accident. I read another 20 pages and then had to go look online to see if it was really a winner.

It is.

So, with affirmation that others had in fact liked this book enough to grant it an award, I kept reading. I figured it had to get better, right?

Well, now I am done with it. I thought it was OK. not great. not terrible. The story has multiple characters and changes points of view often. You are stuck in the heads of 14 year olds. I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT 14 ANYMORE. I really can remember thinking like them-- trying to glean as much meaning out of nothing. feeling predestined for something great, but not knowing what. and knowing there were experiences to live that would change your path forever but not really knowing where to go to live them.

I don't know who I would reccomend it to -- there were some funny moments and I liked the coordination of a few key illustrations, photos, and writing styles.

View all my reviews.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was like finding a kindred spirit. The main character has come to Connecticut from Barbados and finds all about New England to be a little crazy. The story is set in 1687. The author's note at the end says ". . . [these men:] and the freemen's struggle to preserve their charter is known to every schoolchild in Connecticut."

Well, it was not known at all to me a "schoolgirl" raised in Texas. So I found the history interesting as well as the fictional story relating some of the problems -- witch hunts, puritans, quakers, and rigid religious beliefs. Maybe as my children have to study Connecticut history I will learn "what all schoolchildren know."

But the real enjoyment of the book was just reading about someone else discovering 4 seasons for the first time. Barbados and Houston must be very similar (the character describes barbados as hot, humid, and always green, the air thick -- sounds just like Houston to me!)

So this was my favorite quote in the book

"All at once Kit was aware that this New England, which had shown her the miracle of autumn and the white wonder of snow, had a new secret in store. This time it was a subtle promise, a tantalizing hint of beauty still withheld, a beckoning to her spirit to follow she knew not where. She had forgotten that summer would come again, that the green would spread over the frozen fields, that the earth would be turned up to the sun and the seed sown, and that the meadows would renew themselves. Was this what strengthened these New Englanders to endure the winter, the knowledge that summer's return would be all the richer for the waiting?"

View all my reviews.