Single mom Sheri does the best she can for herself and her 12 year old daughter, Caitlin. She works hard but there’s never enough money so, rather than send Caitlin to after school care, she buys her a pass to the local aquarium. That’s fine with Caitlin, though, because she loves spending time with all the fish there. She meets an older gentleman who seems to like the fish as much as she does. Caitlin begins to look forward to seeing him and casually mentions him to her mother, never imagining her mother’s reaction. What follows turns their lives upside down.
When I read Diane’s review of Aquarium, by David Vann, I knew I had to read it. It’s been a while since I’ve found a book as addictive as this one. It’s the story of wounded individuals trying to make their way through life. My life is very different from all of theirs, yet, somehow, I could relate to them. Vann is a masterful storyteller and makes even the most damaged character seem redeemable.
Sheri is struggling to get past the consequences of her troubled childhood. She loves Caitlin but doesn’t always make the best decisions for her. Caitlin, with her love of marine life, is a breath of fresh air. She wants her mom to be happy and hopes for a “normal” life.
The storyline of Aquarium is terrific! It’s disturbing at times, to be sure, but also very relevant for many people today. I didn’t see the ending coming but felt very satisfied as I finished the book. As an added bonus, there are full color photos of gorgeous fish throughout the book. I can’t wait to read more of Vann’s work.
Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog. I’m back from the beach and have so much to do. I’m not complaining, though, because this week is full of lots of fun stuff! I found these books in my mailbox last week:
- Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone plus swag came from Big Honcho Media
- The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James was a win from Under My Apple Tree
- a book club set of The Daughter by Jane Shemilt cam from Book Club Girl and Harper Collins
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman came from Simon and Schuster
- The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell came from Simon and Schuster
- The Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon came from Simon and Schuster
What did you find in your mailbox last week?
Izzy Barr loves sports, especially running, and there aren’t many people who can beat her. Her half brother, Dustin, comes every weekend and he’s pretty good at sports as well. Izzy really wants her dad to come to her events but he always seems to go to Dustin’s games. Izzy understands that his games might be more important since he’s older, but that doesn’t really make her feel any better. Izzy’s friends Annika and Kelsey are always there and she loves them for it but they can’t replace her dad.
Izzy Barr, Running Star is the latest edition in the Franklin School Friends series by Claudia Mills and, like the first two books, it’s a winner! There is so much to love about this early chapter book – well really, the whole series. The books all stand alone so they can be read in any order.
First of all, Izzy, Annika, and Kelsey have different strengths and interests and they support and complement each other. I love the fact that the characters in this book are diverse.
The storyline of Izzy Barr, Running Star is realistic and is one that many children (and their parents) can relate to. It’s not always easy to make a blended family work but Izzy’s family tries hard and does the best they can.
With its great story, terrific characters, and wonderful illustrations by Rob Shepperson, Izzy Barr, Running Star is sure to be a hit with young readers!
I will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.
Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!
I found three more words in my advance reader’s edition of The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy.
1. asthenia – “’I don’t want you getting the wicked asthenia.’”
Asthenia is a lack or loss of strength: debility.
2. brume – “A ghoulish brume.”
Brume means mist or fog.
3. guimpe – “Freddy sat with the reins in hand as she climbed in, the white guimpe hung around her neck like a flag of surrender.”
In this case, guimpe means a wide cloth used by some nuns to cover the neck and shoulders.
As a big fan of Brad Meltzer, I’m excited because the third book in his Culper Ring series is coming out soon! To help celebrate, Grand Central Publishing is allowing me to give away one “Take a Trip Through the Archives with Beecher White” prize pack. This great prize pack includes:
- a copy of THE INNER CIRCLE
- a copy of THE FIFTH ASSASSIN
- a copy of THE PRESIDENT’S SHADOW
- a National Archives tumbler
About THE PRESIDENT’S SHADOW:
A severed arm, found buried in the White House Rose Garden.
A lethal message with terrible consequences for the Presidency.
And a hidden secret in one family’s past that will have repercussions for the entire nation.
There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I find those stories for a living.
To most, it looks like Beecher White has an ordinary job. A young staffer with the National Archives in Washington, D.C., he’s responsible for safekeeping the government’s most important documents . . . and, sometimes, its most closely held secrets.
But there are a powerful few who know his other role. Beecher is a member of the Culper Ring, a 200-year-old secret society founded by George Washington and charged with protecting the Presidency.
Now the current occupant of the White House needs the Culper Ring’s help. The alarming discovery of the buried arm has the President’s team in a rightful panic. Who buried the arm? How did they get past White House security? And most important: What’s the message hidden in the arm’s closed fist? Indeed, the puzzle inside has a clear intended recipient, and it isn’t the President. It’s Beecher, himself.
Beecher’s investigation will take him back to one of our country’s greatest secrets and point him toward the long, carefully hidden truth about the most shocking history of all: family history.
About the author:
Brad Meltzer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers THE INNER CIRCLE, THE BOOK OF FATE, and six other bestselling thrillers. His nonfiction books, HEROES FOR MY SON and HEROES FOR MY DAUGHTER, were also New York Times bestsellers. He is the host of the History Channel series Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and the Eisner Award-winning writer of Justice League of America. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School, he currently lives in Florida. You can find much more about him at www.BradMeltzer.com. You can also see what he’s doing right now at Facebook.com/bradmeltzer and Twitter.com/bradmeltzer.
To enter to win this great prize pack, simply fill out the entry form. Contest is open to those with a US address only – one entry per person, please. I will use random.org to determine the winner. Contest ends at midnight EDT Monday, May 26, 2015. Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.