Posted in Young Adult Nonfiction

Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary, by Gail Jarrow

22825553Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary
Gail Jarrow
2015 by Calkins Creek
ISBN – 9781620915974
Genre – Nonfiction
Age – High School, Middle School
4 Stars

Typhoid Mary is a legend, unfortunately for her. This book discusses the disease of typhoid fever, how it is spread, what the symptoms are, and particularly large outbreaks in history. It focuses on cases and outbreaks that were contracted by a cook in the 19th century. She was very elusive, she didn’t stay at any job for too long. Somehow, the wealthy families that she worked for seemed to fall ill with the disease. When Mary was finally tracked down, the medical officials were very surprised by what they found. Despite the fact that she was a carrier of typhoid fever, she was not and had never been sick with the disease. I thought this was a great telling of the story. It was interesting, it was mysterious, and it was sad. The pictures really helped paint the picture of the times and the settings. It was especially of interest to me, because I actually had typhoid fever as a young girl!

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Posted in Young Adult Lit

The Selection, by Kiera Cass

10507293The Selection
Kiera Cass
2012 by HarperTeen
ISBN – 9780062059932
Genre- Dystopian
Age – High School
3 Stars

The country of Illea is based upon a caste system, where the highest castes strive while the lower struggle just to survive. Every rising king uses The Selection as a way to pick his bride and future queen. America is surprised when she is picked for the selection as she only applied to help her family. It is obvious from the very beginning that she just doesn’t fit it. She is confrontational and anxious, not to mention she is desperately in love with someone from back home.

I listened to the audio book and the narrator was very believable. I liked that she didn’t overdo the acting. The book was easy to listen to and kept my attention the whole way through. I wouldn’t say it was really exciting, but there is a certain degree of suspense throughout. America is…obnoxious. She has this whole “my life is so hard, and I am so above every other girl in this competition because I know what it is like to need” complex. When really she is just as selfish and immature as any of the other girls. She really did terrible things that I won’t mention here as not to give spoilers. I am not sure if we are supposed to like her, feel sorry for her, or what, but I feel little other than disgust for her. It was certainly good enough to read the next book of the series to find out what happens in The Selection. I always like a good mind numbing book, I just hope America matures a bit.

Posted in Young Adult Nonfiction

FDR and the American Crisis, by Albert Marrin

21863512FDR and the American Crisis
Albert Marrin
2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780385753593
Genre – Nonfiction
Age – High School
4 Stars

This book follows Franklin D. Roosevelt from childhood, through his presidency and WWII, until the end of his life. It does a great job of really documenting not only his life, but the history of America from the early 1900s until after WWII. What I found to be really interesting was the complexity of the man in the office. He was not always a great man, but that doesn’t mean that he was always a bad man. He had his good days and his bad days. He had great issues that he followed through on, that helped to end the great depression. However, he was also a bit wishy washy on some very important issues, including but not limited to equal rights. You may be surprised at what you learn. I also enjoyed the pictures, as many of them really painted the picture of the twelve tumultuous years that FDR was in office.  Overall, it was very interesting and informative!

Posted in Uncategorized

Hug Me, by Simona Ciraolo

21535526Hug Me
Simona Ciraolo
2014 by Flying Eye Books
ISBN – 9781909263499
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4 Stars

Felipe’s family was very conservative, they came from a long line of cactuses that were taught to respect personal space. This made Felipe sad because all he wanted was a hug! He finally made a friend, but when he tried to hug his friend things went very badly. Will he ever find someone who will love him enough to want to hug him? What a sad story! Poor Felipe just wants a friend. I think many kids can relate to this feeling, but they will also find the book comical. I loved the illustrations. They look just like a child’s crayon drawing. I love the way that all of the cactuses are personified with faces that really show each one’s personality. Throughout the book Felipe is wearing such a sad face, but in the end he finds a reason to smile!

Posted in Uncategorized

He Came With the Couch, by David Slonim

919621He Came With the Couch
David Slonim
2005 by Chronicle Books
ISBN – 9780811844307
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4.5 Stars

The family needed a new couch, and after looking for quite sometime, they finally found one they liked. However, it came with a very strange creature on it. No matter what the family did they could not get this creature to leave their couch. They soon discover that he may have been there for a very good reason. I think this book is super adorable. The illustrations are really creative and hilarious; instead of just telling the same story, they actually add more to the story. It is a funny, intriguing, and just plain silly story that will have kids and grownups laughing!

Posted in Picture Books

It’s Only Stanley, by Jon Agee

18969290It’s Only Stanley
John Agee
2015 by Dial Books
ISBN – 9780803739079
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4 Stars

It’s late at night and the Wimbledons are trying to sleep when they hear a strange noise. Turns out it is only Stanley. As the night gets later and later they keep hearing more noises, and each time it turns out that it is only Stanley doing strange things around the house. The illustrations are much in the fashion of John Agee, loveable and quirky. The story is full of rhymes and humor. You may be surprised by all of the odd things that Stanley is doing as the night gets later, but nothing will prepare you or the Wimbledons for his last great act! Definitely a fun book, that will allow kids to participate by guessing what Stanley is doing, and laugh when they are almost certainly wrong!

Posted in Picture Books

The Backwards Birthday Party, Tom Chapin and John Forster

17323655The Backwards Birthday Party
Tom Chapin, John Forster
Illustrated by Chuck Groenink
2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9781442467989
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4.5 Stars

On the day of a birthday, everything is backwards. In the morning the sun goes down, and everyone says goodbye. Then the wacky party starts from the end and is all mixed up. The ice cream was hot, and the donkey pinned the tail on everyone else. As everything goes on, the words even get mixed up! The illustrations are soft and sweet. There are tons of different animals, that will be fun for the kids to name. They will get a kick out of everything going out of order, and you may even be able to make an activity out of putting the events in the right order. Plus we all know that kids love to tell adults they are wrong! This is totally a win win read aloud book!