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Review: Revolution

November 7, 2014


Sunny lives in Greenwood, Mississippi in the summer of 1964 and her world is being turned upside down.  People from the north are pouring into Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote.  The country is starting to integrate but many places in Greenwood would rather close than admit black citizens.   Sunny encounters Raymond, a young black man who will change the way she thinks.And, to top things off, Sunny’s father and sepmother are expecting a baby.

Four years ago, I read Countdown by Deborah Wiles and was completely blown away by it.  I heard that it was the first book in a trilogy and I anxiously awaited the next installment.  It’s taken awhile but the second book of the trilogy has finally been released.  Believe me, Revolution was worth the wait!  Set during Freedom Summer and narrated by Sunny and Raymond, it puts a human face on the historic events of that summer.

Wiles really does her research and opens each chapter with newspaper clippings, news broadcasts, excerpts from sermons, etc, to make the time period come alive.  To make it even more relevant, she includes other events from the 1960s, such as the Beatles coming to America and the Vietnam War.  I loved the way the story is presented and found it very compelling.  It’s an important story to share with young readers and I think they’ll get caught up with the historical details of the day as well.  Do yourself a favor and read this book – while you’re at it, read Countdown too!

The audio version of Revolution is a masterpiece.  It’s narrated by Stacey J. Aswad and Francois Battiste with J. D. Jackson and Robin Miles and they all do an excellent job.

Listen to a sample:


kid konnection newI 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 tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Review: Her

November 6, 2014

Her book

Emma is exhausted and overwhelmed by motherhood.  Nina is sophisticated and generous and, after a few chance encounters, comes to Emma’s rescue several times.  They strike up a friendship that seems innocent at first but, after a while, it becomes apparent that the encounters and the friendship aren’t as random as Emma thought.  It seems that Nina wants to destroy Emma’s idyllic life.

Her by Harriet Lane is a fascinating tale of cat and mouse.  The point of view alternates between Emma and Nina and, at first, their connection isn’t clear.  It didn’t matter, though, since both of their stories held my interest.  As the story progressed, though, it became obvious that one of them was up to something, but what?  I was drawn into both women’s stories as I tried to figure out their relationship and thought both of the characters were well written.

The storyline is compelling too.  It’s fraught with suspense and tension and I flew through Her because I just had to know what was going to happen.  The ending is a little open ended but I found it very satisfying.   Set aside some time to read this book because you won’t want to put it down!

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 5, 2014

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!

This week’s words are from Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter.

1. vigneron – “‘Only the vigneron who tends his vines knows when his berries are ready.”

A vigneron is a winegrower which is a person who grows grapes for winemaking.


2. fatuity – “‘No one was able to pay a compliment with more finesse and graciousness and, despite his success with women, it was impossible to discern in him the slightest nuance of fatuity.”

Fatuity means stupidity or foolishness.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Blue Fox

November 4, 2014

The Blue Fox

A priest shoots and kills a blue fox and his shot causes an avalanche.

The dirft splits in the middle with such a thunderous crack that the loose snow is whirled up around Reverend Baldur, obscuring his figure and blotting out his view in all directions.  The lower section of the drift sets off down the mountain — snatching up the priest on the way.

Trapped beneath the snow, he fears he’s losing his mind when the fox comes back to life.  Once again, the priest kills the fox, this time eating its heart, wearing its fur, and becoming the fox.

The Blue Fox written by Sjón and translated by Victoria Cribb is, at 115 pages, a short book but it wasn’t a quick read for me.  Full of nuances and symbolism, I had to read it slowly to discern its meaning and, to be honest, I’m not sure I understood it completely.  Besides the story of the hunt, there were flashbacks to a dead woman, who turns out to be the daughter the priest sold for a rifle and “a bag of shot.”

The Blue Fox has received a lot of praise and won several awards but I think it was too literary for me.  If you enjoy literary fiction and/or mythology, you’ll probably enjoy this more than I did.

Review copy provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.


Mailbox Monday

November 3, 2014

Mailbox Monday November 3

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Last week was crazy here.  The store was busy so I worked quite a bit and ended up with a cold.  Then, we woke up Saturday morning to see snow on the ground.  On November 1. In South Carolina.  That’s just wrong on so many levels.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:





What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

October 31, 2014

Miss Peregrine

When Jacob’s grandfather dies in a horrible accident, Jacob thinks he sees a creature responsible for his death exit the woods.  Rather than chase it, he goes to try to help his grandfather who says to him:

Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940.

Haunted and confused by his grandfather’s directive, Jacob is determined to seek out its meaning.  He travels to Wales to see the home his grandfather grew up in and discovers it in ruins.  Still, there’s something there and Jacob is determined to find out what it is.  He finds a whole other world that explains so much about his grandfather’s life and death.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a very unique book.  Interspersed throughout the book are actual old photographs that suit the story perfectly.  At times it adds a really fun element to the story and, at others, it feels a little contrived.

Jacob is confused by the death of his grandfather and what he’s sure he saw that day and can’t understand why no one believes him.  His parents have put him in therapy but he doesn’t really think it helps until he gets his therapist to convince his parents to allow him to travel to Wales to see where his grandfather grew up.  Surely seeing Miss Peregrine’s Home will help him figure out what his grandfather meant in his cryptic message.

Jacob does find the answers he was looking for and they are beyond his wildest dreams.  They help him put the pieces together but they also put him in danger.  This book is full of supernatural elements and spine tingling moments and I liked it but didn’t love it.  I don’t read much fantasy, though, so I’m not the target audience.  Those who enjoy fantasy and the supernatural should pick up a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children!

kid konnection newI 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 tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Quirk Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: Mr. Mercedes

October 30, 2014

Mr. Mercedes

Retired police detective Bill Hodges has settled into a dull routine when, out of the blue, he gets a message from someone who claims to be the person who drove a stolen car into a crowd of people, killing eight.  It’s a case Hodges never solved – he knows he should pass the information along to his old partner but he feels compelled to investigate.  Things quickly turn into a game of cat and mouse – but who’s the cat and who’s the mouse?

I was a little worried when my book club chose Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.  I did enjoy 11/22/63 but it’s not horror and, based on the cover, I assumed Mr. Mercedes is.  It turns out I was very wrong – rather than horror, King’s newest novel is crime fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The book wasn’t perfect – there was a small romantic element that seemed out of place – but it sure was compelling.  Stephen King certainly knows how to tell a story!

The point of view switches between Hodges and the killer so readers know early on whodunit.  The story focuses on Hodges investigation and if and how the killer will be caught.  I thought King left things open for a sequel and have read that Mr. Mercedes is the first book in a proposed trilogy – I look forward to the next two entries in the series.

Everyone but one person in my book club enjoyed this book.  I have to admit, though, that we didn’t find much to discuss beyond the characters.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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