Nory Ryan’s Song

I loved this book, by Patricia Reilly Giff. It had strong plot and characters, was written wonderfully, and just plain drew me in. I remember how I found it on my shelf. It was the day before Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and the fourth grade was all dressing up like their favorite book characters. I was frantically looking for something that was good, but obtainable. Then I found this book that centers around the famine in Ireland. I think I couldn’t help but be drawn to it, since the main character has the same name as me. I read a bit, and realized it was what I wanted to do. Of course, I couldn’t help but finish. Nora, called Nory, Ryan has an okay life. The farm on Maidin Bay is doing fine, and her family has enough to get by. Even when she ends up spending time with scary Anne Donnelly, things aren’t as bad as the things to come. Then the sickness hits, and Ireland’s most valuable crop is failing. Life on the bay before wasn’t easy, but now…things are bad. And I mean BAD. This book open the reader’s eyes to what Irish people went through during that time, and a young girl’s attempts to keep hoping and eating. I will warn you, the ending makes you feel a little sad. In fact, I nearly cried. But this book is still something you may not want to miss out on. And if you do enjoy it, there’s a sequel.

Moon Over Manifest

Who hasn’t heard of this book, the Newbery medal winner of 2011, by Clare Vanderpool? That should be enough to convince you to read it. But just in case, here’s a little something to get you started. Abilene Tucker is sent to live in her father Gideon’s childhood home when he goes to work on a railroad job. She can’t wait to find the mark he left on the town. But where is that mark? Abilene is disappointed when she can’t seem to dig up anything about it. But there are the perks and thrills of her new home-the exciting search for the old spy from war days, the Rattler, and Miss Sadie’s Divining Parlor, on the Path to Perdition. It is there that Abilene hears old stories of the last generation, and the town’s old days. If you ask me, this book is certainly worthy of the Newbery Medal, seeing as it’s written magnetically, and has the kind of story that would drag in all fans of mystery and historical fiction, and some who aren’t. So, please take my advice, and GET THIS BOOK.

The Ghost, The White House, and Me

In the patriotic spirit of it being the day after President’s Day, I’ve an especially patriotic book to review. It’s written by Judith St. George. Let’s get started, shall we? Ahem.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to live in the White House? Sure would, right? Well, that’s what KayKay and Anne Granger thought, until their mom got elected as president of the U.S. Now they hardly ever see her; she’s so busy. Well, soon they realize something pretty intriguing: The White House might be haunted, by none other than Honest Abe, the sixteenth president of the United States. And KayKay intends to figure out if there’s any truth to it. And she drags her little sister Anne into it as well. It’s funny, interesting, and a mystery. Read it even if it’s not President’s Day.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

I think I tried to read this book in 2nd Grade. Truthfully, I understood maybe half of what I read, and I stopped in the middle. A year later, I tried again. I got through the whole thing. Hurrah! And I remember it to be a pretty good book, not a particular favorite, but still something that was a pleasure to read. Rebecca Rowena Randall is the little girl who has come to live with her aunts, because her mother didn’t want Rebecca’s sister to go. Aunt Miranda and Aunt Jane are very disciplined, very proper women, and not at all used to Rebecca’s type. Throughout the book, you follow the heroine’s antics and achievements, pain and happy days. The story has good plot, lovable characters, and is told by Kate Douglas Wiggin with eloquence. Girls to grown women would enjoy it. Check at your library, the local bookstore, or with your friends. You may find it’s worth it.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius

My best friend begged me to read this for months, and I finally did. And guess what? I WAITED TOO LONG. Lisa Yee is a wonderful author, and has created a very unique, funny, absorbing, and altogether great book. Millicent Min is the smartest eleven year old you will ever meet. She’s skipped a ton of grades, so many in fact, that she’ll graduate from high school in about a year. College is right around the corner. If we’re talking grades, Millicent’s acing the test. But socially, well…let’s just say she isn’t exactly popular. But this upcoming summer has some hope: Millicent meets Emily Ebers, an average girl that has no idea about Millicent’s actual brain. Maybe there’s a chance our heroine can pull off a real friendship. But that’s hard when you have to tutor idiot Stanford Wong and your parents can’t grow up. This summer holds surprises-and maybe Millicent Min has a bit more to learn. This is a good book, without a doubt. It’s well written and interesting. Go buy it!

The Dragonfly Pool

Ever heard of Eva Ibbotson? Which Witch? The Island of the Aunts? Well, even if you haven’t, you sure are going to now. The Dragonfly Pool shows you the world of Tally, the girl with a loving father and many friends. But things change when Tally’s dad decides she has to be sent away to Delderton, a boarding school in the English countryside. Just to keep her safe until all the trouble with Hitler is over. Tally doesn’t want to go, but she goes. And Delderton turns out to be a perfectly amazing place, fullĀ  of opportunities. Soon Tally and her friends travel to Bergania, where the real excitement starts. A king’s assassination, a prince in danger, and a war all combine to make this a thrilling and great thing to read. So go get it!

Please Write in This Book

This book will suit both boys, girls, and even adults, I’m sure. It’s funny, and contains views from all possible characters. The interesting people and plot keep your eyes glued to the pages. Mary Amato has created a book for positively everyone. Ms. Wurtz decides to place an empty notebook in the Writers Corner of her classroom. The kids love writing in the book, but they don’t always get along. It’s a lot of fun to read the hilarious views of Luke and the bold words Lizzy wants to get out there. The kids have a number of adventures-there is the Stinky Feet Experiment, and the different styles of cute drawings are just making the book better. This story is quite the read. I suggest you check at your library, got to the bookstore, just find the book!

Stargirl

Life at Mica High in Arizona is normal. Just normal. But one new student does away with “normal” when she arrives at the school. Stargirl. She’s the most unusual, interesting, amazing person Leo has ever met. And he’s not the only one taking notice of someone. Stargirl sees him. She likes him. But Stargirl’s popularity plummets, and Leo finds himself uncomfortable and wishing for the “normal”. This book tells the unique and imaginative story of two people and a high school, and their lives together. Kind of sad, kind of sweet, and altogether something you should read. Jerry Spinelli has a way with words. Boys and girls would both enjoy it, I think, what with its original plot and characters. (Honestly, they don’t get any more original than Stargirl.) It’s simply absorbing and I bet it would be especially thought-provoking for book clubs. So, go to the library, and get Stargirl. You won’t be sorry.

A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author

As you know, I am a mystery fan. So I fell in love instantly with Ron Roy’s A to Z Mysteries. The first one, titled The Absent Author, introduces you to the protagonists: Donald (called Dink), Josh, and Ruth Rose. Dink has written his favorite mystery author Wallis Wallace, in the hope that he will agree to come to Green Lawn for a signing. To everyone’s great surprise, he says yes! Dink’s ecstatic. But where’s Wallis Wallace on the morning of the big day? Not at the Book Nook, that’s for sure. Not answering the phone. The common opinion is he missed his flight-but a certain letter leads Dink and his friends to believe otherwise. Ron Roy writes well, and has a good eye for plot and characters. It took forever for me to move on to other books. This is a good starting chapter book, or you could just read it aloud if your child can’t. Go. Get. It. And then read the others-all 25 of them.